Practical, creative approaches to seeing systems and working with complexity 





Applying the latest insights into how change happens we'll support you to build resilience and sustainability - creating the conditions for lasting change.  

In this fast changing world we'll work alongside you to discover insights, foster collaboration and develop adaptive strategies which are rooted in shared purpose.

We'll help you to nurture the values, mindset and abilities to build relationships, navigate complexity and see and do things differently.


  PROJECTS (2017)  

Create Adapt intervention click 

Other consultancy work (sample)




... exploring ideas, asking questions and trying things out ... 


         Daniel Smith

Fifteen years designing strategy and community programmes in the UK and internationally (over thirty countries). Specific expertise in complexity, design thinking, dialogue and cross-sector collaboration.

   James Edleston 

Learning and experience designer, with a passion for participation, creative partnerships and systems thinking; and experience

across education, youth and international development sectors.


In an increasingly connected world uncertainty is the new norm. Social systems like stock markets, societies and schools are constantly in flux and hidden forces seem to frustrate any effort to bring things under control. 

Faced with this complexity it's challenging to act with confidence.


See things differently. Being able to see and feel the systems around us and apply a complexity lens when necessary is crucial. We feel there’s a need to find new ways to talk about systems and complexity; to make it more accessible, to connect with people’s experience, and support a systems view of the world.

Our entry points include interactive and immersive experiences, games and story-telling. 


It’s complex. So what! We all have problems to solve, groups to serve, plans to implement, resources to       find… and revealing complexity can make us feel more powerless. However, embracing complexity is about letting go a little: gardening not engineering. Trying things out and trusting people. Being creative, observing and asking questions, learning and adapting, to discover where the most effective interventions might be.

Through practical examples, working on problems and prototyping ideas we explore the mindset, skills and approaches that help us in “getting to maybe” *


Finding the right tools to take us forward. In this rapidly growing field, we're exploring the most                             effective tools to help people think about and work with complexity; we're also experimenting with ideas from anywhere and everywhere, for example, architecture, dance and bakery. Bespoke resources we've used with clients, including ‘CAUSAL Loop’ and ‘The Balancing Act’, will soon be made available on this website.

*""Maybe" is not a cautious word. It is a defiant claim of possibility in the face of a status quo we are unwilling to accept." 

Getting to Maybe: How the World is Changed. (Zimmerman, Westley, Quinn Patton, 2006)

They say...

"Everyone who came into contact with Dan and James learned something new or looked at things in a  different way. They encouraged us to focus on our real objectives, but with a systems lens. This has truly  been a gift for Spark+Mettle and we look forward to continuing our work with them in the future."

Anna Rowlands, Spark + Mettle

"Dan and James are such knowledgeable people with great expertise on sustainable development, and  an ability to adapt to different industries. In November 2016 I was announced as the winner of the  Kering award for Sustainable Development and I give a lot of credit to Dan for being there to guide me.    I highly recommend his mentorship and coaching."

Neliana Fuenmayor, A Transparent Company and Provenance

"Working with Dan and James over the last nine years on the design and delivery of Active Citizens has been a wonderful experience. They’ve continuously supported the British Council to explore issues and opportunities from a variety of perspectives, providing insights which have been vital in developing a flexible programme that works across communities and audiences. I highly recommend their consultancy support."

Monomita Nag-Chowdhury, British Council 




tel: +44 (0)7810 432211

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