User agreement

1. Introduction

Welcome to The Cynefin Company, trading as Cognitive Edge!  This agreement specifies the terms that apply to you as a user  (“you” or “User”) of our website and of the documents available to some of those Users.  There are three levels of access to content provided by Cognitive Edge – Premium, Basic, and Public.  Users who subscribe to our Basic or Premium content are considered members (“Members”) of the Cognitive Edge network (“Network”) of practitioners. As a User you acknowledge that you are entering into a legally binding agreement with Cognitive Edge (USA) Inc. (“we,” “us,” “CE,” and “Cognitive Edge”) based on the terms of this User Agreement and our Privacy Policy (which can be found here).  Furthermore as a User you agree to:

  • Comply with all applicable laws, including, without limitation, privacy laws, intellectual property laws, tax laws, and regulatory requirements;
  • Use the materials available to you based on your level of access strictly in accordance with this User Agreement;
  • Provide accurate information to us and update it as necessary;
  • Review and comply with our Privacy Policy [click here];
  • At all times act in a professional manner;
  • Share accurate and truthful information about yourself and your experiences; and
  • Refrain from inappropriate online conduct.

2. How to Use the Cognitive Edge Materials

We’re providing with you with an online library of resources we are calling ‘The LIBRARY’ for your professional use.  Access to and use of the LIBRARY depends upon your level of membership.

Levels of Access:

Premium: Subscribers who pay the nominal annual fee to Cognitive Edge have almost full access to all of the resources provided through this website.  The resources available to Premium subscribers will expand and build over time.

Basic: Individuals who do not have a subscription but have registered to join the Cognitive Edge Network have limited access to a narrower range of our resources.  Basic membership will permit access to the core training curriculum that used to be taught as our “Accreditation” training in the past.

Public: Site visitors who can view the website and learn what is available from Cognitive Edge.

Below is a summary of how you can use the resources in The LIBRARY, based upon your membership level.

Commercial v. Non-commercial Use:  Briefly, only Premium members can use the resources for commercial engagements.  The other two levels cannot.

“Basic” users can use the resources for internal consulting only—i.e., within their own organizations.  “Public” users (i.e., site visitors who do not register) can read much about the resources but cannot use them.

How Each Level Can Use Cognitive Edge Resources:

Members subscribing to Premium access:  There are at least four major benefits for Premium members:

  1. Full Access: Full access to enhanced method materials and other resources provided on the website by Cognitive Edge, along with the opportunity to use various documents.
  2. Professional Engagements:  Use these methods for professional engagements with outside parties.  So, for example, if you are a consultant advising, say, a major Canadian corporation, then you can use these methods in that engagement.  You must give attribution to Cognitive Edge, though.
  3. Use Documents:  Use documents such as “action sheets” for your professional engagements.
  4. You Can Create Derivatives Only IF you… acknowledge Cognitive Edge and the source information used to create the derivative work, do not in any way restrict Cognitive Edge or other current Premium members from using or creating similar derivative works, and remain a current Premium member.  Should you want to allow others to use your derivative work please approach us and we will work with you to establish licensing terms for such use.  Otherwise, you are not permitted to create new tools from those we have provided you

The use of this premium content is governed by the terms of this user agreement—and in particular those terms marked to apply to Premium content subscribers.
Members subscribing to Basic access have:

  1. Rich Access: Access to a range of core methods, materials and other resources provided on the Cognitive Edge website, with some limits on certain materials available only to Premium Members.
  2. Internal Use:  Use the methods only within your own organization—i.e., where you are consulting to your own organization.  You must give attribution to Cognitive Edge, though.  Please note that you cannot create “derivative works” using these materials for any use other than within your own organization—and you cannot sell the methods or other content.

Basic content, marked accordingly, is provided under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (CC BY-NC-ND) license.

Public (Site Visitors):  Site visitors can:
Access to Website Materials:  Read what is posted on the website for public viewing—including full copies of member stories, articles, podcast and much more—as well as abstracts of some of the materials reserved for Basic members and Premium Members.
Some Public content, marked accordingly, is provided under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (CC BY-NC-ND) license.

You Can Share…  only the information that is covered by a Creative Commons license.  Look for the icon.

Give Us Credit…  When you use these tools, you must give attribution to Cognitive Edge. See attribution instructions below.

Attribution Instructions
Public and Basic content is available for use under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (CC BY-NC-ND) license.  Attribution of work is to follow the following marking format:
The Cognitive Edge method is ©2012 Cognitive Edge (USA) Inc., used under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Noderivs license:

Premium content use attribution should be as follows:
The Cognitive Edge method used herein in whole or in part of a derived work is ©2012 Cognitive Edge (USA) Inc., is used under license agreement terms which can be found at

3. Cancellation and Refunds (Refunds apply only to Premium content subscriptions)

CE reserves the right to cancel Network memberships at any time for any reason or no reason at all, in its sole discretion.  Should CE cancel a membership that has paid for Premium content for reasons other than a breach of the User Agreement then the subscribing member would be eligible for a partial refund of the Premium content subscription fee on a pro rata basis of time remaining.

You may cancel your membership in the CE Network at any time by emailing us at and requesting that your membership and membership information be deleted.  If you are a Premium content subscriber you can cancel your subscription in the Billing screen accessible from your Network Dashboard.  No refunds, pro rata or otherwise, will be offered to members electing to cancel their subscriptions before the expiry of their current active subscription period.

4. Intellectual Property

All material on this website, including, but not limited to, text, graphics, logos, audio clips, video clips, links, digital downloads, and trademarks is owned, controlled by or licensed by CE and is protected by copyright, trademark, and other intellectual property laws.  As marked Public and Basic content is provided under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (CC BY-NC-ND) license.  The use of the premium content is governed by the terms that follow in this Section 4:

License for Premium Members

As a Premium Member, you have access to our website content and most of the tools available there for commercial use.  The most important point:  You can use our website content and documents only in accordance with this license.


  1. Personal License.  This is a license that is personal to you and you alone.  It is not for your company and it is not to be used by your colleagues or others. If you want a license for more users—or for your entire corporation—please contact us at
  2. Commercial Engagements.  We are giving you a license to use the content when you are engaged by another company to perform consulting services.
  3. License to Others.  If you want to license the content (or content you create) to someone else, then contact us so that we can provide you with the appropriate license at
  4. Attribution.  Whenever you use our content, you have to provide attribution to Cognitive Edge.  This includes content you create.  See above for guidelines on attribution.
  5. Term of the License.  Your rights continue for as long as you are a Premium Member.  Rights in content that is already in the hands of your clients will remain in perpetuity for limited use (explained below).

Grant of License.  Cognitive Edge hereby grants you a non-exclusive license to use the CE Content strictly in accordance with the terms of this User Agreement for use in Commercial Engagements as follows:

  1. Reproduce the CE Content;
  2. Create and Reproduce Adaptations;
  3. Distribute and/or Publicly Perform the CE Content and Adaptations.

Definitions for this Premium Content License:

“Adaptation” means something you create based upon all or part of any CE Content.  It does not matter in what form you create such an Adaptation.
“CE Content” means the content on the Cognitive Edge website and the documents that are accessible from that site.  Remember that all CE Content is copyrighted.
“Commercial Engagement” means that a company has engaged you to perform consulting services.
“Reproduce” means that you copy the CE Content (or any Adaptation).
“Distribute” means that you provide copies of the CE Content or any Adaptation to others.
“Publicly Perform” means that you use the CE Content or any Adaptation in front of an audience; or members of that audience (or anyone else) can obtain access to that performance (e.g., a video on the web) or they have access (e.g., PDFs on your website) of Adaptations.
Scope of Use.  The scope of your license granted above is as follows:

(i) Territory: Worldwide.
(ii) Royalty. Your use of the rights granted is royalty-free.  If you wish to acquire additional rights, there may be a royalty.
(iii) Sublicense.  You have the rights to grant a sublicense to your clients only to use the CE Content and Adaptations only within the scope of your engagement.  Your sublicensees are not granted the right to create Adaptations or to create training or consulting programs with the CE Content or Adaptations.  All sublicensees shall be subject to the terms of this User Agreement, other than the rights granted to you by other provisions of this Section 1.  You will not Distribute the CE Content or Adaptations without a license agreement approved in advance in writing by us.  Any distribution without such a license agreement will be null and void and will be a breach of this License Agreement.
(iv) Term of License. Your rights last for as long as you remain a Premium Member.  If you are no longer a Premium Member, then you cannot use the CE Content and you cannot create Adaptations.  However, the rights granted in a sublicense to your clients will remain in perpetuity for the use of the CE Content or Adaptations solely for their use in completing their assignments resulting from your Commercial Engagement.
(v) Attribution.  You must provide attribution to us in the CE Content you use and in Adaptations in conformance with the Attribution Guidelines.
(vi) Type of Media. You are permitted to use these rights in all media and formats whether now known or hereafter devised.
Reservation of Rights.  All rights not expressly granted by this Section are reserved by us.

Termination of License for Premium Content.  This grant of a license to you will terminate automatically in relation to your use when you cease being a Premium Member or you breach any of the terms of this User Agreement.  It will remain in force for as long as sublicensees granted their sublicense by you remain in full compliance with licenses applicable to CE Content and Adaptations.

5. Representations, Warranties and Disclaimer of Cognitive Edge


6. Representations and Warranties by You

You represent and warrant that:  (a)  your use of the rights granted does not and will not (i)  violate any applicable laws and/or regulations and (ii) infringe on the intellectual property right of others and  (b)  you will sublicense only with the appropriate license agreement governing such sublicenses.

7. Other Provisions

Choice of Law.  This User Agreement shall be governed by and interpreted under the laws of the state of Washington, United States.

No Waiver.  No waiver of any breach hereof shall be deemed a waiver of any other breach hereof.  For a waiver or consent to be effective, it must be in writing signed by an authorized representative of Cognitive Edge, which expressly states that such document is a waiver or consent under this User Agreement.

Invalid Provisions.  If any provision of this User Agreement is found by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid or unenforceable then such provision shall be of no effect on any other provision.

Entire Agreement.  This User Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the parties with respect to the CE Content and Adaptations, other than customized licenses to purposes not covered by the grant of rights under this User Agreement. There are no other understandings, agreements or representations with respect to the subject matter of this User Agreement.  Apart from customized licenses specified above, this User Agreement can only be modified by Cognitive Edge as explained below.

8. Miscellaneous

We reserve the right to change this User Agreement from time to time at our discretion but we will notify you of those changes, whether by email or a notice on our site or in some other manner.   Those changes will only affect your conduct from the pint that you accept those changes and the new User Agreement.  Previous versions will be available at your request.

contact  us  here

About the Cynefin Company

The Cynefin Company (formerly known as Cognitive Edge) was founded in 2005 by Dave Snowden. We believe in praxis and focus on building methods, tools and capability that apply the wisdom from Complex Adaptive Systems theory and other scientific disciplines in social systems. We are the world leader in developing management approaches (in society, government and industry) that empower organisations to absorb uncertainty, detect weak signals to enable sense-making in complex systems, act on the rich data, create resilience and, ultimately, thrive in a complex world.

Cognitive Edge Ltd. & Cognitive Edge Pte. trading as The Cynefin Company and The Cynefin Centre.


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