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About Sonja Blignaut
I have always inhabited the liminal boundary between science and art. I studied Meteorology, partly because of the awe I experience when I encounter beautiful cloud formations or violent storms. I love photography, because there is a science as well as an art to it. This is also why I love good writing, and why I aspire to be a good writer myself. The ability to inspire and impact others with words is a privelege, an art and a science.
My writing focuses mostly on making complexity theory accessible. I do this to help others navigate uncertainty and find their way when they are in uncharted territory. When I'm not writing, I am a thinking partner to other pilgrims heading into the unknown.
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Books By Sonja Blignaut
The first edition of this book was published in 2020, a year when a tiny microbe took the world hostage. It was a year of change, tragedy, and coming to terms with uncertainty. It was a time when humanity longed for some kind of normalcy and slowly realized that the uncertainty was, in fact, normal. Now, two years later, it is still unclear if it is appropriate to refer to our times as post-pandemic, or if there is yet more to come. What is clear, however, is that COVID-19 is not the last so-called wicked problem that humanity will face. Yes, even in the time it took to create this second edition, we find ourselves in the midst of a war, looming economic recession, food shortages, and this in the context of other existential threats already on the horizon, if not at the door. What is deeply disturbing is that humanity seems to be more divided than ever. Societal fracture lines are deepening, and a deep distrust in science, expertise, and formal authority, along with phenomena like fake news and conspiracy theories, are exacerbating these tensions. What is becoming ever clearer is that the world needs sensemaking skills, and we hope this book will contribute to that need with practical wisdom.
As you will see in this book, Cynefin is a meta-framework that can be applied in almost any context. Over time, it has been associated with the field of complexity. However, it is more closely related to the field of sense-making, particularly the naturalization of sense-making. As a Framework for sense-making, it helps us untangle our intractable problems in an actionable way.
At its most basic, the Cynefin Framework allows us to distinguish between three different kinds of systems:
- ordered systems that are governed and constrained in such a way that cause and effect relationships are either clear or discoverable through analysis;
- complex systems where causal relationships are entangled and dynamic and the only way to understand the system is to interact with it;
- chaotic systems where there are no effective constraints, turbulence prevails and immediate stabilizing action is required.
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