At the Natural Step, we believe that the single greatest test of human ingenuity is evolving an economy that improves people’s lives–creating jobs, health, well-being–while valuing and protecting nature. It can and must be done in this generation.

Climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution are wicked problems, impacting our livelihoods and our communities. We are committed to the conviction that systemic change is possible—not by blowing everything up, but by bringing the determined and ambitious in.

That’s why, in partnership with the Smart Prosperity Institute, we connect problem-solvers and their organizations to collaboratively generate, test, and scale research-driven solutions to the most complex challenges at the nexus of environment, economy and society.

Find your space in the solution.

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“It is never our goal to be the smartest person in the room. Rather, it is to have the wisdom and foresight to build the room where the smartest and most workable ideas can surface and get actioned.”

- David Hughes, CEO, The Natural Step Canada

Our Solution Spaces

Our Solution Spaces foster deep collaboration among diverse problem-solvers and innovative solutionists across fields and sectors. Informed by world-class research and policy expertise, we work collaboratively to drive innovative, scalable, and human-centered solutions to complicated sustainability challenges.

From eliminating plastics pollution to supporting farmer-led sustainable agriculture. From accelerating Alberta’s energy transition to reimagining how we build affordable, livable, and climate-resilient neighbourhoods—our Solution Spaces are tackling some of the toughest issues facing our environment, economy, and society today.

Explore the spaces where the real work of change is getting done.

Our Partnerships

Rising to the sustainability crises of our times requires significant shifts in all the ways we work together as a society–from policy design, to business practice, to technological innovation to behaviour change. We need innovation on all of these fronts, and we need those innovations to support and boost each other, because that’s how we change systems.

Driving innovation on that scale means working with ambitious and committed problem-solvers across sectors and value-chains. We’re proud to partner with solutionists and their organizations across industry, government, and civil society to drive systems-scale change.

Read More About Our Partnerships

Partnership Highlights

How do you solve a housing crisis?

Housing is a wicked problem. But when traditional opponents become unlikely allies, progress is possible. Read about the surprising partnership that helped shape a better path for affordable housing in Canada.

Giving office buildings a longer lease on life

Buildings are the largest consumer of raw materials in the world. How do we make the spaces where we work, work smarter–for our communities and our climate? Meet the diverse partners working together to answer that question.

Our Work

We create solution spaces focused on the social, economic, and environmental issues at the heart of complex crises. Our role is to fill a clear gap in the solutions ecosystem – one that can only be addressed by engaging problem-solvers across multiple sectors and at every stop on our value chains.

Doing this work means embracing the tensions and contradictions that come with solving hard problems. We believe in, and create, a “radical center” where collaboration and progress is possible.

“Our communities, economies, businesses, and our families face an unprecedented convergence of seemingly intractable social, humanitarian, and environmental crises…We’re all being asked questions about the future of humanity that desperately need answering. That’s a job for Solutionists”

- Solitaire Townsend

Energy workshop participants gather seated in a large circle in a wood beam building.