It can be easy to feel paralysed in the face of climate and ecological breakdown.

What if everyone knew the science-based root causes of all environmental problems? We could use a shared understanding of their positive opposites as guidelines. We could design things together so that we don’t cause these problems in the first place.

Learning the RoundView helps us all to ask questions about the likely impacts of our actions, and to think of creative solutions. The RoundView can be applied to projects and programmes at any level of scale.

It gives us the power to see our local places through a new lens, developing a narrative of hope from our shared global story. The RoundView has already proven to promote sustainability learning from primary to PhDs to policy.

Our aim is to create a future where sustainability becomes as fundamental to everyday life as the three Rs. In this future, the RoundView becomes the fourth R (Reading, wRiting, aRithmetic and RoundView), increasing our skills and capacity for positive change.

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.


Developing The RoundView has involved work with scientists, action-learning experts, artists and thousands of workshop participants and students applying the guidelines in their communities and organisations.

The RoundView builds on Dr Joanne Tippett’s development and ESRC-funded research from over two decades. The framework was consolidated and named during research funded by the Sustainable Consumption Institute at The University of Manchester and Tesco in 2009, by Joanne and Fraser How, with support from the research team.

The RoundView has benefited from working with a range of amazing artists, supported by Creative Manchester, Countryscape and FutureEverything. Many of the graphics on this site have been created by himHallows.

The RoundView builds upon existing approaches to sustainability, in particular the scientific rigour and systems-approach of The Natural Step. From the beginning, the RoundView has been seen as an open framework, and it has incorporated the feedback and ideas of a wide range of people. We are looking forward to working with many more people and partners in taking this work further.

To meet the objective of fostering shared dialogue through clear guidelines grounded in science, it is essential to ensure that the integrity and clarity of the guidelines are maintained over time. The RoundView is stewarded by the ThinkingWare Community Interest Company.

Funders and Supporters

Development of the RoundView has been funded and supported by:

Dr Joanne Tippett

Joanne is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Environment, Education and Development, at The University of Manchester and Founder of Ketso , a social business that makes hands-on tools for engagement and learning. She began working in the field of community participation and ecological planning in the mid 90s in Southern Africa, and has won numerous awards for her innovation and the social impact of her work.

Her research is driven by two questions:

  1. How do we imagine a sustainable future, and
  2. How can we work together effectively to achieve systemic change?

She was awarded a British Academy Innovation Fellowship with the UK National Commission for UNESCO to develop the RoundView for UNESCO-designated sites in 2023.

Fraser How

Fraser How is a permaculture designer and teacher, and also a facilitator and trainer with Ketso. He has run visioning workshops for a wide range of organisations – from small team meetings, to major workshops with hundreds of people. These include strategic planning and stakeholder engagement workshops for a wide range of organisations such as: Amey, Tesco, Hull Business School, HMP Leeds, North West Commissioning Support Unit, Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the Wheatley Group, Surrey Wildlife Partnership, and Dementia Action Alliance North West.

 He led on community engagement with the RoundView for the 5-year, £3.2 million Carbon Landscape Programme.

Reports and Publications

  • UK National Commission for UNESCO
  • UK National Commission for UNESCO
  • Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere
  • Economic and Social Research Council (UKRI)
  • Sustainable Consumption Institute (University of Manchester)
  • Tesco
  • Ellen MacArthur Foundation
  • National Trust (at Quarry Bank)
  • Carbon Landscape Project (National Lottery Heritage Fund)
  • Natural England
  • School of Environment, Education and Development Social Impact Fund (University of Manchester)
  • John Rylands Research Institute and Library
  • Mersey Basin Campaign
  • Newlands Project (North West Development Agency and Forestry Commission)
  • Irk Valley Project
  • Environment Agency
    Manchester City Council
  • Centre for Excellence in Enquiry-Based Learning (University of Manchester)
  • Innovation Factory, the University of Manchester’s innovation company
  • Ketso Ltd
  • How Creative
  • Countryscape
  • himHallows
  • Williams Architecture
  • Carbon Landscape Partnership Scheme (2022) Final Report, Project Number C7 Round View.
  • How, F. and Tippett, J. (2021) ‘Evaluation of Community Engagement: Towards a National Nature Reserve in the Flashes of Wigan and Leigh’, Report for DEFRA and Natural England, July 2021, RoundView Project in Carbon Landscape Partnership and School of Environment, Education and Development, The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK, July 29th 2021, 34 pp.
  • Tippett, J. and How, F. (2020), Town Planning Review, Where to lean the ladder of participation: a normative heuristic for effective coproduction processes, 91, (2), 109132.
  • Tippett, J., How, F. 2018. “The SHAPE of Effective Climate Change Communication: Taking a RoundView.” In Handbook of Climate Change Communication: Vol. 2: edited by Leal Filho, Manolas, Marisa Azul, Azeiteiro, and McGhie, 357–72. Cham: Springer International Publishing.
  • Astbury, J. and Tippett, J. (2019) ‘Nature rebounding in the peri-urban landscapes that the industrial revolution left behind: North West England’s Carbon Landscape’ – research report in The Nature of Cities
  • Tippett, J., Valerie Farnsworth, Fraser How, Ebenhaezer Le Roux, Pete Mann, and Graeme Sherriff. 2010. Scaling-up: Learning to embed sustainability skills and knowledge in the workplace- Final Project Report. Manchester: Sustainable Consumption Institute. 182 pgs.
  • Tippett, J., V. Farnsworth, F. How, E. le Roux, P. Mann and G. Sherriff (2009). Improving Sustainability Skills and Knowledge in the Workplace – Final Project Report – July 31, 2009. Manchester, Sustainable Consumption Institute: 130 pgs.
  • Tippett, J., Handley, J. F. and Ravetz, J. 2007. ‘Meeting the challenges of sustainable development—A conceptual appraisal of a new methodology for participatory ecological planning.’ Progress in Planning, 67 (1).