Celebrating a decade of positive change
As Metabolic turns 10 this year, we marvel at how our team and our impact is growing – a decade of advising businesses, governments, and nonprofits around the world on how to thrive in a circular economy.

This milestone gives us the chance to reflect on how our journey in sustainability unfolded. We’d like you in on the celebration, by reflecting on your own journey toward making a positive impact.
You inspire the change
Everyone has a different motivation to make a shift in their lives and careers. We want to collect as many stories as possible to be able to identify the key elements that trigger mindset shifts. This digital experiment is part of our ambition to transition our society’s mindset and values. You can help us by sharing your story.

So we want to know: What is your personal anecdote? What made you take that leap from thinking about changing the world, to actually doing it? Think back: was it an event, a person, or a moment that sparked your dedication to sustainability?
Share your 'aha' moment
Contributing your 'aha' moment makes it part of a global, online collection that is public and accessible.These individual stories can teach us what motivates people to embark on such journeys. And this knowledge, in turn, helps us build the movement toward a sustainable future.

Below, you can see what drove a mindset shift within our own team of consultants, researchers, and developers, along with the 'aha' moments of people worldwide. We hope you add your story, too.
Visiting an artist community in Mexico has thought me to be open to new view points. It also made me see how I can create sustainable awareness through art and community.
Flory
32 weeks ago
As a young boy, I often visited industries with my father to observe and understand how raw materials are transformed into finished products ready to be used for human wants. At the same time, the plentiful dust, smoke, and malodorous effluents aired by the industries marred the horizon, leaving me disappointed and concerned for the environment. Thus, I developed an inclination at an early age toward these critical issues stemming from the interaction between humans and the environment.
Ravikant Sharma
43 weeks ago
My aha-moment was more of a WTF moment around 2002, when I was confronted with my own reflex to reach for the PU foam gun to correct a design flaw in my tiny “eco” house, rather than solving it elegantly… (By the way: congrats Metabolic!!)
Bob
40 weeks ago
It was very gradual, lot's of documentaries, but maybe a lecture from the art collective that made me decide I wanted to intern with them
Peter
47 weeks ago
A trip to a rich country/city. The roads, cars, the malls, the dumpsters full of useful things and edible foods, the excess and yet the main fear that the global south might rise standard of living and thereby jeopardise these imperial lifestyles. This made me realise that the dominant model of development, imposed all over the world, is a dead end. All this resource exploitation doesn’t even yield a good life (healthy minds, bodies & social fabric) for the majority. That was an eye-opener to me as the narrative is that these countries are “leading the way”.
Gibran Vita
33 weeks ago
My 'aha' moment was when I participated to leadership retreat in Chamonix as part of an impact scaling global entrepreneurship program. I had already developed expertise in circular economy and systems thinking however did not know how I could connect these with my 'by nature' skills; communication and community building. As we were surrounded by the beautiful mountains of Alps and global community of impact driven leaders the atmosphere was suitable to share, learn from each other and practice my purpose in life . Since then I build communities of practice, guide people/corporations/cities on sustainability and enable leaders to take actions towards systemic change and circularity.
Zeynep Cansu Oner
40 weeks ago
My 'aha' moment came when, in high school, my teacher suggested I study the role of marketing on cigarette consumption for my year-long research. Throughout that project, I learn about the integration of agriculture, marketing/consumption culture, policies, human health/healthcare, and socio-economic divides. My research extended into food ag and how marketing tactics shifted to accommodate changing consumer preferences (in the same year that skim milk became popular, the government supported marketing to increase the sale of cheese - made from the excess milk fat). What I learned over the course of that year left me in disbelief. Systems we had empowered through money and legislative/lobbying power were perpetuating cultures of consumption (and inadequacy). Principals of supply and demand were manipulated to exhibit the have and have nots at the expense of human and environmental health. My goal thereafter has been to understand, redefine, and redesign/breakdown these depleting systems.
Coco
43 weeks ago
I went on a holiday to Cuba with my family. We checked in, raced to the room, changed into our swim suits and headed to the beach. One of the most beautiful beaches I had seen until I looked closer and noticed single use, white plastic cups from the beach bar littering the beach. The single rusted garbage can was overflowing. I went to the water's edge and found one cup gently bobbing in and out on the very slight waves. Either I am going to do something or that cup is headed out into the ocean. I picked it up and each day of my holiday I picked up cups along the beach. I now am part of group that has taken 225,000 lbs of garbage out of ravines and parks in Toronto over the last 4 years.
John Scott
33 weeks ago
My emotional 'aha' moment was when I saw a picture of myself on iceskates, on natural ice. Iceskating on frozen lakes and ponds every winter was a tradition that made everybody happy. I cannot pass this tradition on to my kids, because of climate change. I realised that climate change affects many traditions throughout the globe and this knowledge makes me really sad.
Patricia
37 weeks ago
My 'aha' moment was the birth of my daughter. I want a just, and beautiful world for her that includes interconnected and respectful relationships between humans, animals and the natural world.
Behnosh Najafi
38 weeks ago
Over the last couple of years, and especially as a member of the Metabolic team, my personal investment in, and know-how of sustainability has really sped-up. I did not experience a single 'aha moment' but gradually developed my interest and knowledge on the urgent matters of our changing climate. For instance, I remember reading Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer when I became a vegetarian, which heavily criticises our food system. In turn, this book made me realise not only how our current food practices are out of date, but also how our relationship with earth's resources should be transformed. When I moved to Denmark, I got quite literally confronted with these defaults when I was introduced to dumpster diving. I've seen horrific amounts of perfectly edible food being thrown away on a daily basis by all Danish supermarket chains. Shook by these facts, I got even more dedicated to living sustainably.
Jette
43 weeks ago
What inspires a journey toward sustainability?
When Eva founded Metabolic she wanted an organization that could tackle some of society’s most urgent sustainability challenges. She aimed to apply her expertise in industrial ecology – the study of systemic relationships between society, economy, and the natural environment – to pioneering systems change within cities, companies, and sectors with a truly Metabolic lens.
My 'aha' moment was when I saw how dangerous growth patterns applied not only to cells in a petri dish, but also to all living human systems. The very nature of such patterns is that they end with a rapid collapse. Since that realization, I am forever committed to stopping that collapse on a planetary level, by addressing the broader system within the narrow window that we currently have.
Eva Gladek
CEO
Read Eva’s full story
Eva knew her path was destined to change. The budding molecular biologist went on to become a dedicated industrial ecologist, studying systemic relationships between society, economy, and the natural environment. This shift is what led Eva and her co-founders to pioneer systems change within cities, companies, and sectors with a truly Metabolic lens.
Metabolic's (r)evolution
It’s amazing what an 'aha' moment can accomplish.

Our 10th anniversary is a celebration of Metabolic’s evolution into what is now a multifaceted agency. We are a consultancy, a research institute, we build ventures, produce software, and have a foundation. We work to build a regenerative food system through Fresh, provide near-instant product impact assessment scores on consumer products with Dayrize, and revolutionize the way we produce, share, and store energy with Spectral. These form the ecosystem through which we conduct scientific research, inform future-facing strategies, and create scalable solutions to critical social and environmental problems.
Metabolic’s future
As we enter our second decade, Metabolic continues to re-imagine and redesign systems and institutions for a new vision of a sustainable future. A world where human societies and ecosystems flourish, and where our economic activities do not transgress any of the planetary boundaries of the Earth’s natural systems.

Doing that requires a new economic model. Based on our years of research and project work, we have defined six transitions that need to take place within human systems and institutions, areas where we believe our work can make the greatest impact going forward:
We are excited and energized to continue our work within the six transition areas, along with our clients and partners, our strongest allies in charting the path toward a thriving economy – within planetary boundaries.
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