I've attended two inspiring regeneration-focused events in the last couple months. Here are some highlights.
In May I went to the Regenerative Future Summit (RFS) hosted by Hunter Lovings and Natural Capitalism Solutions, in Boulder Colorado. The conference had a couple of twists I appreciated. First, there was an underlying strategy document - a memo describing how to bring about a regenerative future called "The Meadows Memo". I'll talk more about it in the next newsletter.
Second, RFS was part traditional conference and part workshop -- presentations and panels were interspersed with working groups. The working groups were intended to inform and co-create the Meadows memo. The groups covered sectors that spanned most of society. (Really - most of society.) Here's the original list of topics:
1. Vibrant, Local Economies 2. Regenerative Agriculture 3. Saving Democracy 4. Create a Climate Economy 5. Measure What Matters 6. Shift Public Opinion 7. Energy 8. Local Food Systems 9. Education 10. Business As a Force for Good 11. Rethink Finance 12. Politics and Government 13. Conscious leadership 15. Mobility 16. Building a Movement for a World that Works for 100% of Humanity 17. City Redesign 18. Equity and Inclusion 19. Affordable Housing and Gentrification 20. Entrepreneurs and Start-ups 21. Communities of Faith
Joking, it occurred to me the only thing missing was "Regenerative Defense", though that topic would probably make for some pretty good conversation!
I participated in the regenerative agriculture discussions and had two insights I plan to build upon. First, the breadth of topics suggests (accurately i think) that a "regenerative philosophy" underlays many sectors of activism. There is a unifying theme connecting otherwise siloed efforts.
Second, that being successful at accelerating regenerative agriculture (or any other sector) will depend on other groups being successful. Agriculture needs transformation in finance, food systems, business, and more to really take off. We really are all in this together.
Inspired by RFS, RASA is helping organize a follow-on event in the Bay Area. We're deliberately reaching out across sectors to talk about if and how to create mutual support and reinforcing practices. Regenerative Future Planning - Bay Area will take place on September 15 in San Francisco. Please sign up if you can attend and share with like minded colleagues.
The 10 finalists were from Babson College, Columbia University, Cornell University, Harvard University, MIT, UC Berkeley, University of Michigan, University of Pennsylvania, University of Virginia, and Yale University. Yale took home the grand prize - $15,000 and a surfing trip to Patagonia's headquarters.
“We threw things into three big buckets: How do we work with farmers in different regions? How do we change cultural values? And how do we deal with the financial aspects of switching to regenerative organic agriculture?”
Vince Siciliano (New Resource Bank), Donna Morton (Change Finance), John Fullerton (Capital Institute) and Woody Tasch (Slow Money) discuss finance in the Regenerative Economy during a panel moderated by Kate Raworth at the 2017 Regenerative Future Summit. (video, 58')
We are very early in the process of defining what it means to build a regenerative economy. While the terminology will continue to evolve, we're convinced the ideas are directionally correct. Now we are studying, testing, plotting, and building interest, support, and resources.
Thus this newsletter, which will come out every few weeks with information about RASA - narrating our work - along 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! Check out the archive to see if this newsletter is right for you (or a friend).
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.
PS's: 1. To subscribe to this weekly newsletter please go here > https://the-wave.ongoodbits.com/ 2. Don't call us spam bro! But you can unsubscribe (with the link at the bottom) 3. This newsletter is a service of RASA, the Regenerative Agriculture Sector Accelerator. 4. Please send questions or suggestions to David Witzel