In order for humans to survive, thrive and protect the planet, we’ll have to find a way to innovate with nature, not against it. Where do we start? A series of five cycles connects the human-built world to the natural world. They are stable ecosystems, regeneration, materials metabolism, recycling, and use and reuse. The intersection of use and reuse with our stable ecosystems provides a working definition of sustainability. Recognition of these intersections enables a blueprint for how to help invent future technologies and products that accomplish the goals of a circular economy.