The first of three posts with some draft content for the new web site
Cognitive Edge acts as a research centre for a distributed network of independent and in house consultants. We create methods and tools together with associated training and support. Our overall philosophy is apply learning from the natural sciences to social systems. In keeping with that philosophy we seek to move on from the case-based approach that dominates social and management science, shifting to a model in which theory and practice coevolve to create effective and resilient solutions to intractable problems in both government and industry.
Our methods centre around the Cynefin framework which builds on the science of complex adaptive systems. Within that general field we see human complexity as a different field from those found in nature, differentiated by the role of language, intelligence and identity. As such we also draw on the cognitive sciences and the biological end of anthropology along with other disciplines. The practical applications, demonstrated to date in many different sectors and environments, focus on enabling people to make enough sense of their situation in order to act in it.
Our software, SenseMaker® has been described as the first instance of distributed ethnography. We focus on allowing the collection of micro-narratives and other material from target audiences, but critically transfer the primary interpretation of that material to those who create it. That means that SenseMaker® provides a quantitative approach to what has traditionally been a qualitative area. In turn that allows for rapid scaling to large populations at low cost, the creation...