Dave Snowden is the founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Cognitive Edge. His work is in the area of naturalising sense-making, seeking to base social science research and practice in the natural sciences. He is generally considered to be a pioneer in the application of complex adaptive systems theory to a range of social issues, and in the development of narrative as a research method. His work extends across government and industry in a variety of fields including knowledge management, strategic planning, conflict resolution, counter terrorism, decision support and organisational development.
Snowden, then of IBM Global Services, began work on a Cynefin framework in 1999 to help manage intellectual capital within the company. He continued developing it as European director of IBM’s Institute of Knowledge Management, and later as founder and director of the IBM Cynefin Centre for Organisational Complexity, established in 2002. Cynthia Kurtz and Snowden described the framework in detail the following year in a paper, The new dynamics of strategy: Sense-making in a complex and complicated world, published in IBM Systems Journal.