Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Exploratory: Navigating the age of entanglement – exploring the synthesis between networks and complexity

February 10 - March 10

Navigating the age of entanglement - exploring the synthesis between networks and complexity

“Network and complex science offered new prisms into problems that were proving to be intractable when approached by traditional mechanistic methods.”  – Alicia Juarrero


We are dealing with an  increasingly complex networked world.  The need to find and introduce new pathways for innovation, resilience and novelty are  vital as we are navigating towards a post-Covid world.  At the same time we are  negotiating the continued uncertainty and constraints associated with second waves and potential future crises.  The need for complexity and network-informed  thinking and practice is now as pertinent as ever.

Join Valdis Krebs, Dave Snowden, Sonja Blignaut and other like-minded practitioners in exploring the fields of network and complexity thinking, synergies and generative differences and how the interaction between these two fields can lead to novel new approaches to intractable challenges facing business and society including among others  …

  • Building informal networks for mutual support and peer-to-peer information flows and knowledge exchange
  • A radically different approach to cross-silo innovation (e.g. connecting academia & industry)
  • Identifying adjacent possibles and monitor for early warning signals
  • Networks and  building  more adaptive, innovative, and  resilient organisations, communities and innovation clusters
  • Economic regeneration and  innovation. Stimulating distributed innovation at local levels
  • Bridging ideological differences and combating polarisation
  • New organisational forms and leadership structures

You can learn more about the event in this series of blog posts by Valdis & Dave, as part of the preparation for the Exploratory.

Our intent is primarily to …

  • Bring together two fields and explore the the affordances created by potential synergies and generative differences.  We have a sense that there are potentially valuable connections between these bodies of knowledge and bringing them together in this way will enable us to find synthesis and even symbiosis that can  inform the next stage of  practice.
  • Bring together a diverse group of thinkers and practitioners from industry,  the development world, government and academia to participate in this exploration with us and provide diverse perspectives and real-world problems for us to work on.
  • Find and define new approaches and application areas we can experiment with post the event as part of the development and diffusion of theory-informed practice. We will explore opportunities for co-ordinated experiments following from the Exploratory.

Even in the planning of this event, interesting questions and themes emerged.  To give you a taste of what to look forward to:

Social network simulation | Why measure or map networks if we can simulate them? | How do we provide the necessary conditions for informal networks and communities to form and sustain? | What can we learn if  we look at networks as a liquid form of organising that is flexible, adaptable and distributed. Can we understand the enabling conditions for such flexibility? | Extended human consciousness within networks | Similarity and diversity in networks, do different contexts require different kinds of networks? | How do we create systems that are coherent and heterogeneous at the same time? | Informal networks as precursor for formal systems or organisational forms | Self-organisation and self-propagation of networks.

Who is the Exploratory for & application

Exploratories are for those who have the intention to contribute and participate in the shaping and developing practice and methods, with an inquisitive mind and appetite for experimentation. It will be relevant to people from diverse professional backgrounds, such as strategy, innovation, organisational design, knowledge management amongst others.

This is not an event where the focus will be on teaching. To be clear, you will not be taught any of the methods and approaches. They are also not very structured, so they are aimed at people who are able to spend time in ambiguous unstructured explore spaces and extract their own learning. This is not a training course with structured agenda, nor a workshop where we are working towards pre-defined outcomes. It is an exploration that may include going down multiple rabbit holes. It is important to understand that before signing up for the event.

You will be expected to have in-depth prior knowledge of at least one of the thought-leader’s work and to have done rudimentary preparation to gain an overview of the other. You will be expected to do some pre-work and work in-between sessions in order to fully participate in the exploration. You are welcome to contact us to check-in on these expectations.

We are limiting numbers to 15 to ensure deep conversation.

Please complete this form to submit your application to attend. We will contact you to discuss your application, and advise on the way forward to confirm your seat.


Prework will include reading blog posts and watching videos to prepare for the event. In the first online session, Valdis and Dave will present their perspectives and set the scene.
This will be followed by five online sessions (spaced apart to ensure integration time), where participants will continue the collective enquiry and participate in the exploration and emerging synthesis. In between the sessions, there will be offline, asynchronous tasks for individuals and/or small groups.

We will convene in Zoom for six 2-hour sessions over a period of six weeks. In-between we’ll interact in a dedicated Slack group. As a group, we’ll identify weekly theme/s, practice focus areas and/or challenges. Participants are welcome to bring real-world challenges to enrich the discussion.

Participants will be expected to be able to participate in Zoom with video and audio, Slack and Mural (or similar). If possible, a multi-screen setup is recommended.


Six weekly sessions starting February 10, 2021 and continuing through until the mid-March.

Dates: 10 February, 11 February, 17 February, 24 February, 3 March, 10 March

Each session will be 2 hours, and start at 2 pm GMT ( 9 am CDT | 10 am EDT | 3 pm CET )


Early Bird:  $1135 (available until 8 January 2020, or until the limit is reached)

Standard ticket:  $1750

Cynefin Centre members and Cognitive Edge Premium Members qualify for a 5% discount.

Please complete this form to submit your application to attend. We will contact you to discuss your application, and advise on the way forward to confirm your seat.

Cancellations & Rescheduling

Voluntary cancellations by registrants are permitted at 10 working days prior to the event start and a refund for the amount paid will be provided less a 5% refund processing fee. Substitutions are permitted at any time.

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.

Please complete this form to submit your application to attend. We will contact you to discuss your application, and advise on the way forward to confirm your seat.



Feature image: Alina Grubnyak on Unsplash


February 10
March 10
Event Category:




Cognitive Edge