Project Description

Navigate with Ease with These Tools, Skills and Perspectives.

Duration: 16 weeks Faculty: Julian Still
Start: October, 2019 Contributing faculty: Christina Stadlbauer, Dorothy Oger,

Ruth Raes

The Befriending Complexity course provides a practical and theoretical basis for working with organizatons as complex social systems. Here you will meet the perspectives, ideas and tools that can change how you identify and relate to complex contexts.

You will learn about intervention design, emergence as a function of the sum of relationships, chaos theory, surfing complex waves, necessary conditions for emergence, palliative care for dying systems, and much more.

You will also learn working with uncertainty, collective intelligence the relationships between subsystems, multiple perspectives, resonance & felt sense, storytelling, and last, but not least, yourself as complex system.

The journey involves:

8 video ‘seminar’ contributions and 8 reverse classroom events. (Based on moments of reflection and group work)

The  video seminars are clustered as follows.  The order and content of the videos is not yet fixed. 

Content modules

  • Boundaries, 4-dimensional mapping, Felt sense, Navigation, Complexity in context, Weak signals.
  • Vectors, Resonance, Cyclical energy, Possible futures, Intention, Paradox of systemic maturity.
  • Intervention design, Cynefin, Control systems for complex systems, Feedback, Life forms, 
  • Relationships – with Self, Single, Multiple, Identity, Purpose and Between Subsystems. The Importance of Trust. Emergence as a function of the sum of relationships. Collective Intelligence.
  • Positive energy, Complexity’s enrichment Rule, Multiple perspectives, Cognitive dissonance, Danger signs, Losing control, Letting go, Chaos theory, Self organisation, Agent based programming.
  • Resonance & Felt sense II, Resonant pathways, Inertia, Attractors – single – multiple and strange, Surfing complex waves, Learning.
  • Story as intervention, Stories of massive interventions, Holding space, Quality of space, Boundary conditions, Starting conditions. Necessary conditions for emergence, Story telling.
  • How complex systems die, palliative care for dying systems, life after death and the creation of humus/compost  for new seeds, Team spirit, Harvesting, Catastrophic events, Uncertainty and me.

We live in, lead and organise in an increasingly complex world.

Most of us haven’t learned at school what to do when our surroundings have gone into a complex phase.

This course is here to help you get fresh takes on old issues, open new toolboxes and share experiences with fellow practitioners.

We will play with mapping, navigating and intervention designs, hopefully limiting the damage of unintended consequences.


By the end of this course the participants will be buzzing )

  • equip your team, group or organisation to be resilient, flexible and sustainable under difficult conditions?
  • Grow strong relationships and create the conditions for emergence.
  • Find fresh takes on old issues.
  • Encourage self organisation.
  • Meet fellow practitioners in complex worlds.

Our aim is to create a safe, trustful environment where the necessary peace of mind can develop to enable a meaningful level of emergent experience in difficult space.

Why are there four of us? Because complex systems often don’t fit inside one head, and alone you have little real feedback and only weak other perspectives. We have known each  other and worked together in complex contexts, using these tools and thinking, for many years and it would now be unthinkable to approach this Complex foundations course alone.

We only get paid as one person so no extra costs! Four for the price of one….

Welcome to the Complex Foundations cohort of 2019.


The Campus operates in the gift economy, with donations instead of set tuition fees. The recommended level of donation for this course is £950.


Julian Still
Julian Still

Julian has been immersed in complexity for the last 20 years, he was on the first Cynefin course given by Dave Snowden.

His non linear skills have been crafted by 20 years of crisis management in the Private sector mainly In Belgium where he lives.

These days he goes as a complexity practitioner and miller; he’s a co-worker in an organic multi-stakeholder co-operative – a full chain story of farmers, bakers, organic shops neighbours, co-workers and friends.

Aiming to show how to optimise value across the whole system and resist the temptation of sub system self maximisation and extraction. So complex he was advised not to start by normal linear consultants.

He’s not a teacher, an academic or a consultant, but a hands on co-worker, and an experienced navigator of complex environments.

Christina Stadlbauer
Christina Stadlbauer

Christina is an artist, researcher and entrepreneur. She works at the cracks of arts and sciences, and develops her research around non human agencies – collective intelligence, interspecies communication and the relation between culture and nature.
Christina obtained a PhD in Natural Sciences and her practice is informed and influenced by her scientific understanding. She has launched several artistic long term initiatives, and has worked in cultural organistions and in academia, as well as in NGOs, with start ups and in the Austrian Ministry of Innovation.
Christina works process based, applies ecosystem thinking, embraces complexity, and is attracted to trans-disciplinary approaches and unconventional solutions.
She has experience with group processes, and has been teaching at academic, as well as popular level for many years and in many contexts.

Dorothy Oger
Dorothy Oger

Dorothy is a trilingual poet, artistic harvester, coach, trainer and facilitator. Dorothy is a deep listener who reflects complex experiences through poetry and intuitive drawing. She is skilled at creating a sense of safety and trust while encouraging others to step out of their comfort zone. Dorothy regularly challenges herself to learn new skills and so she often experiences the frustrations of not-knowing and the joys of progress. Dorothy enjoys utilising whatever is happening in a situation to generate new understanding and/or ways forward. Dorothy has a Master in Germanic languages (Dutch, English). She is further certified as NLP trainer & coach with Robert Dilts at the NLP University of Santa Cruz. She is a certified practitioner of family and organisation constellation, a practitioner of the Art of Hosting and Harvesting Conversations that Matter (world café, Open forum, ….) and she has basic knowledge and practice of the Deep Democracy approach (Level I). Her clients include NGO’s, Regional and Federal Agencies, and companies in the Insurance, Automotive and Financial sectors, helping them perform better and guiding them through change.

Ruth Raes
Ruth Raes

Ruth is a challenger of learning processes. She is intrigued by the question why people and organisations behave the way they behave. Often very well knowing another way of working could or even would be more appropriate. She holds space to grow awareness, to allow people and systems to discover the wisdom inside, to foster the courage to change and the joy to live and work in the uncertainties of complexity. Ruth works as a professional coach for leaders, managers and directors and as a consultant in change projects. Next to that, Ruth is a leader and manager herself, for almost 20 years now. Together with her current team – a team of nurses in palliative homecare – she experiments with self-organisation and workplace learning. As a transition coach, Ruth is also involved in a hugh transition project, led by the Flemish Minister of healthcare, reorganising and integrating the sector of healthcare and well-being in Flanders. Ruth holds a Master of public management and a Master of Business Administration. She is an ICF professional certified coach.

Apply now or enquire about our courses!