The Natural Step Story: Seeding a Quiet Revolution (NEW: Now available in audiobook format!)


It may be unlikely that a Swedish karate champion, family man, and cancer scientist could be at the center of developing a systems approach to life on Earth that could revolutionize the way humans operate in the world, but this is the story of just that: the idea and the man behind it.

As a cancer specialist, Karl-Henrik Robèrt faced a stream of parents who would sacrifice anything to save their children. Yet that same selflessness did not seem to extend to saving the environment, as debate on how to achieve sustainability was divided, with no agreement on universal principles. But Robèrt's experience convinced him that consensus on how to meet the most basic requirements of life should be possible.

Thus began a long process of consultation among scientists and others that eventually led to the definition of four system conditions essential for the maintenance of life on Earth: conditions that have now been agreed upon world-wide and encapsulated as The Natural Step Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development. Supported by the King of Sweden, Robèrt's original ideas were mailed to every household in Sweden. Exported around the world, they were elaborated, refined, and eventually adopted by companies like IKEA and McDonald's, and business leaders such as Ray Anderson, CEO of US carpet company Interface, and Paul Hawken, successful entrepreneur and author who later headed The Natural Step USA.

Dramatic, visionary, and inspiring, The Natural Step Story will appeal to all with a passion for sustainability including business leaders, academics, journalists, activists, and students.

About Dr. Karl-Henrik Robèrt

An internationally recognized thought leader on sustainable development, Dr. Karl-Henrik Robèrt is the Founder of The Natural Step, a global network of non-governmental organizations that lead change toward a sustainable and prosperous economy. He has successfully nurtured what began as a grassroots effort in Sweden into an international movement that has spread to 18 countries and engaged thousands of people in hundreds of organizations worldwide.

Dr. Robèrt is also a Fellow of the World Business Academy, an advisory board member at the Georgia Institute of Technology, a Doctor of Public Service at the University of Portland, a professor of sustainability at the Blekinge Institute of Technology, and a member of the EU Roundtable on Sustainability. In 2004, Dr. Robèrt launched a Masters program in Sweden on strategic leadership toward sustainability, which graduates 75 international students each year. He currently serves as Chairman of the Alliance for Strategic Sustainable Development, an international research program that recruits university, private, and public sector partners around the globe to apply The Natural Step’s Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development to key research issues.

In 1999, Dr. Robèrt won the Green Cross Award for International Leadership and, in 2000, he won the Blue Planet Prize, often considered the ‘Nobel Prize’ for ecological sustainability. In 2009, he was given the prestigious honour of being named an Ashoka Fellow.

Dr. Robèrt has made a global impact in promoting and implementing sustainability. The author of several books and dozens of scientific articles, he is a world-class speaker, teacher, scientist, social entrepreneur, and leading thinker on the root causes of the global sustainability challenges we face today.

Print version


As originally published, The Natural Step Story is available in print from New Society Publishers. NEW! The Natural Step Story is now also available for purchase as an audiobook from Post Hypnotic Press. Narrated by Cochran Keating.