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.

Laurie Webster

Working with clients who want to make change, Laurie Webster focuses on illuminating the current situation for any complex issue using narrative research and sensemaking. Drawing on deep experience making sense of human systems, Laurie is able to apply sophisticated quantitative analyses, preparing her clients to work with rich qualitative and quantitative data, apply the insights to their context, and take effective action.

Laurie is a life-long learner. Her formal education includes a B.A. and program honors in Psychology and Sociology from Hartwick College. She earned the equivalent of a major in Computer Science as well. She also has an M.B.A. from the University at Albany.


Steve DeLong is a lab scientist by training, experience, and predilection. He is a Professor Emeritus of Geological Sciences, University at Albany after spending almost four decades there. 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.

He was also 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. He is responsible for the many analytical approaches created to work with narrative story data and delineated in numerous blog posts here.

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

• Ashton Drew (@cashtondrew), KDV Decision Analysis, Morrisville, NC
• Anna Hanchar (@annahanchar), The data atelier, Berlin, DE
• Barrett Horne, Onfoot Consulting, Whitehorse, YT
• Terry Miller, TMiller & Associates, Rossland, BC
• 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.