sonja blignaut

Sonja Blignaut

Sonja has been working in the field of complexity, also known as the science of uncertainty, for two decades. She is a globally recognised leader in the field and a sought after thinking partner, consultant and speaker.


I have always lived in the liminal space between science and art. “I don’t do well with rigid structures and boundaries. It is one of the reasons I would probably never have climbed the so-called corporate ladder – I never found the so-called stability of a regular salary worthy trade-off for my freedom. I am naturally curious, I think this is why I have dedicated 20 years of my life to deepening my understanding of complexity. While I can’t say I have fully befriended uncertainty, I know that I find routine and predictability soul-destroying. I love using analogies when introducing these concepts, and one of the most successful ones I have used thus far is “it’s hard to survive in the jungle if you were trained in the zoo”. Even as a small child I have hated zoos, animals don’t belong in cages. While some human “cages” are easier to see – for example the small cubicles office workers occupy, others cages exist in our minds. We long for stability and normality, we want to control everything, we want predictability. Not understanding that this comes at the cost of creativity, adventure and adaptability.

When I look back on my life I could never have predicted where my journey would take me. I chose to study meteorology because of a father who wanted me to pursue a career in science and a love for wild and extreme weather. Today I work with patterns in human systems… my work spans the boundaries of psychology, anthropology, ecosystem sciences, design… my journey has been anything but linear, but I wouldn’t change it for a linear predictable and safe path.

I hope to share reflections and learnings here from this complex, boundary-spanning perspective.

sonja’s contributions