The metaphor of the funnel

As our demand increases and the capacity to meet this demand declines, society moves into a narrower portion of the funnel. Every one of us lives and works in this funnel: through innovation and creativity we can evolve toward sustainability and begin to open up the walls of the funnel. By looking forward, organizations can position themselves smartly to avoid the squeeze of the funnel and invest toward opening the walls and creating a truly thriving and rewarding future.

The Evolution Principles

The Evolution Principles are the result of the path of a scientific research began over 25 years ago. An international network of scientists were able to define non negotiable conditions that must be met if we want to maintain the essential natural resources, structures and functions that sustain human society. The Evolution Principles (a.k.a. Strategic Sustainability Principles, or System Conditions) provide explicit guidance for any individual or any organization interested in evolving towards sustainability.


The concept of “backcasting” is central to a strategic evolution towards sustainability. It is a way of planning in which a successful outcome is imagined in the future followed by the assessment of the present conditions. This process boosts the creativity to move step by step towards the vision.
  • Begin with the end in mind
  • Move backwards from the vision to the present
  • Move step by step towards the vision with creative solutions

The Natural Step approach is embedded in Nativa. It is a comprehensive model for complex systems planning. This model, based on systems thinking, recognizes that what happens in one part of a system affects every other part. The Natural Step has helped hundreds of different organizations around the world to integrate sustainable development into their strategic planning and create long-lasting transformative change. It is constantly being used, tested, refined and developed.


The Natural Step explained in 2 min.

A Unifying Framework for Sustainable Development.

Ray Anderson Discusses the Natural Step