After many of years of "environmentalism" and "sustainability" why start talking about "regeneration"? Discussions about terminology quickly get tedious, but it is helpful to have words to describe new concepts. Here are five reasons we're working under the umbrella of "regeneration".
It's the economy, stupid!
Wise words for presidential candidates and applicable here too. In general, what we call environmental problems are actually symptoms of economic problems. By adding economics into the framework we may be able to hunt down root causes, better understand the system, and not play whack-a-mole with symptoms.
It is up to us.
We -- humans, that is -- have been slow to acknowledge responsibility for changes in our ecosystems, living what we might call the "accidental anthropocene". It is time to take responsibility and launch the "intentional anthropocene". If not us, who? If not now, when?
We can win the game.
A regenerative framework offers a change of perspective, like from looking down to looking up, and a view of many new opportunities. It can help us shift focus from interventions that reduce damage, helping us "lose more slowly", to see opportunities for innovation and abundance that will have more impact, helping us actually win the game.
It engages business.
We're pro-business. Business is an important way people self-organize to solve each others problems. Sure, we can do this better, and we need continued evolution of business and more & better partnerships with other sectors to make it so. But, frankly, without the creativity and discipline of business, winning becomes nearly impossible.
It feels good!
Regeneration is about creating something good more than stopping or punishing something bad. It is a positive, "can do" mindset that opens new and creative opportunities for discussion, partnership, and exploration. This positive, inclusive approach, can help us break through some of the log jams that stymie progress today. As Peter Senge has said, "it is far too late for pessimism".
We want to contribute to the world with positive, constructive, open, partnering, sharing strategies. The message of regenerative innovation is that people can, are, and must continue to make the world a better place.
Experts and innovators increasingly speak of a “regenerative” economy, one in which, from beginning to end, the parts of a product can be reused over and over again. It’s also about coming up with new ways of conceiving what a business, a building or a product can be.
“We have been farmers all of our life but only recently have we begun to understand the complexity of the soil ecosystem and the promise that it holds for better crops, healthier food and a more stable environment,”
Let’s say there is a crop that requires you to plant and harvest, but do very little in between. It needs no fertilizing, no weeding, no watering, and it has very few enemies in the form of pests or disease. It gets all it needs from the environment around it and, under optimal conditions, can grow almost six inches a day. It’s healthful for people, and it actually leaves the environment better than it finds it. Who will make it tasty?
Yeah, we feel good! A little James Brown & The Famous Flames performing, "I Feel Good" from the 1965 film, Ski Party which starred Frankie Avalon, should liven up your day.
(Love the line "Don't tell my mother. She still thinks I'm in the Army.")
And, in closing
We are very early in the process of defining what it means to build a regenerative economy (and the terminology may continue to evolve). But we're convinced it is directionally correct. Now we are studying, testing, and building interest, support, and resources.
Thus this newsletter, which will come out weekly with brief observations and links to related materials exploring innovation and the regenerative economy. With effort, and a bit of luck, we hope support for these concepts becomes a wave sweeping the world!
If you find this email valuable, please share with a friend. If you don't, please unsubscribe (link at the bottom.) We also much appreciate comments, advice, and suggestions for links to highlight.