Entangled is a new project from Bigger Boat that is looking to understand how social sector organisations are engaging with complexity and resilience.

As actors interested in social change we find ourselves operating in an increasingly complex environment. We may be serving individuals with severe and multiple disadvantage, engaging with environmental challenges or trying to improve the economic and financial mechanisms that are supposed to be serving us (or any combination of these). In each case as we explore the fields we work in, and as technology accelerates our ability to communicate and synthesise available information, we find that the complex nature of our subject matter is increasing exponentially.

Within this context existing approaches to understanding, and then intervening in, issues are insufficient. When faced with a simple or a complicated problem, traditional approaches to governance and management will suffice. Top down, command and control based plans, which navigate within known parameters, do the job. When faced with complexity a different approach is needed. Networked approaches that harness the goodwill of participants and that are agile and responsive to external factors are required. An adaptive and agile approach to analysis, problem solving and action increasingly needs to be brought to the fore. Emergence is the order of the day.

Here we propose three activities. Each is intended to assist actors successfully navigate, and address, complexity, become increasingly entangled with other actors, tools and resources available to them and thus increase their capacity to engage well with complex issues. We’d like support, a combination of funding and assistance, to develop these.

Get in touch if you'd like to find out more or get involved.