Background/Question/Methods Rapid directional changes in the major environmental and social drivers of change in ecosystem structure and functioning have led to new frameworks for assessing and shaping the sustainability of social-ecological systems. Stewardship identifies often-novel pathways to shape changes for the benefit of both people and nature. The broad strategy for stewardship is (1) to minimize those pressures that reduce opportunities for a sustainable future, (2) adapt to those changes that cannot be reversed, and (3) shape novel pathways of change away from unsustainable traps. Stewardship guidelines seek to maintain the fundamental controls over ecosystem function (soils, climate, organismic diversity, and disturbance) as these respond to and influence cultures, values, and institutions of society. When ecosystems can no longer be sustained in their historical condition, sustaining biological and cultural diversity and the ecosystem services and sense of place that link the two provide objective criteria for choosing interventions that shape sustainable future relationships between people and nature for the benefit of both. Results/Conclusions Stewardship provides a multi-dimensional approach in which both individuals and institutions play key roles in adapting sustainably to ongoing changes. For example, at the institutional scale, Landscape Conservation Cooperatives in North America, Natura 2000 in Europe, and the Satoyama Initiative in Japan link complex multi-jurisdictional landscapes through coordination among multiple institutions to foster both ecological conservation and traditional livelihoods in a modern context. At the individual scale, citizen science, community-supported agriculture, and local parks and garden clubs engage youth and other people with nature in ways that strengthen their sense of place and capacity to engage in environmental action. In general terms, transformation toward stewardship will require (1) broader recognition of the fundamental interdependence of people and nature through both education and the immersion of people—especially young people—in many types of nature, (2) managing ecosystem services by sustaining biophysical controls that support key functional groups of organisms and reduce likelihood of invasion by novel functional groups, (3) fostering non-consumptive dimensions of wellbeing and reducing incentives for unnecessary consumption by shifting social norms, and (4) using positive messaging and solution-focused dialogue to build consensus and collaborations to sustain valued places.