Regenerative Livestyle Blog

Sharing my regeneration journey, enjoying living in harmony with nature

Funnel vision!

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A funnel is a metaphore used by The Natural Step to illustrate the sustainability challenge. What is increasing over time? What is decreasing over time? Visualise how this squeeze is getting critical! What can be done to reverse the trends and possibly improve the situation?

Following the 4 Sustainability principles, symbolised by the 4 Earth icons, will create a sustainable situation.

Here is a video created by Whistler municipality,  that explains the funnel in 2 minutes.

I have “played” at creating funnels.

New Zealand funnel

Click to enlarge

I was amazed at how this tool make complex and interconnected issues look easy to solve.

Tourism funnel

One of my assignment is a sustainability study for a local guiding business. Here is a funnel that can be adapted to many tourism activities.

Click on the picture to enlarge

Libraries funnel

Well yes, I am librarian. Although it is not quite a sustainability subject, I gave the funnel metaphor a go with libraries squeeze. As you may be aware, many libraries are being closed in the US and in the UK. Libraries are threatened nearly everywhere, and are generally affected by budget reduction. It is all too common to hear that libraries (and books) are not useful anymore, as there is so much on the Internet nowadays.

Click to enlarge

Here again, solutions are quite obvious when the problems are laid in the funnel metaphor. Opportunities naturally arise from it.

For example, e-books are not a threat but the solution to cover customers needs with new books. They all want to read the same book at the same time? They can and the librarian does not have to purchase several copies that will clutter the shelves when the fashion is finished.

A lot of information is on the Internet? Good! Librarians do not need to buy every book on every subject in the world and will still be able to provide information about any query.

Transforming a library into a community place is a success criteria for libraries. People come for a variety of reasons and are exposed to a variety of experiences and knowledge (including reading).

Dematerialisation is quite visible, less books vs more access. It is also about replacing a product (book) by a service (advice on how to find the information). It is interesting to note that applying a sustainable practice tool to a different subject leads to solutions common in sustainable practice: dematerialisation and “service rather than product”.

From the tunnel vision metaphor to the funnel vision!

Try it with any issues that look like an unsolvable problem… and please share your experience below…


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