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Systems Thinking Alliance

Privacy Policy

We at Systems Thinking Alliance (“STA,” “we,” “our,” or “us”), know you care about how your personal information is used and shared, and we take your privacy seriously. Please read the following to learn more about how we collect, store, use, and disclose information about you when you interact or use our website or any related events, trade shows, sales or marketing, and/or if you use any of our products and services (collectively the “services”) in any manner.

1. Who are we and what do we do?

Systems Thinking Alliance (STA) is a global organization supporting practitioners and organizations who explore and apply systems thinking principles, practices and methods to make the world humane and sustainable.

Our mission at Systems Thinking Alliance is to empower organizations through expert training, coaching and consulting, enabling them to navigate complex challenges effectively.

Our vision is a future where systems thinking is universally embraced, fostering a culture of continuous learning and community engagement. We aspire to empower organizations globally, transforming chaos into order, and effectively tackling challenges through the lens of systems thinking

2. What does this privacy policy cover?

This privacy policy covers our treatment of information that we gather when you are accessing or using our “Systems Thinking Alliance (STA)” sites or services or when you contact us in any manner. We gather various types of information, including information that identifies you as an individual (“personal Information”) from our users, as explained in more detail below.

Please note that for users located in the European Economic Area (EEA), the term “personal information” used in this policy is equivalent to the term “personal data” under applicable European data protection laws.

3. Does Systems Thinking Alliance (STA) collect sensitive data?

“Sensitive data” means personal data or information that discloses an individual’s racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade-union membership, criminal proceedings, biometrics, and data concerning health.

No, we do not intentionally collect – and will not request – sensitive data. If a Systems Thinking Alliance (STA) employee discovers that we have received sensitive data, the employee will inform a designated contact within our company who will assess the processing of such data.

4. What information does Systems Thinking Alliance (STA) collect?

Information that we collect can be classified as personal information or personal data. This information is categorized into information that you provide to us and the data that we collect automatically.

4.1 Information you provide to us

When you use our systems thinking sites or services, we receive and store information you provide directly to us. The types of information we may collect directly from you may include: first name, last name, user names, email addresses, birthday, postal addresses, phone numbers, job titles, your membership details, transactional information (including services purchased), event attendance, video, and pictures as well as other contact or other information you choose to provide us or upload to our systems in connection with our Services.

When using our services and executing a financial transaction with us online (e.g., membership, donations, or online conference registration), we never collect your financial information. We only retain information that the financial transaction has successfully completed. Online financial transactions, such as credit card payment, are processed with payment card industry (PCI) compliant third-party providers.

4.2 Data we automatically collect

When you visit our website, we automatically collect certain information about your device, including information about your web browser, internet protocol (IP) address, time zone, and some of the cookies that are installed on your device. Additionally, as you browse the site, we collect information about the individual web pages or products that you view, what websites or search terms referred you to the site, and information about how you interact with the site. We refer to this automatically-collected information as “device Information.” Collecting this information may include the use of cookies. For more information on how systems thinking alliance uses cookies, please review our cookie policy section of this document.

In addition to cookies, we also keep track of user activity on the sites through application audit controls and log files.

4.3 Log files

Systems Thinking Alliance (STA) follows a standard procedure of using log files. These files log visitors when they visit websites. All hosting companies do this and a part of hosting services’ analytics. The information collected by log files include internet protocol (IP) addresses, browser type, internet service provider (ISP), date and time stamp, referring/exit pages, and possibly the number of clicks. These are not linked to any information that is personally identifiable. The purpose of the information is for analyzing trends, administering the site, tracking users’ movement on the website, and gathering demographic information.

5. How do we use your personal information?

We use the personal information we collect under this policy for our legitimate business interests, which include:

  • Provision of services: To provide, operate and maintain our sites and services, fulfill your orders and requests, process your payments, for bug and error reporting and resolution, to perform upgrades and maintenance, and for similar purposes.
  • Customer support: To communicate with you about your use of the services; respond to your communications, complaints and inquiries; provide technical support; and for other customer service and support purposes.
  • Personalization: To tailor content we send or display to you to offer location customization and personalized help and instructions, and to otherwise personalize your experience using the services.
  • Marketing and promotions: For marketing and promotional purposes. For example, we may use contact information such as your email address to send you newsletters, special offers or promotions, or to otherwise contact you about our products or information we think may interest you. If you are in a jurisdiction that requires opt-in consent to receive electronic marketing messages, we will only send you such messages if you opt-in to receive them. You may opt out of receiving marketing emails by following the opt-out instructions in the email. We may still email customer service and transaction-related communications, even if you have opted out of receiving marketing communications.
  • Advertising: To assist in advertising the services on third party websites.
  • Analytics and improvement: To better understand how users access and use the services, and for other research and analytical purposes, such as to evaluate and improve the services and to develop additional products, services, and features. For more information on how you can opt out of analytics, please refer to our cookie policy section.
  • Protect legal rights and prevent misuse: To protect the services; prevent unauthorized access and other misuse; and where we believe necessary to investigate, prevent, or act regarding illegal activities, suspected fraud, situations involving potential threats to the safety of any person, or violations of our terms and conditions or this policy.
  • Comply with legal obligations: To comply with the law or legal proceedings; for example, we may disclose information in response to lawful requests by public authorities, including responding to national security or law enforcement disclosure requirements. 
  • General Business Operations: Where necessary to the administration of our general business, accounting, record keeping, and legal functions.

Below is a chart outlines the legal basis for processing personal information

Purpose Legal basis of processing
Provision of services customer support Necessary to enter into or perform a contract with you (upon your request, or as necessary to make the services available) – our legitimate business interests
Personalization marketing and promotions advertising Our legitimate business interests with your consent – preferences / opt-in
Analytics and improvement Our legitimate business interests with your consent – cookie policy
Protect rights and prevent misuse comply with legal obligation Compliance with law establish, defend, or protect of legal interests
General business operations Our legitimate business interests establish, defend or protect legal interests compliance with law

6. How do we share and disclose information to third-parties?

We do not rent, trade or sell your personal information to anyone. We may share and disclose information (including personal information) about our users in the following limited circumstances:

Vendors, training partners, trainers, consultants, volunteers, and other service providers:

  • We may share your information with third-party vendors, consultants and other service providers who we employ to perform tasks on our behalf. These companies include (for example) our payment processing providers, website analytics companies (e.g., google analytics), product feedback and surveys (e.g., survey monkey, formstack), customer relationship management (CRM) service providers (e.g., MS dynamics, Salesforce), or email service providers (e.g., informz) and others.
  • If Systems Thinking Alliance (STA) has received your personal information and subsequently transfers that information to a third-party agent or service provider for processing, Systems Thinking Alliance (STA) shall remain responsible for ensuring that such third-party agent or service provider processes your personal information to the standard required by our privacy commitments. Unless we tell you differently and you consent, our agents do not have any right to use the personal Information we share with them beyond what is necessary to assist us.

6.1 Other Systems Thinking Alliance (STA) entities:

  • We may also share your personal information with our affiliated community group and other Systems Thinking Alliance (STA) entities for purposes consistent with this privacy policy and your profile preferences.
  • Protection of Systems Thinking Alliance (STA) and others:  We reserve the right to access, read, preserve, and disclose any information as necessary to comply with law or court order; enforce or apply our agreements with you and other agreements; or protect the rights, property, or safety of Systems Thinking Alliance (STA), our employees, our users, or others.
  • Disclosures for national security or law enforcement:  Under certain circumstances, we may be required to disclose your personal information in response to valid requests by public authorities, including to meet national security or law enforcement requirements.

7. Is personal information about me secure?

We use appropriate technical, organizational, and administrative security measures to protect any information we hold in our records from loss, misuse, and unauthorized access, disclosure, alteration, and destruction. Unfortunately, no company or service can guarantee complete security. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors, may compromise the security of user information at any time. Among other practices, your account is protected by a password for your privacy and security. You must prevent unauthorized access to your account and personal information by selecting and protecting your password appropriately and limiting access to your computer or device and browser by signing off after you have finished accessing your account.

8. How long do we keep personal information?

We keep your personal information for as long as reasonably necessary for the purposes set out above. We will retain your account profile data as necessary for our legitimate business purposes or to comply with our legal obligations (such as record keeping, accounting, fraud prevention, and other business administrative purposes). However, we will maintain your personal information longer where required for tax or accounting purposes to ensure we would be able to defend or raise a claim, or where we have a specific need to retain, though we will generally not keep personal information for longer than seven years following the last date of communication with you. Legitimate business purposes that we may rely on to keep your personal information when you are not a customer include direct marketing (where you have not opted-out) for up to two years, facilitating the restoration or establishment of a user account in the future, maintaining business intelligence systems for analytics and other internal purposes, etc. Where your information is no longer required, we will ensure it is disposed of in a secure manner.

9. Cookie policy

Like most similar websites, this site uses cookies. On this page we explain more about cookies and how we use them. By using this website and agreeing to this policy, you consent to our use of cookies in accordance with the terms of this policy.

Systems Thinking Alliance (STA) does not require that you accept cookies, however, some functionality on our website, such as our product purchase and membership check-out process, and products and services may be disabled if you decline to accept cookies. You can set your browser to notify you when you receive a cookie, giving you the chance to decide whether or not to accept it.

9.1 What is a cookie?

A cookie is a text-only string of information that a website transfers to the cookie file of the browser on your computer’s hard disk so that the website can remember who you are. A cookie will typically contain the name of the domain from which the cookie has come, the “lifetime” of the cookie, and a value, usually a randomly generated unique number. This helps us to provide you with a good experience when you browse our website and also allows us to improve our site and services.

9.2 How do we use cookies?

  • Where they are essential to make our site work (e.g., a session cookie that allows us to determine if you are logged in and have access to restricted areas of the website)
  • To enable the personalization features on our site (which give you the ability to recall recently viewed pages and see information which you have input on line)
  • To compile anonymous, aggregated statistics that allow us to understand how users use our site and to help us improve the structure of our site. We cannot identify you personally in this way.

9.3 Types of cookies

  • First and third-party cookies: a ‘first’ or ‘third’ party cookie refers to the domain which places the cookie.
  • First-party cookies are those set by a website that is being visited by the user at the time (i.e. cookies placed by
  • Third-party cookies are cookies that are set by a domain other than that of the website being visited by the user. If a user visits a website and another entity sets a cookie through that website, this would be a third-party cookie.
  • Persistent cookies are cookies which remain on a user’s device for the period of time specified in the cookie. They are activated each time that the user visits the web site that created that particular cookie.
  • Session cookies are cookies which allow web site operators to link the actions of a user during a browser session. A browser session starts when a user opens the browser window and finishes when they close the browser window. Session cookies are created temporarily. Once you close the browser, all session cookies are deleted.

9.4 How to delete and block our cookies

You are able to block cookies by activating the setting on your browser which allows you to refuse the setting of all or some cookies. However, note that if you use your browser settings to block all cookies (including essential cookies), you may not be able to access all or parts of our website. Unless you have adjusted your browser setting so that it will refuse cookies, our system will issue cookies as soon as you visit our site.

9.5 Changing your cookie settings

To change your cookie settings within your selected internet browser, refer to the ‘options’ or ‘preferences’ menu of your browser. In order to understand these settings specific to each browser, the following links may be helpful. You may also use the ‘help’ option in your internet browser for additional details.

9.6 How can I withdraw my consent?

If you wish to withdraw your consent at any time, you will need to delete your cookies using your internet browser settings. For further information about deleting or blocking cookies, please visit:

9.7 Your consent

By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our placing cookies on your computer in order to analyze the way you use our website. Please read this cookie policy section carefully for more details about the information we collect when you use this site. If you do not wish to accept cookies in connection with your use of this website, you must stop using our site.

9.8 What cookies do when we use and why?

Like many other websites, we use cookies to provide you with a tailored experience when visiting our website. We also use cookies to understand traffic patterns on our website and to authorize access to premium or member-only content and products. We treat any personal information that may be contained in cookies with the same level of confidentiality as other information you provide to us.

We collect information about how you use our website – e.g., which pages you visit and if you experience any errors or slow site performance. These cookies are only used to help us improve how our web site works, understand what interests our users and measure how effective our content is.

By using our site, you accept the use of cookies. Accepting these cookies is a condition of using the Web site, so if you prevent them we cannot guarantee how our site will perform for you.

9.9 More information about cookies

Useful information about cookies can be found at: All About Cookies

10. Your privacy rights

10.1 What choices do you have?

You can always opt not to disclose information to us, but keep in mind some information may be needed to register with us or to take advantage of some of our services.

10.2 Cookies

Please consult our cookie policy section for more information about our use of cookies and how to accept and reject them

10.3 Marketing communications

You can opt-out of receiving promotional or marketing communications from us at any time, by using the unsubscribe link in the email communications we send.  

If you have any account for our services, we will still send you non-promotional, service-related communications including but not limited to transactional confirmations, invoices, and other operational emails.

10.4 How can I update and access my information?

If you would like to access, review, update, rectify any personal information we hold about you, or exercise any other data subject right, please email us at Contactus at systemsthinkingalliance dot org. Our privacy team will review and process your request within 60 days.

Please note that we may still use any aggregated and de-identified personal information that does not identify any individual and may also retain and use your information as necessary to comply with our legal obligations, resolve disputes, and enforce our agreements.

10.5 Rights for users

Individuals have the following rights with respect to their personal information:

10.6 GDPR data protection right

We would like to make sure you are fully aware of all of your data protection rights. Every user is entitled to the following:

The right to access – You have the right to request copies of your personal data.

The right to rectification – You have the right to request that we correct any information you believe is inaccurate. We may seek to verify the accuracy of the data before rectifying it. You also have the right to request that we complete the information you believe is incomplete.

The right to erasure – You can ask us to erase your personal information, but only where it is no longer needed for the purposes for which it was collected; you have withdrawn your consent (where the data processing was based on consent); following a successful right to object (see ‘objection’ below); it has been processed unlawfully; or to comply with a legal obligation to which we are subject. We are not required to comply with your request to erase your personal information if the processing of your personal information is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation or for the establishment, exercise, or defense of legal claims. There are certain other circumstances in which we are not required to comply with your erasure request, although these two are the most likely circumstances in which we would deny that request.

The right to restrict processing – You have the right to request that we restrict the processing of your personal data, but only where its accuracy is contested (see ‘rectification’ above), to allow us to verify its accuracy; the processing is unlawful, but you do not want it erased; it is no longer needed for the purposes for which it was collected, but we still need it to establish, exercise, or defend legal claims; you have exercised the right to object, and verification of overriding grounds is pending. We can continue to use your personal information following a request for restriction where we have your consent; to establish, exercise, or defend legal claims; or to protect the rights of another natural or legal person.

The right to object to processing – You have the right to object to our processing of your personal data  information which has our ‘legitimate interests’ as its legal basis if you believe your fundamental rights and freedoms outweigh our legitimate interests. Once you have objected, we have an opportunity to demonstrate that we have compelling legitimate interests which override your rights and freedoms. In addition, you can object to the processing of your personal information for direct marketing purposes, which includes profiling to the extent that it is related to such direct marketing without providing any reason. We will then cease the processing of your personal information for direct marketing purposes.

The right to data portability – You have the right to request that we transfer the data that we have collected to another organization, or directly to you in a structured, commonly used, machine-readable format, or you can ask to have it ‘ported’ directly to another data controller, but only where our processing is based on your consent and the processing is carried out by automated means.

The right to withdrawal of consent - You can withdraw your consent in respect of any processing of personal information which is based upon a consent which you have previously provided

If you make a request, we have one month to respond to you. If you would like to exercise any of these rights, please contact us.

11. International data transfers

Personal Information you submit on the Systems Thinking Alliance (STA) sites or through the services is sent to and stored on the Systems Thinking Alliance (STA) servers or our hosted service providers’ cloud servers on our behalf, which are mainly located in Canada and/or the United States. These countries may not have similar data protection laws to those in your country of residence. However, we will always protect your information in accordance with this privacy policy wherever it is processed.

Please note that we are required to disclose personal information in response to lawful requests by public authorities, including to meet national security or law enforcement requirements. 

12. Linked websites

For your convenience, hyperlinks may be posted on the Systems Thinking Alliance (STA) sites or services that link to other websites (the “linked sites”). We are not responsible for, and this privacy policy does not apply to, the privacy practices of any linked sites or of any companies that we do not own or control. Linked sites may collect information in addition to that which we collect on the Systems Thinking Alliance (STA) sites. We do not endorse any of these linked sites, the services or products described or offered on such linked sites, or any of the content contained on the linked sites. We encourage you to seek out and read the privacy policy of each linked site that you visit to understand how the information that is collected about you is used and protected.

13. Children’s personal information

Another part of our priority is adding protection for children while using the internet. We encourage parents and guardians to observe, participate in, and/or monitor and guide their online activity. Systems Thinking Alliance (STA) does not knowingly collect any personal identifiable information from children under the age of 13. If you think that your child provided this kind of information on our website, we strongly encourage you to contact us at Contactus at systemsthinkingalliance dot org immediately and we will do our best efforts to promptly remove such information from our records.

14. Will Systems Thinking Alliance (STA) ever change this privacy policy?

We’re constantly trying to improve our sites and services, so we may need to change this privacy policy from time to time as well. We will alert you to material changes by, for example, placing a notice on our sites and/or by sending you an email (if you have registered your e-mail details with us) when we are required to do so by applicable law. You can see when this privacy policy was last updated by checking the date at the top of this page. You are responsible for periodically reviewing this privacy policy.

15. What if I have questions about this policy?

If you have any questions or concerns regarding our privacy policies, please send us a detailed message to Contactus at systemsthinkingalliance dot org, and we will try to resolve your concerns.

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