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Complex Facilitation Fundamentals (September)

September 15 - September 23


Complex Facilitation Fundamentals (September)

Presented by Cognitive Edge, in partnership with Complexability Pty Ltd   

Complex facilitation methods and processes are designed to align with the nature and challenges of complex systems.  They are focused on creating and sustaining environments where the social construction of shared understanding of complex issues can emerge, where participants can discover sufficient agreement to take action, and appropriate ways of monitoring impact can be co-constructed.

This programme offers an entry point into Complex Facilitation principles and practice, exploring the relationship between the principles of complex systems, the role of the facilitators and the experience of participants. Supported by experienced complex facilitators, participants will engage with core principles, the challenges of the facilitation role and potential stakeholder issues.

Course structure: 

  • 4 x 3-hour virtual classroom sessions
  • 2 hours of peer practice activity and coaching between sessions 2 and 3
  • 1 hour of one-on-one coaching per participant with Facilitators, to support integration post-programme

Learning investment: $975 US per person

Live session dates and times:

  • 15 September at 09h00 – 12h00 AEST
  • 16 September at 09h00 – 12h00 AEST
  • 22 September at 09h00 – 12h00 AEST
  • 23 September at 09h00 – 12h00 AEST

Pre-requisite: A basic understanding of the Cynefin framework is essential. Participants who have participated in Cynefin Basecamp, Foundations or equivalent will find that an advantage.

Meeting environments: Zoom.us; Google Slides / Docs; ConceptBoard

Course details

During this program, participants will have the opportunity to: 

* Differentiate between Traditional, Process and Complex facilitation and the distinct facilitator mandates, roles and approaches for each.

* Learn to identify a complex facilitation need and build on your understanding of complex systems principles to select the appropriate facilitation approach, structure and roles.

* Experiment with creating powerful prompting questions that act as catalysts for rich sense-making and engagement.

* Discover why and how the design fundamentals like context, multiple perspectives, and descriptive self-awareness support complex facilitation.

* Orient yourself in the role and behaviour of complex facilitation, shifting from control and management to designing for emergence, allowing outcomes to be owned by the group.

* Discuss strategies for addressing typical or anticipated behaviours such as pushback, disruption, disengagement and conflict.

Who is this course for?

If you facilitate groups to make sense, make meaning and take action in complex environments, and you are committed to maintaining a light facilitation footprint and creating environments where all voices can be heard, then this course is for you.

Your facilitators

Vivienne Read (Australia) 

Viv has over 4 decades experience in organisational change, strategy, leadership development and workplace reform. as a manager and trusted advisor. She has a reputation for innovative thinking and practice, with a breadth of application and experience in all sectors of the economy and society.

She is founder and Director of Complexability Pty Ltd, a network of independent consultants engaged in working in the field of complexity in Australia and internationally, and trustee of ARIO Foundation, a not for profit organisation that undertakes social research and associated initiatives in Australia and SE Asia. 

Her initial training in Cynefin and the associated methods was 2000, and she has subsequently focussed on their application specifically to assist in ‘making sense’ of complex issues, as the basis for taking action. She has participated in a broad range of projects, in varied industries, contexts and countries. Viv has been involved in over 20 SenseMaker® projects, as well as applying the Cynefin framework and associated tools and methods in a capacity building assignments such as experiential leadership development and community engagement. She has recognised international expertise in the design and facilitation of large-scale complex consultation and stakeholder engagement strategies.

Since 2004, Viv has been involved in the design and facilitation of Cognitive Edge training in Australia, UK, Singapore, Hong Kong, Cambodia and New Zealand. She is currently an authorised Cognitive Edge trainer, preferred partner for both Cognitive Edge and the Cynefin Centre and has been a Cynefin® Foundation Course facilitator since 2018.

Julie Cunningham (Australia)

Julie works closely with organisations to help lift performance through capability cultivation. She leads the application of a growing body of work assisting organisations to work with and understand complexity, develop curiosity, explore disruption and identify blind spots through a brain savvy lens. This is aligned with growing emphasis to drive innovation, think differently and build sustainable capability.

Throughout Julie’s career she has been called upon to become the ‘trusted adviser’ in diverse situations. Her ability to quickly comprehend and analyse a wide variety of new information has enabled her to become a broker of knowledge, information and practical solutions. This very pragmatic approach allows her to very clearly identify solutions and opportunities for the needs of organisations while informing and educating the people with whom she works. 

Julie has been working in the fields of leadership, learning and change for over two decades and since 2015 has been working more deeply in the fields of complexity and narrative. Julie is the lead contact in managing the relationship between Complexability and Cognitive Edge technical support team for all instances using SenseMaker® and SenseMaker® Pulse instruments.  She is currently an authorised Cognitive Edge trainer, preferred partner for both Cognitive Edge and the Cynefin Centre and has been a Cynefin® Foundation Course facilitator since 2019.

Cancellations & Rescheduling

Voluntary cancellations by registrants are permitted at any time prior to the course start and a refund for the amount paid will be provided less a 10% refund processing fee. Substitutions are permitted at any time as well as rescheduling attendance to an alternate session within a year of the original course start date. Substitutions and/or rescheduling of courses for discounted tickets may be subject to rescheduling restrictions and/or fee supplements.

Cognitive Edge reserves the right to cancel or re-schedule training sessions. In the event of cancellation or rescheduling, a registered attendee can request a full refund of course fees. Refunds will be processed within ten (10) business days of refund requests.


September 15
September 23
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Cognitive Edge


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