STEEP Explained – Foresight Cards

Foresight Cards > Guides > STEEP explained

Order your deck of STEEP / PEST cards now!
The Foresight Cards-STEEP edition contains a total of 134 cards:

125 external driving forces supported by high quality photos (25 per S-T-E-E-P category);
3 workhops (‘create awareness’, ‘stress testing business models’ and ‘determine key uncertainties for scenario planning’);
– legend, general instructions and ‘patterns of change’;
– all cards are multilingual: English, Nederlands (Dutch), Deutsch (German) and Español (Spanish);
–  additional free workshops online!

What does “STEEP” stand for?

STEEP is an acronym for: Social, Technological, Economical, Environmental and Political. The STEEP structure is used for scanning developments in the external (contextual) macro environment. Other known acronyms derived from STEEP are: PEST, PESTLE, PESTEL, STEP, STEPJE, STEEPLED and LEPEST. The STEEP acronym is well known and used all over the world as a basis for external analysis.

S: Social
Social developments include factors like demographics, lifestyles, social and cultural values, consumer behavior and advertising.

T: Technological
The speed of technological development is extremely rapid. New products and services hugely impact on the way we live, work and learn. Therefore changes in technology influences social, economical, environmental and even the political field. When considering technology, think about: innovation, transport, energy, communication, research & development.

E: Economic
The economic situation is largely related to the buying position of the consumer. Think about factors like interest rates, taxes, international trade, entrepreneurship and availability of jobs.

E: Environmental
Environmental developments include ecosystem factors like water, wind, soil, food and energy.

P: Political
Political developments can greatly influence individuals and companies. The political landscape can change dramatically when other political parties gain power. So be aware of possible upcoming shifts in power during elections. Political developments affects different kinds of laws for example environmental, anti-trust, financial markets and trade.

When should I use the STEEP method?

STEEP is used to gain an insight into (past, current and/or future) developments of the external (macro) environment.

The STEEP factors that are most important to you depends on your goal or field of interest. For example a business-to-consumer company will most likely focus more on the social factors, while large non-profit companies could be more affected by political factors. The most critical factors are those that are most likely to change and affect businesses directly.

Who´s would use a STEEP analysis?

All people who want to study the developments in the external (contextual) macro environment. This could be an organization (on corporate level or a division), a educational institute or an individual.

How do I apply a STEEP analysis?

To apply a STEEP analysis in an effective and efficient way, use the “Foresight Cards – STEEP edition“. Check out all the different kinds of games and workshops that are supported by the deck of cards.