RESTORATION & REGENERATION
Regeneration is emerging as humanity’s transformative response to the converging ecological, economic, and social crises we are facing.
Regeneration is - to put it as simply as possible - the replenishing, restoring and preservation of every ecosystem’s integrity - a unit or a whole. To better be able to create and implement regenerative practices and systems, we ought to think like an ecosystem interdependent on other ecosystems. In short, for one ecosystem to thrive, it needs to make sure other ecosystems are thriving a well.
In itself, regeneration thinking and regenerative systems are as ancient as the first life form - microorganisms, plants and insects establishing symbiotic or mutualistic relationships. We’ve structured our mind to think inside a man-made system independent of and disconnected from the world we inhabit and depend on. Building regenerative cultures anywhere requires a fundamental shift in the way we view the world and think about our place in it.
To this, Indigenous’ cosmovision - or worldview - can act as a framework to re-imagining and rethinking our Relationships. Indigenous people think of their health and well-being as being interdependent on the vibrancy of their family unit, community, natural environment and less tangible assets such as traditions and spirituality. They view their place as nested in, as being part of, as being an active participant in a greater web of life that sustain their health and ways of life. They do understand that if one element of their worldview is out of balance, it will affect them.
from CONVENTIONAL to green to RESTORATIVE to regenerative … what’s the path?
It is undeniable that - albeit for a few game changers - regenerative thinking, development and systems are loaded with challenges, much bigger than transforming from conventional to green and from green to sustainable, let alone for those organizations still struggling to meet societies’ minimum social and environmental standards. The change, as radical as it sounds is actually very “human” for it starts within, exploring how our belief systems, thinking patterns and mindset. Ultimately, it requires to be more cognizant of the environment in which we operate and how we relate to it. It requires to develop the tools to assess whether this environment and our place and role in it are aligned with your purpose, principles and values so they can become positive drivers of your organization.
When we start being mindful of the harm our human activities are causing to our living systems, we consciously start looking for ways to do less harm, to do better. The best example is when your organization chooses products that do not contain toxic chemicals or are made of 100% recyclables. This process allows for an exploration of our that may lead to a greater awareness of a product life-cycle inside an ecosystem.
You may also realize that although you believe your organization is sourcing its material responsibly, you may actually know very little about the humans and communities at the other end of your supply chain; and when you do explore that relationship and acknowledge the challenges they face, it may open a realm of co-creativity and co-evolution that are both restorative and regenerative - think of access to clean water and education for girls.
And yet, the greatest impact leaders have today - both in terms of innovation and capacity building is how they assess their organization’s success and the role internal and external relationships play in achieving it. Carol Sanford in her latest book Regenerative Business takes us on a discovery journey of working systems and the humans who make, use and inhabit them. Unsurprisingly, she points to many flaws in old systems that have to do with how we relate to one another and to the world around us (mechanical - behavioral - human-centered - living-systems).
The journey we wish to take you on is one of exploration purpose - values - principles - culture and from there to support you in designing restorative and regenerative activities and programs that will make you and your organization unique and a driving force for systemic change.