We empower people in our complex age of machines and data. Through our strategy, innovation, and change services, we help organizations activate the collective intelligence of humans and AI. We work with leaders in tech, data, and analytics to co-create AI strategies, design innovative AI products and services, and craft change management programs that help their people succeed in a data-centric, complex world. We leverage the new world of foundation models, generative AI, and low-code environments to create an amplified human-machine experience centered on machines that can be a mind for our minds.
Data promised to make decisions easier. Algorithms promised to reduce how many decisions we need to make. AI promises—or threatens—to make human decisions obsolete. Yet, the opposite is happening because modern data makes decisions harder and AI makes human judgment more—not less—valuable.
Our modern, interconnected world is inherently complex, creating data that is too complex for humans to find meaningful. As we have connected the world, we have connected the world’s problems, creating a new class of complex problems that confound and confuse.
Our clients value us because we empower people to make better use of modern digital resources—big data and AI. Clients will describe how their current solutions don’t work as well as they used to, or how difficult it is to have a consistent approach to making decisions informed by data, or how they are finding it’s getting harder to make progress on their toughest problems. We give people the tools, processes, and mindsets that build their confidence and skill in the digital enterprise.
Our services focus on:
• The collective intelligence of humans and machines—Modern enterprises have as much knowledge in their machines as they do in their people. Getting each one working on its own is challenging enough. We help clients bring the knowledge together.
• AI, generative AI, and foundation models—The new world of foundation models, generative AI, and low-code environments opens up enormous opportunity but comes with new risks. We help clients navigate the future of intelligent machines that can be a mind for our minds.
• Complexity and complex problem solving—Complexity is different from the complicated systems we are most familiar with. Complex problems are ascendent yet most organizations use methods of problem solving that fall short when applied to the new breed of complex, open, dynamic, and networked problems. We help clients develop complex problem solving capability and work with them to solve the toughest challenges.
• Data-driven decision making—Data literacy is only part of the story. Building a data-driven culture requires recognizing the limits of data and agency of humans. We help clients understand the limits of data and transition their people to DDDM leaders.
Here’s what you can rely on:
• We research these challenges and opportunities across academic fields—Behavioral economics, cognitive science, complexity science, computer science, decision science, design, design, neuroscience, philosophy, and psychology. Our approaches are grounded in the latest science from these disciplines.
• We co-create solutions to complex problems, design change management programs to incorporate AI, develop data and AI strategies, and design products and services that enhance the collective intelligence of humans and AI.
• We create engaging and interactive educational programs that teach people about AI, improve decision making skills, and build new complex problem solving capabilities.
In addition to being co-founders of Sonder Studio, Helen and Dave Edwards are the co-authors of Make Better Decisions: How to Improve your Decision-Making in the Digital Age and co-hosts of the podcast, Artificiality.
As a husband-and-wife team, they have worked together since 2009, saying they wouldn’t have it any other way. During that time, Helen and Dave have founded five companies together. Most recently, they sold their artificial intelligence market research firm, Intelligentsia, to Atlantic Media, continuing their work at Atlantic Media’s subsidiary Quartz. Helen and Dave are also co-founders of Koru Ventures through which they make AI, design, and sustainability investments.
Helen has spent her career at the edges of chaos: where technological innovation collides head-on with traditional ways of doing things. She is described as being able to “link the un-linkable,” to see new counter-intuitive outcomes, and having a knack for spotting the signal in the noise. Helen has written extensively on responsible AI as well as coached executives from Fortune 500 companies on how to adopt AI that’s good for humans. Her field guide to AI bias (published in Quartz) remains a widely read and relevant piece. Helen now advises senior leaders on how to use technology to hone their decision-making skills and leverage their intuitive strengths using data.
As well as being a successful entrepreneur, Helen has been a venture capitalist and technology executive. Helen was the CIO of Transpower, New Zealand’s National Grid, where she oversaw procurement and vendor program management for the IT and communications network, including SCADA and control, security, financial, and business systems. She oversaw the Y2K transition and managed major grid control and security upgrades which utilized many international and local vendors. She was also an executive at PG&E with responsibility for all customer-facing systems beyond the smart meter, including dynamic pricing, green button (customer data access), solar, electric vehicle, and home area networking. Helen was also head of corporate venturing for Meridian Energy and an executive at Fonterra.
Dave is a trend-spotter, designer, and storyteller. He has spent his career distilling and advancing big technology trends like AI, the internet, and cleantech. His brain is split in two with half dedicated to creatively designing consumer experiences while the other half has an uncanny ability to find the right metric to measure and build upon. Dave is a trusted advisor and an expert at delivering the moment of clarity that empowers executives to make challenging decisions in the face of complexity.
At Apple, Dave was head of software application product marketing, where he absorbed Steve Jobs’ product ethos that design isn’t just what something looks like and feels like—design is how it works. Dave was responsible for products for consumers and professionals including iTunes, iPhoto, Keynote, GarageBand, Logic, and Final Cut Pro. Dave was also a lead technology research analyst at Morgan Stanley covering groundbreaking sectors including the internet and cleantech. His research helped investors, corporate executives, and federal government officials make challenging decisions about how to best use and plan for major technology transitions. Dave was also a product manager at Macromedia, head of consumer strategy at SunPower and a partner at Charles River Ventures and ThinkEquity Partners.