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The ecocycle tool can be used to help understand the health and renewal of your work and to identify potential traps to avoid.

This tool applies research into natural ecological systems, which has shown the importance of a continuous loop of development, conservation, destruction, and renewal. Through the process of destruction and renewal, the system continues to flourish.

An ecocycle map applies this loop to an initiative, program, or an organization. As in natural ecosystems, these organizations’ long-term sustainability also requires these periodic processes of destruction and renewal.

View the System Tools Matrix to help determine when ecocycle mapping is the right tool.

Descriptions of the ecocycle framework throughout the attached guide are excerpted and lightly adapted from: Hurst, David K and Brenda Zimmerman. “From Life Cycle to Ecocycle: A New Perspective on the Growth, Maturity, Destruction, and Renewal of Complex Systems.” Journal of Management Inquiry December 1994 3: 339-354.