A thriving human society within nature’s limits is possible. The Natural Step’s theory of change links individual awareness and agency, organizational strategy and practice, and systems-level collaboration.

The foundation for many innovative sustainability programs around the world is anchored in The Natural Step Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development. Our science-based process has been tested and proven effective by hundreds of forward-thinking organizations over the past two decades.

Our programs focus on two primary intended impact areas we believe are crucial to accelerating the transition to a sustainable society and our unique suite of services translate the fundamentals of sustainability into practical steps for businesses, communities, and other organizations.

Can We Play in the (Oil) Sand Box Together?

The theme of The Natural Step’s upcoming Accelerate conference is “Collaborating for Sustainability.” Over the past two years, we at The Natural Step have dedicated ourselves to better understanding what it takes to collaborate more effectively across organizations to bring about the kind of breakthrough results that can shift systems toward sustainability. Accelerate will be another chance to learn together on this topic.

One thing we’ve learned is that systems change is unlikely to happen if we only collaborate with our natural allies. Instead, transformative change really does require understanding and working with those whose interests and perspectives are different than our own.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the hyper-polarized debates about Canada’s energy system and response to climate change, arguably our most important sustainability challenge. My observation has been that while many people tend to lament the polarization, we also tend to go back to mostly working in the realms in which we are most comfortable, mostly engaging with people who share our views. What do we miss when we follow these patterns?

Join us for a Free Webinar on Getting to Results with Sustainability Transition Labs

If there’s one thing we can report since launching the Sustainability Transition Lab initiative last year it is that collaboration is messy business. If you like static roles, clear-cut deadlines and deliverables, and you don’t like having your ideas and opinions challenged, the collaborative space is probably not for you.

If on the other hand you can handle having your assumptions pointed out to you, you’re ready to adjust your schedule to accommodate others just as busy as yourself, and you’re ready to accept that the viewpoints you bring to the table may not turn out to be the most popular, you just might be ready for collaboration.

 

Can Alberta lead on lowering emissions?

The article Can Alberta lead on lowering emissions? Written by Chad Park, Executive Director of The Natural Step Canada, was originally published in the Edmonton Journal.

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This week, international and provincial leaders from science, policy, clean technology, industry and government will gather in Edmonton for Zero 2014, a conference focused on driving the transition to a low-carbon future.

Observers might be forgiven for doing a double take upon reviewing the program. This event is happening in Alberta?

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