Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

The Systemic Insight podcast

The Systemic Insight podcast series is presented by Marcus Jenal and Shawn Cunningham. Marcus and Shawn are development practitioners that are passionate about more systemic impact within economic development. Finding more systemic intervention points are becoming more important as donors realize that interventions have to be more sensitive to the complexity of the societies where they want to see positive change happening.

Please visit for more information

Feb 27, 2013

In this episode, Marcus Jenal interviews Dave Snowden. The podcast explores the recognition that development takes place in a dynamic, complex system and the resulting consequences for monitoring and evaluation frameworks. Current monitoring and evaluation frameworks are built around predefined outcomes and based on assumptions of causal, linear, and attributable connections between a project's activities and changes at its outcome and impact levels.

Based on complex systems research, these assumptions tend not to reflect the reality of complex systems, such as markets or communities. Dave Snowden introduces emerging theories and tools that allow us to embrace complexity and manage development projects in a way that adapts to realities in complex systems. He discusses possible ways to design monitoring systems, and provides guidance on project design that is informed by scientific research in the field of complex systems.

This episode is part of the Systemic M&E series and was produced in partnership with the SEEP Network.

About Dave Snowden: Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Cognitive Edge

Snowden was Director of the IBM Institute of Knowledge Management for Europe Middle East and Africa and subsequently founded their Cynefin Centre for Organisational Complexity. He is currently the Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Cognitive Edge, a research network that focuses on the development of the theory and practice of sense-making.

One of the founders of 'Organic Knowledge Management', he is an acknowledged expert on the management of tacit knowledge and has developed a series of pioneering methods including the use of anthropological techniques for knowledge disclosure through the ASHEN model, the use of stories as an advanced form of knowledge repository (based on six years of research into story telling cultures around the world) and the Cynefin "Just in Time" model of knowledge transfer between formal and informal communities. He regularly consults at board level on Knowledge Strategy with some of the Worlds largest companies as well as to Government and NGOs.

Snowden is an editor-in-chief of the journal, Emergence: Complexity and Organisation. Snowden has expertise in the further development of Story Techniques into advanced decision support, merger and acquisition and multi-cultural communication, and using Complexity Theory to link concepts from Learning and Knowledge Management. He has authored many articles on the subject and contributed commissioned chapters to two forthcoming books. Dave Snowden has an MBA from Middlesex University and a BA in Philosophy from Lancaster University. He is honorary fellow in knowledge management at the Universities of Surrey and Warwick and teaches on the MBA programmes at Warwick, Sophia Antipolis and Piacenza.


For more information on our work on managing economic complexity and change, visit

This podcast is brought to you by