The concept of the Next Industrial Revolution is relatively new. Information regarding this topic is not mainstream. There is little literature on how design, and the scientific principles, outlined in the Natural Step, are interconnected within the concept of the Next Industrial Revolution. In this thesis, I explore the big picture of where companies are today regarding sustainability issues, and how some companies are taking the lead in participating in this revolutionary new idea of the Next Industrial Revolution. How are these companies different? What are the similarities? Why and when do some companies choose to take revolutionary approaches, while others progress in an evolutionary fashion? These are the questions I have attempted to answer. Through casestudies, this thesis identifies who is preparing for the Next Industrial Revolution, what steps are being taken in preparation, what tools are needed, and how well the companies are progressing towards their goals. The casestudies highlight challenges companies experience in defining and reaching the goal of sustainable development. This approach also includes companies that are not implementing strategies and/or the tool of the Next Industrial Revolution, and attempts to explain the issues surrounding their decision to not take this path.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Sustainable development; Economic development--Environmental aspects; Economic policy

Publication Date


Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

Civil Engineering Technology Environmental Management and Safety (CAST)


Potter, Juliana


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