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The Natural Step Framework: Strategic Sustainability


Awarding 5 hours of Professional Development (3 hours Face-to-Face, 2 hours post-workshop)

Workshop Description

This workshop will engage participants in exploring the system conditions required for socio-ecological sustainability to exist in any context, and the rudimentary elements of how to plan strategic steps towards sustainable futures. The workshop will introduce a tool that helps one define and understand sustainable development as well as a strategic process to move towards sustainability. We will use The Natural Step Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development as our lens, learning along the way how it was developed through an international scientific consensus process. Whole systems and life cycle thinking, essential human needs, rules of nature and root causes of unsustainability will be introduced. In addition, the workshop will explore how the tool can help one evaluate current curriculum through a rigorous, simple sustainability lens. Participants will compare key components of the system conditions for the sustainability of human activities on Earth to key components of what they teach or do, identifying discrepancies and exploring possible alignments.


As a result of this workshop participants will be able to:

Describe The Natural Step Framework and how it was developed.

Explain strategic sustainable development.

Compare current human practices with that of the systems conditions necessary for sustainability.

Employ a 4-step ‘back-casting” process for planning sustainable futures.

Evaluate curriculum through a rigorous sustainability lens.

Develop a lesson plan or course module exploring The Natural Step Framework.

Evaluation will include completion of workshop and development of a discipline-specific course module or lesson plan addressing systems conditions necessary for sustainability. The lesson plan is due to the Earth Ethics Institute within three weeks of the workshop and will be posted on the EEI website.


The Natural Step: Strategic Approaches to Sustainability power point

The Natural Step Primer

Scott Perret served as the Director of Communications & Network Relations for The Natural Step International, where he was responsible for re-branding, internal and external communications and organizational culture. He also worked to operationalize leverage points for the broader dissemination in society of a proven framework to help organizations plan strategically and systematically towards sustainability (known as the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development, or FSSD), and help facilitate the growth and organization of an inclusive, global, networked community of practice around the FSSD.

Scott Perret is a member of the Earth Ethics Institute National Advisory Board Member

Perret earned a Masters of Science in Strategic Leadership Towards Sustainability, 2012
With Distinction, Blekinge Institute of Technology, Sweden

Hosted by Earth Ethics Institute and MDC College Training and Development. To register:
Reference #804731   


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Earth Ethics Institute • An Earth Literacy Resource Center Serving MDC Administrators, Faculty, Staff,  and Students, as well as the South Florida Community
Miami Dade College • 300 N.E. 2nd Avenue, Room 1201, Miami, FL 33132-2204 • t: 305-237-3796 • f: 305-237-7724