Journeys in sustainable development

Over the last 20 years, we have worked on 35+ projects tackling challenges related to sustainability from various perspectives – including food sustainability, circular economy, water management, plastic waste reduction, agriculture and climate adaptation, and mobility and transport. Stby has had a long-lasting commitment towards sustainable development, and our work demonstrates this well.

Timeline of Stby’s 20-year journey

The timeline below maps Stby’s journey through sustainable development, describing where we have come from, and where we expect to be going. The projects featured on the map describe the transitions we have observed and experienced over time. Follow this link to the full interactive map on a Miro board, so you can zoom in and out on specific details.

We have highlighted 7 key themes on the map, which represent the different topics and challenges we have engaged with in the past 20 years. As visually depicted, these themes are all intertwined and connected. These different perspectives allow us to see challenges from a different angle, so we can help our clients and partners to work towards social, economic, and ecological sustainability. By following the timeline and experiencing Stby’s journey over time, you can see how we explore possible futures for each of these themes informed by the knowledge we have built.

Key themes on the map:

  • From Behaviour Change to Holistic Change
  • From User-Centred to Planet-Centred
  • From Energy Use to Clean Energy
  • From Future Scenarios to Future Societies
  • From General Focus to Sector Focus
  • From Public Spaces to Public Places
  • From Efficient Systems to Effective Systems
To zoom in and out on the details on the map, follow this link to a Miro board.

Long-lasting knowledge

We have built foundational knowledge in order to help clients in both the public and commercial sectors understand people’s attitudes and behaviours, so they can improve systems or identify opportunities for new services. We rely on this long-lasting knowledge to respond to challenges which cover; behaviour shifts required for holistic change, considerations for human and planetary stakeholders, energy use, speculating future scenarios, creating greener and healthier public spaces, and improving the efficiency and effectiveness of systems.

Looking beyond projects

In order to drive long-lasting impact, we make sure to respond to immediate challenges but also see this as part of a bigger picture of improving the sustainable value of the sectors we work with. Furthermore, in order to pioneer within this space and achieve long-lasting meaningful change, we must observe and act on these challenges with consideration to what is happening outside of the work we directly do with our clients; such as larger transformations, implications on a company or government level, and societal issues. We do not aim for easy repeat work, but strive to create long-lasting meaningful change that has a positive impact on the world.

Re-framing perspectives

Over the past 20 years, Stby has seen shifts in how sustainability challenges have been gradually re-framed. At the beginning of this journey, our client’s objectives were mainly focused on improving people’s experience and quality of life. Within the theme of sustainable development, we have seen and been part of a general shift from a user-centric approach towards a more planet-centric approach. The awareness and behaviour around the climate emergency has developed, for our clients and the public. For instance, we are seeing this strongly in the construction and product design sectors with our work with What Design Can Do, exploring topics such as circular economy and climate adaptation. Although large organisations we work for move slowly and face many challenges, we confidently anticipate that this transition will continue to happen in the near future.

The planet as a stakeholder

The planet is more and more becoming a fundamental stakeholder in all future research and design we do, in a whole range of sectors from mobility to food to fashion and many others. For this to happen, not only do we need to decentralise the human perspective, we also need to centralise the planet as part of these services. By doing this, there will be even more of a holistic approach to developing sustainable products, services and systems. We also envision that elements such as health, play, and our living environments will be at the forefront whenever we discuss improving sustainability. We transition from reducing the negative impact on the environment, into creating an ever-lasting positive change for the planet and all life on it.

You can also download a PDF of the map here.