Joining The Cynefin Centre in last November felt serendipitous in many ways. I felt that the focus of the Centre tied together so many of my interests that had been culminating over the last few years.
With The Cynefin Centre, I’m writing a white paper about the vector theory of change which draws on the idea of behavioural nudges and how they can be used to create small shifts in the direction of a desired outcome but also to be responsive and adaptive to changing to a dynamic context. I’ve been interested in nudge theory ever since it was popularised by Richard Thaler and Cass Susstein. I studied decision making in my MRes and my research masters’ dissertation was on the perceptions of using nudges in the not-for-profit sector. Please get in touch if you have something to share about the vector theory of change.
I am working on the ‘Citizen Engagement’ programme with Beth Smith, and over the last two weeks I have been writing up a short booklet for the programme. My love of all things citizen was first sparked when I interned with Radical Science podcast and created my own mini-series about citizen science. From there I joined Extinction Rebellion (XR) UK and started to campaign for XR’s third demand – a citizens’ assembly on climate and ecological justice. This propelled me into the world of Westminster lobbying and under the guidance of experienced bill writers, I co-wrote the citizens’ assembly section of the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill (which is backed by 87 MPs), along with an informational booklet.
I’m finding the citizen engagement programme really fascinating and am excited to work on projects such as Citizens Take Over Europe—a group of civil society organisations, citizens and residents who aim to spark a rethink of European democracy and empower people through deliberative processes. I also designed and facilitated many training and workshops within XRUK, and am keen to learn more about complex facilitation.
I met the Cynefin team through working on Extinction Rebellion UK’s Systems Realignment project which focuses on organisational development. Currently, we are processing interviews and soon we’ll delve into the SenseMaker® data. As this project comes to a close, I am still very much interested in the organisational design of decentralised, momentum driven organisations, and I hope this is something I can explore within The Cynefin Centre.
I’m really enjoying being the newest addition to the “Coven” (The affectionate nickname for the all-female Centre team) and am grateful for the flexibility both in terms of working part-time (which gives me time to spend time building an intentional community together with other activists) and to decide what projects to work on. I get the sense that I will be feeling a lot of ‘fomo’ about not having time to join all the cool projects others are working on!
When I’m not working, I’m trying to figure out what I think about meta-modernism, reading Ursula Le Guin, hill walking, climbing and plotting the regenerative renaissance—humanity’s next phase shift. I’ve also recently moved to Wales. So I’m settling into a landscape not too different from my own cynefin in Ireland.
If any of this resonates with you, please do get in touch.
Linda holds an MRes in Social and Behavioural Sciences specialising in social psychology and decision-making. Her masters dissertation focused on the perceptions of behavioural nudging. With The Cynefin Centre, Linda focuses on citizen engagement, and wants to help advance governance across all levels of society from nations to organisations. Before joining The Cynefin Centre, she used her science communication skills to share stories about citizen science. Linda has campaigned for a citizens’ assembly on climate and ecological justice. In addition to working on Extinction Rebellion UK’s decentralised governance system, Linda has designed and facilitated a training programme on the topic. Training and workshop design is her favourite type of puzzle, next to coding in statistical software.