What is the RoundView?

The RoundView is an open framework that helps us imagine and create a sustainable future. The RoundView Guidelines have emerged from Dr. Joanne Tippett’s research at The University of Manchester (funded by the ESRC and Sustainable Consumption Institute), and provide us with a positive vision to inform our decision making. They give us a clear direction to work towards, clarifying the problems of our current direction, or ‘business as usual’.
The RoundView uses innovative hands-on tools to communicate environmental ideas in an accessible, easily understandable way. This video briefly introduces the RoundView and shows its innovative, hands-on tools in action.


Environmental issues can be confusing and unclear. The RoundView provides clarity and direction based on sound scientific principles. The results are improved understanding, better decision-making and more effective communication. The RoundView Guidelines provide a common and practical language, making it easier for people to work together.

Why use the RoundView?

Image of RoundView misguided lines
The RoundView helps us to answer the difficult question:

How do we know if our actions, decisions and strategies will actually take us towards a more sustainable future or not?

It serves as a kind of ‘compass’ that enables people, businesses, and organisations to navigate. By identifying the scientifically recognised causes of an unsustainable society (building upon the rigorous work and research of The Natural Step – please see the acknowledgements for more details), the RoundView sets out a clear description of the characteristics of a sustainable society. From there it defines some simple yet powerful  guidelines that can inform our decision making and much needed efforts to re-design our activities, systems and businesses. These guidelines can serve as a useful complement to other tools or strategies for change, or as the basis for a visioning and change process in their own right.

Hand- on tools for the RoundViewEven a basic understanding of the RoundView provides a solid and engaging basic education about how the ‘whole system’ of the Earth works and how we fit in as a society.

“The positive view is why I’ve been so interested in the RoundView, because everything about sustainability is usually being told what we should stop doing, not what to do.  As human beings we rile against that. This can be very powerful, especially as it says we can carry on living and enjoying ourselves but in a better and more clever way.” Participant in RoundView training in Tesco Head Office.

How does it work?

Stimulating graphics and hands-on tools  – developed with recent support from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation – engage and educate people in fundamental ecological and sustainability concepts. These are brought together in a framework that is easy to understand, and applicable to all areas of life and work.

The RoundView is inherently positive. Rather than just describing what we need to stop doing as a society, the RoundView asks – what should we be doing if we want to move towards a healthier, long-lasting society? Often people find this more motivating, inspiring and helpful than another list of “Things to Stop Doing”.

Application of these tools and understanding enables systematic and ‘big picture’ evaluation of our decisions and activities. This can support, inform and inspire creative visioning, re-design and change.

How can I find out more or get involved?

You can learn more about the RoundView  – the framework and guidelines themselves – in the ‘learn’ section on this website. We currently offer (UK based) training opportunities in a wide range of contexts – see ‘training’ for more info. The RoundView has been developed over many years with many supporters and it builds upon a great deal of other, inspirational and detailed work. Please take a look at our supporters and acknowledgements pages as we are very grateful to all the people, organisations and ideas that have made this work possible. Who are ‘we’? . . . have a look at our team page to find out.

If you have questions, the first stop is our FAQ section. If your question is not answered there, please post on our forums. If you have an inquiry about a specific situation or opportunity please send us a message via our contact form and we will reply as soon as we can.

We hope you find the RoundView interesting and useful and please consider using it to speed and support our transition towards a healthier, longer lasting global society. From a RoundView point of view this means a world in which:

All people can thrive, now and into the future.