Regenerative Nest

Photo by Landon Martin on Unsplash

This post is all about exposing my mental model for regenerative concepts and how to incubate regenerative societies in the Regenerative Nest.

While working on my thesis literature review, I was collecting regenerative concepts, synthesizing them and finding overlap from many sources. My brain was constantly trying to organize how these concepts built on each other and related to one another in order to better teach them to undergraduates.

I looked at the LENSES and REGEN models as examples of regenerative tools that could be applied to actual practice. I looked at CLEAR’s Regenerative Development Principles. I scrutinized my framework against the Peter Senge’s 5 Disciplines and Wiek et al’s sustainability competencies for higher education. I even looked back to my own nested systems diagram that was inspired by Kate Raworth’s embedded economy diagram. Finally, I examined a regenerative spa, Playa Viva‘s, Regenerative Concept Map and a diagram from Regenesis Group around a regenerative practitioners three lines of work in their book Regenerative Development and Design: A Framework for Evolving Sustainability to see if my model was missing anything. After much iterating and tweaking I have settled (for the time being) on the following model.

© 2019 Lara Isaacson
© 2019 Lara Isaacson

To interact with this model, you start at the outermost circle and work your way in. The living systems (or ecological) worldview is the foundational element that enables the rest of the work. Then systems thinking guides the practitioner in how to think which leads to the knowledge that cooperation (with careful attention to equity and self-development) is necessary to build a regenerative society. Place literacy in terms of both culture and ecology provide a research foundation for doing the work of putting restoration and co-evolutionary processes into motion. Each layer builds upon the other strengthening and warming the nest so that a thriving future can be created.

This model is meant to be a big broad in order to apply across may disciplines and interdisciplinary projects. This model could be well supplemented with more specific tools such as LENSES from CLEAR or REGEN from USGBC.

The model can also be abstracted as shown below to better see the relationships of each part with the whole. Just like systems of all sizes are nested in and interconnected with each other, so are the concepts of regenerative practice. I hope that this model can be useful in helping other develop their own mental models and that it can help shed light on regenerative concepts.

© 2019 Lara Isaacson

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