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About The Natural Step International
The Natural Step is a globally recognized brand representing a network of non-profit organizations and partners with over two decades of experience helping organizations and individuals understand and make meaningful progress toward sustainability. The Natural Step has offices, projects and associates in 18 countries, and through education, dialogue, coaching and advice provides its partners with deep expertise in sustainability, innovation in applying solutions and transformational social change processes.
The Natural Step International (TNSI) is the international body that coordinates and supports the activities of Natural Step offices associates and partners; supports the emergence of a global network of researchers, practitioners and champions all using a shared strategic approach to sustainability; and, widely promotes and disseminates the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development and related educational tools and resources.
A New Direction for The Natural Step
Over the last twenty years the Natural Step has been at the forefront of sustainable development work globally. We have developed a generic Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development (FSSD) that both defines the end goal of a sustainable society and provides a methodology for organizations of any type to work strategically towards that end goal. We have worked with hundreds of leading corporations and municipalities to help them use the FSSD to embed sustainability into their operations, products and services. We have developed tools and approaches that enable and facilitate transformational social and organizational change. And we have helped create commitment and competence in hundreds of global leaders in business and local government to lead the transition to a sustainable society.
Yet despite all of this great work, the progress we have made as a global society to both understand the systems change we need, and to develop solutions and actions that shift us toward a more sustainable world is undeniably insufficient. Time is running out.
For the past few years, The Natural Step International has been going through a significant organizational transition and reorganization to revisit the strategic goals of the organization and to ask ourselves what our greatest contribution to the sustainability movement could be.
What has emerged is a new way forward, a new strategic direction, a new membership model and a renewed intention to put The Natural Step’s track record, brand and value proposition at the service of accelerating change toward sustainability. To view the current draft of this living, evolving strategic document, click here.
The Natural Step’s mission hasn’t changed. Our core purpose is to accelerate the shift toward a sustainable society, where human beings live within the capacity of the Earth to sustain us.
We have established three overarching strategic priorities that will guide our work over the next five years.
The Natural Step International will act as a catalyst for open-sourcing and widely disseminating the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development as well as related educational tools, materials, case studies, and other resources to leaders, change agents and decision-makers throughout the world to increase sustainability literacy among decision-makers and practitioners.
A key first step in this new sustainability literacy campaign is to formally de-brand The Natural Step Framework and refer to it by its generic name: the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development, or FSSD for short. Why? We believe that the world needs more sustainability literacy – more leaders and decision-makers who understand what sustainability is at the systems level and how to move their organization toward it strategically. We believe the framework is a useful tool to promote this understanding. Our goal therefore is to open-source the framework, so as to enable the sharing of our learning, tools and materials as widely as possible.
Global Learning Community
TNSI will act as an enabling partner to support the emergence of a new global learning community of sustainability leaders, practitioners and change agents around the application of the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development and other relevant tools and approaches to social change, in partnership with other like-minded organizations. Together we will nurture a movement for change, enabling unprecedented opportunities for learning, collaboration, and collective impact.
Rebranding and Growth of The Natural Step
We are not only interested in developing capacity across a global practitioner network, but also within The Natural Step community. Over the next few years we will prioritize strengthening the profile, capacity and reach of The Natural Step brand internationally. This will enable us to build new leadership capacity and prototype and test new innovative systems-changing solutions for a sustainable world. We will actively seek to establish new offices, associates and strategic partnerships on all continents. To this end we are currently building a new team to deliver the new mandate of the TNS International secretariat. We welcome Scott Perret who joins the team as Director of FSSD Diffusion and Network Relations. We will be announcing a new TNSI Coordinator soon and recruiting a new TNS International Director.