QED Insight is here to help you make good decisions. We believe that this endeavor at its best is both scientific and artistic, that elements of both analysis and creativity must be included. When they are in balance, the resulting decision can be a thing of beauty.

LaurieBrownPrint.webLaurie Webster has been involved in creating and synthesizing information for more than 30 years. She worked initially in the public and educational sectors, and then moved to the business world in 1995. Her consulting practice began in the Boston area in 1999 and was reincarnated as QED Insight when she returned to Albany in 2008.

Her research, analytical, and computing skills work well to aid decision makers’ goals. She creates action plans that can be implemented in the context of the organization and its financial realities, while aiming to achieve long-term benefits.

Since 2008, Laurie has worked on narrative research projects in areas such as government, marketing, health care, and third-world development. This has included work both with QED’s own clients and as a contractor to Cognitive Edge (CE). She has also served as a teacher, facilitator, and developer in the Cognitive Edge Education program. This has included the two-day workshops on SenseMaker® Foundations and Practitioner Foundations (formerly Accreditation); and the online courses on Signification Design and Introduction to SenseMaker® Environment. Currently, she is a partner with Spryng.io, a sensemaking platform.

Laurie graduated cum laude from Hartwick College with a B.A. and program honors in Psychology and Sociology. She then earned the credits for a major in Computer Science as well, except that there wasn’t a CS major back in…. Well, never mind when that was. She also has an M.B.A. from the University at Albany, one of the doctoral campuses of the SUNY system (along with Binghamton, Buffalo, and Stony Brook).

steve208x300Steve DeLong is a lab scientist by training, experience, and predilection. He spent most of the last four decades at the University at Albany, initially rising through the academic ranks to Professor of Geological Sciences. He and his students focused on the geochemistry of volcanic rocks; on developing methods to analyze ever-smaller samples with ever-higher precision using various charged-particle beam instruments; and on the geological (as opposed to geophysical) consequences of plate tectonics.

If life were a controlled experiment, he would probably be in the lab right now. Instead, he was lured into academic administration and served under three different Presidents as chief academic officer, as chief research officer and dean of graduate studies, and most improbably as chief financial officer (when Steve and Laurie first worked together). Additionally, he served for four years as CIO and ran a not-for-profit ISP with 2,000 dial-up subscribers.

All of this — especially the CIO and ISP phase — was grist for the synthetic and strategic aspects of the QED mill, though that was not obvious at the time. Then Laurie re-surfaced a few years ago and said, so, there’s this narrative thing…. As a result, Steve has completed the Cognitive Edge two-day workshops on Practitioner Foundations (formerly Practitioner Accreditation) and SenseMaker® Foundations.

Steve graduated from Oberlin College with a B.A. in Geology and from The University of Texas at Austin with an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Geology. He then spent a post-doctoral year at the California Institute of Technology before going to Albany.


A global embrace


(l-r) Laurie Webster (QED), Chris Koch (QED), Zhen Goh (CE, Singapore), Anna Hanchar (Narrate, UK), Tony Quinlan (Narrate, UK), Allison Saft (QED)


Like-minded collaborators/partners — past, present, or potential


• Michael Cheveldave (@mcheveldave), Cognitive Edge, Castlegar, BC
• Ashton Drew (@cashtondrew), KDV Decision Analysis, Morrisville, NC
• Zhen Goh, Cognitive Edge, Singapore
• Marcus Guest (@marcusguest), Narrative Insights, Moscow
• Anna Hanchar (@annahanchar), The data atelier, Berlin, DE
• Barrett Horne, Onfoot Consulting, Whitehorse, YT
• Terry Miller, TMiller & Associates, Rossland, BC
• Tony Quinlan (@tquinlan), Narrate Consulting, Clophill, UK
• James Turk (@InnovationinU), Innovation in U, Ontario, Canada
• Nancy White (@NancyWhite), Full Circle Associates, Seattle, WA


The logo and the name


If you thought, ah ha, that logo looks like a Feynman diagram, so “QED” must be quantum electrodynamics, you would be half-right (and very literate in scientific matters). The three-line element was inspired by such a diagram, but the surrounding box is meant to evoke a black-body radiator from classical physics, with light emerging through a slit (OK, a double-slit of sorts)….

Hmmm. Let’s try metaphor instead.

The wavy line is indeed a stand-in for light, read “illumination” or even more metaphorically “insight.” That insight is emerging from the inside of a “black box,” in this instance representing the complex and perhaps mysterious problems that confront our clients. So the logo says: we seek to provide you with insight, to illuminate your problems and point to a way forward. At the end of the process, we hope you agree that we delivered what we promised and in the broadest sense of the early Greek geometers “proved” that which we said we would show. Q.E.D.