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Navigating Complexity - Strategy & Complexity 2009

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Being Strategic in the Face of Complexity

Implications for Global Development Capacities
 November 30 and December 1, 2009.  

The dialogue will address questions like:  

  • What interventions make sense when much is unpredictable and uncertain?
  • What is possible when the biggest impacts come from the unforeseen or serendipitous events.   
  • Are there alternatives to linear ways of planning, strategizing and making policy?    

The dialogue will be shaped by inspiring and challenging insights from an exceptional group of key note presenters. Their inputs will be complemented by workshop contributions from practitioners and academics working on the challenges of change and complexity. 

Key Note Presenters 

David Snowden  – The founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Cognitive Edge.  His work is in the area of naturalizing sense-making, seeking to base social science research and practice in the natural science.  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.  He previously worked for IBM where he was a Director of the Institution for Knowledge Management and founded the Cynefin Centre for Organisational Complexity.
Lisa Jordan– Executive Director of the Bernard van Leer Foundation. She has worked for the U.S. Congress, with Members of the European Parliament and with the Japanese Diet on global environmental issues. In her most recent role as Acting Director of the Governance and Civil Society Unit at the Ford Foundation, she was responsible for programming across ten field offices. She has published books and articles on the topics of globalization, global civil society and NGO accountability.
Alejandro Litovsky  – Head of the Pathways to Scale programme at Volans, which is creating solutions and partnerships for scaling up the impact of social and environmental innovations and entrepreneurs.  He works with clients to design institutional strategies that support entrepreneurial approaches to development.  Volans is a for-profit company that work globally with entrepreneurs, businesses, investors and governments to develop and scale innovative solutions to financial, social and environmental challenges.
John Young – Director of Programmes at the Overseas Development Institute (ODI).  He works on decentralisation and rural services, information and information systems, strengthening southern research capacity, and the research-policy interface.  He is Director of the Research and Policy In Development (RAPID) Group, and also manages the Civil Society Partnerships Programme.


The Innovation Dialogue is being jointly organised  by The Wageningen UR Centre for Development Innovation, the Communication and Innovation Studies Group, the Public Administration & Policy Group and the Disaster Studies Group of Wageningen UR. Pre Dialogue discussions and outcomes from the event will be available through our media partner The Broker (www.thebrokeronline.eu).


For more information about the organisation of the event, please contact Seerp Wigboldus (seerp.wigboldus@wur.nl)

visit the conference blog at thebrokeronline.eu


watch / listen to keynote addresses 


watch interviews with participants at cdic.blip.tv



read the flyer