Dave Snowden divides his time between two roles: founder Chief Scientific Officer of Cognitive Edge and the founder and Director of the Centre for Applied Complexity at the University of Wales. His work is international in nature and covers government and industry looking at complex issues relating to strategy, organisational decision making and decision making. He has pioneered a science based approach to organisations drawing on anthropology, neuroscience and complex adaptive systems theory. He is a popular and passionate keynote speaker on a range of subjects, and is well known for his pragmatic cynicism and iconoclastic style.
He holds positions extra-ordinary Professor at the Universities of Pretoria and Stellenbosch as well as visiting Professor at Bangor University in Wales. He has held similar positions at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Canberra University, the University of Warwick and The University of Surrey. He held the position of senior fellow at the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies at Nanyang University and the Civil Service College in Singapore during a sabbatical period in Nanyang.
His paper with Boone on Leadership was the cover article for the Harvard Business Review in November 2007 and also won the Academy of Management aware for the best practitioner paper in the same year. He has previously won a special award from the Academy for originality in his work on knowledge management. He is a editorial board member of several academic and practitioner journals in the field of knowledge management and is an Editor in Chief of E:CO. In 2006 he was Director of the EPSRC (UK) research programme on emergence and in 2007 was appointed to an NSF (US) review panel on complexity science research.
He previously worked for IBM where he was a Director of the Institution for Knowledge Management and founded the Cynefin Centre for Organisational Complexity; during that period he was selected by IBM as one of six on-demand thinkers for a world wide advertising campaign. Prior to that he worked in a range of strategic and management roles in the service sector.
His company Cognitive Edge exists to integrate academic thinking with practice in organisations throughout the world and operates on a network model working with Academics, Government, Commercial Organisations, NGOs and Independent Consultants. He is also the main designer of the SenseMaker® software suite, originally developed in the field of counter terrorism and now being actively deployed in both Government and Industry to handle issues of impact measurement, customer/employee insight, narrative based knowledge management, strategic foresight and risk management.
The Centre for Applied Complexity was established to look at whole of citizen engagement in government and is running active programmes in Wales and elsewhere in areas such as social inclusion, self-organising communities and nudge economics together with a broad range of programmes in health. The Centre will establish Wales as a centre of excellence for the integration of academic and practitioner work in creating a science based approach to understanding society.