Most of today’s sustainability efforts, while commendable and of critical importance, are based in a mindset of reducing negative environmental and social impacts caused by human behavior. We have an opportunity, if not a pressing need, to move beyond a mindset of being “less bad.”
Our goal is to build capacity and capability in people, communities, and other natural systems to renew, evolve, and thrive.
A fundamental requirement of regenerative work is that we constantly regenerate our own thinking, comprehension, and connection to the health of living systems as a whole. Strengthening our ability to sense what is emergent, what is essential, and where potential exists, enables us to evolve ourselves, our communities, and all living systems in the present moment and into the future.
The practice of leading regenerative development calls for a diverse and expansive set of capabilities around four core practice areas: Systems Actualizing, Framework Thinking, Developmental Facilitating, and Living Systems Understanding.
01 Systems Actualising
Systems Actualising is the process of awakening the regenerative capability embodied in all living systems to create increasing levels of vitality, viability, and capacity to evolve within the systems they are a part of.
A fundamental requirement of this work is that we constantly regenerate our own thinking, strengthening our ability to sense what is emergent, what is essential, and where potential exists, which in turn, enables us to evolve ourselves, our communities, and other living systems.
02 Framework Thinking
Why frameworks? We cannot think without them. Our Framework is a process guidance framework that consists of three lenses. Each lens, and the whole framework together, has a specific purpose, process, and intended outcome. Using a Framework helps practitioners organise and order their thinking, and to design subsequent actions within the context of their project or work.
03 Developmental facilitating
Developmental facilitating is a dynamic and adaptive process for helping groups evolve their sense of purpose and their ability to realize potential together.
Developmental Facilitating is a dynamic and adaptive process that creates opportunities for groups to transform their thinking and understanding and to grow their capacity to realize potential together. The medium is often through events and meetings, but the point is to catalyse an ongoing developmental process that has the ability and generates the will to endure and evolve over time. Developmental facilitators identify what to focus on, how to evolve individual and collective thinking, create and hold space for group transformation, lead divergent and convergent thinking, and help establish systems for action planning and ongoing management.
Effective Developmental Facilitating results in deep caring and shared commitment toward realizing potential. The will and ability to realise potential is generated through co-creating new thoughts, experiences, and connections.
04 Living System Understanding
Living systems understanding enables us to see where and how to engage, based on life’s principles.
Working from an understanding of living systems aligns our efforts with the principles and reality of how life actually works. Such understanding aligns work efforts with the basic patterns and tenants of all life and enables a greater capacity to see where to intervene and how to transform the human relationship with living systems. The integrity and wisdom of living systems is at the heart of the evolutionary processes, which, in turn, is the heart of regenerative practice.
At its core, regenerative practice is about coming into attunement with the life world through understanding and being able to work within the larger context in which we exist. In this way, Living Systems Understanding informs and nourishes regenerative practice. A significant aspect of Living Systems Understanding is a heightened understanding of how life is constantly patterned and engaged in nested systems. Living systems thinking is a discipline for seeing wholes. It is a framework for seeing interrelationships rather than things, for seeing patterns of change rather than static “snapshots.” Systems thinking is a sensibility — for the subtle interconnectedness that gives living systems their unique character. When we see life and patterns in systems, we can co-create new patterns and enhance life.