Summer 2019 programme

The summer 2019 cohort of the School for Change Agents finished in July 2019. Thank you to everyone who joined, and congratulations to everyone who became a Certificated Change Agent!

  • You can watch the webinar recordings and see the slides.
  • We would like to invite you to keep in touch with the Horizons Team by joining our newsletter . We will share updates about the team, the work we are doing and any useful reading or events which we come across.
  • Join us on Facebook or Twitter and meet the School Community.

The Horizons Team loves to keep in touch with our School Alumni and we currently have two projects running specifically aimed at getting the best out of our Alumni.


We are trying out a new way of analysing change in the NHS using stories. Sensemaker provides researchers in Healthcare with a radically different way to analyse how learning interventions like the “School for Change Agents” contribute to change and improvement in the NHS.

Please contact Rosanna Hunt on should you wish to be involved.

If you would like more details on how Sensemaker works from its creator Dave Snowdon, please follow this link.

Transcript of video:

Sensemaker is a product of the work of Dave Snowdon, founder of Cognitive Edge and IBM management guru. It is essentially a research tool that uses “stories” as the basic unit of data, coupled with participants’ sensemaking of those stories. Now, it is not unusual to use stories as a basic unit of data in research into change. Qualitative research approaches such as interviews and focus groups access stories about participant experiences all the time. However, what happens to that data next is very different. Traditionally, trained researchers would use computer software like NVivo, for example, to analyse the content of those interviews and focus groups. Sensemaker allows participants to analyse their own stories to derive their meaning.

In addition to this, Sensemaker takes a different standpoint on the question of causality. We can never be fully cognisant of all the factors interacting together in a complex adaptive system, like the NHS. Therefore, we cannot assume causality in this kind of unstable space. Instead, Sensemaker recognises that our environment is constantly shifting, and we are constantly adapting within it. Sensemaker provides an objective analysis of where things are going, so we get a peek at the future rather than a map of the past. Horizons is currently developing a Sensemaker framework to evaluate the contribution that the School for Change Agents is making towards change in the NHS. If you are a participant in the School, you will be asked to contribute your stories of change, both before and after completing the School. If you are interested in learning alongside us as we deploy this tool, please contact

Your voice counts – share your stories of change with us via Sensemaker – keep an eye on the website or email

Sensemaker is known for the development of the Cynefin Framework. Cynefin is a Welsh word, meaning “habitat” and the framework aids decision making through sensemaking. There are four quadrents to the Cynefin framework and those of us working in a large system like the NHS, are in the Complex quadrant. Traditional research assumes that humans are functioning in “linear causal systems”. This is an assumption that underlies many studies of human behaviour and comes from the adaptation of a Newtonian physics perspective for the social sciences.


New Era Paper

We invited our School Alumni to co-produce the re-write of our White Paper: The new era of thinking and practice in change and transformation: A call to action for leaders of health and care. Our Alumni joined us on Friday the 3rd August 2018 to share their ideas and learning from School.

Together we will co-create the re-write of our New Era paper with the School for Change Agents Alumni and friends to capture your examples of great practice in sustained change which illustrate your learning and inspiration from the School’s key principles.

You can watch the session here:

If you’d like to find out more about the New Era Paper session, you can visit Rosie’s blog: School for Change Agents Alumni Invited to Help Create New Era Paper.
We will be writing up the findings from the session and sharing them with the rest of the School Community.