Annual Mike Jackson Lecture

23 March 2023

Systems Thinking: Making sense of the world in order to act in it..

The Centre for Systems Studies is delighted to announce the 2023 Annual Mike Jackson Lecture on Systems Thinking, which will be delivered by Professort Dave Snowden, divides his time between two roles: founder Chief Scientific Officer of Cognitive Edge and the founder and Director of the Centre for Applied Complexity.

The emerging field of naturalising sense-making has its heart the application  of natural science to social systems.  As such it is a trans-disciplinary approach combining insights from disciplines such as complexity science, anthropology and the cognitive sciences.  The Cynefin framework was the inspiration behind the European Union  Field Guide on managing in Complexity and (Chaos) which focuses on how to create a resilient organisation able to cope with the unknown, and even unknowable unknowns.  The approache include the use of employees as ‘human sensor networks’ able to provide real time decision support, the generation of informal networks to allow the flow of knowledge between silos and a range of other methods and tools to handle inherent uncertainty.

This lecture will present both the theory and the practice of naturalising sense-making through the lens of Cynefin framework and the EU Field Guide.  It will then conclude with the  latest Estuarine mapping approach which represents a complex systems approach to strategy and operations, combining strategic intent and operational execution in a single framework.   Connected work is also taking place on distributed models of decision making and leadership which will be used in the lecture.

The Annual Mike Jackson lecture has been made possible by the support of University of Hull honorary graduate, Dr Andrew Chen, and is in recognition of the work of Professor Mike Jackson, former Dean of Hull University Business School, co-founder of the Centre for Systems Studies, past-President of the International Society for the Systems Sciences, and world-renowned academic in the field of systems thinking.

Prof. Dave Snowden

Dave Snowden divides his time between two roles: founder Chief Scientific Officer of Cognitive Edge and the founder and Director of the Centre for Applied Complexity.  His work is in- ternational in nature and covers government and industry looking at complex issues relating to strategy, or- ganisational decision making and decision making. He has pioneered a science based approach to organisa- tions drawing on anthropology, neuroscience and complex adaptive systems theory. He is a popular and pas- sionate keynote speaker on a range of subjects, and is well known for his pragmatic cynicism and iconoclastic style 

He is a visiting Professor at the University of Hull and has previously held similar Universities of Bangor, Hong Kong PolyU, Warwick, Pretoria and Stellenbosch. He held the position of senior fellow at the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies at Nanyang University and the Civil Service College in Singapore during a sabbatical period in Nanyang 

His paper with Boone on Leadership was the cover article for the Harvard Business Review in November 2007 and also won the Academy of Management aware for the best practitioner paper in the same year. He has previously won a special award from the Academy for originality in his work on knowledge management. He is an editorial board member of several academic and practitioner journals in the field of knowledge management and is an Editor in Chief of E:CO. I n 2006 he was Director of the EPSRC (UK) research programme on emergence and in 2007 was appointed to an NSF (US) review panel on complexity science research.  

He previously worked for IBM where he was a Director of the Institution for Knowledge Management and founded the Cynefin Centre for Organisational Complexity; during that period he was selected by IBM as one of six on-demand thinkers for a world wide advertising campaign. Prior to that he worked in a range of strategic and management roles in the service sector and was a of the founding members of the DSDM consortium, one of the three feeds into the Agile Manifesto. 

The Cynefin co exists to integrate academic thinking with practice in organisations throughout the world and operates on a network model working with Academics, Government, Commercial Organisations, NGOs and Independent Consultants. He is also the main designer of the SenseMaker® software suite, originally devel- oped in the field of counter terrorism and now being actively deployed in both Government and Industry to handle issues of impact measurement, customer/employee insight, narrative based knowledge management,strategic foresight and risk management. 

About the lecture

Hybrid format

This year’s annual Mike Jackson Lecture will be hosted as a hybrid event. This means there will be a live lecture with ticketed seats in person AND an online live screening of the lecture. 

The primary registration route for all wanting to attend the event will be online through the use of Eventbrite. This will register you for the event and provide you with reminders.

Those attending online will be able to experience the lecture virtually.

To register for the event please use the link below. The in-person confirmation comes separate to this once we have gone through the attendance list in date order. Everyone has an automatic online ticket. SO do not worry, you have been logged as registering and if you selected for an in-person ticket, then you will receive a confirmation of this shortly

Register Here

In-person tickets

Those wishing to obtain a ticket for the in-person lecture will need to select the ‘In-person Ticket Reservation’ on the Eventbrite registration form. 

Due to limited seating we cannot guarantee spaces for everyone and therefore we will be operating a first-come, first-serve approach.  Those that manage to successfully reserve their ticket will receive joining instructions for the event, including parking, reception timings etc seperatly. Everyone has an automatic online ticket. SO do not worry, you have been logged as registering and if you selected for an in-person ticket, then you will receive a confirmation of this shortly.

Please note – those attending in person will be responsible for their own accommodation and transport to and from the lecture.

Register Here

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