Becoming Regenerative Designers
We enter this new season and look back at 2020, remembering that millions of people in every region of the world have been personally affected by economic loss, health challenges or the loss of loved ones due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our hearts and prayers go out to all of you in these difficult times. Stay strong, we will get through this together.
As we adapt to a new reality, we see before our very eyes what it means to live in a time of transformation and the urgent need for regeneration. The question before us now is how do we manage this transformation to serve our evolutionary potential? And, what are the leverage points to activate the regenerative process needed at this critical time? Ultimately, we will engage with our community in a way that improves and transforms it for the better good. Our whole being is directly connected to this contribution and our yearning to make the world a better place for all. We must never lose sight of our relationships to one another and what we offer to the world, for these elements are as important to a fulfilling life as our material possessions.
Many are experiencing an economic crisis not seen since our great-grandparents’ times, others are suffering a disruption in meeting basic needs like food, medicine and education. Food and medics will keep us alive, but education is the vehicle through which we can attain transformation and regeneration. We must start by assessing who we are, what is at the core of our being, what makes us fiercely unique and how can we develop the unique potential we carry as individuals nested in our environment.
To activate our evolutionary potential we need to tap into our desire to improve the human condition along with that of nature’s ecosystems and the planet itself. We need to see ourselves for what we are: interconnected living organisms in need of nurturing and healing, always conscious of the system we are nested in as a whole. In the words of biomimicry author Janine Benyus, “life creates conditions conducive to life” (Benyus, 2002). And so, we must create the conditions for a regenerative life. One that brings forth our true aspirations, always striving to give the best of ourselves.
One of the most powerful tools that we humans have at our disposal to transform ourselves is our ability to observe our deeply ingrained habits, and reflect on our actions consciously, thus arriving at new thinking about ourselves and our surroundings. This new thinking often brings new ideas and value into our world.
At Gaia Education, we believe that we all have the potential to become regenerative designers. We enter a process of regenerative design in order to create something new. But before we can achieve that we also need to address the “how.” And this is where the regenerative designer comes to life, taking on the re-designing of everything; community, products, systems and processes that will transform our world. In this way, regenerative designers are the stewards and healers of the Earth.
Earth stewardship requires that we get closer to understanding the laws, dynamics and patterns we are nested in. It implies a profound commitment to learning how “nature” works in living systems in order to make better decisions for ourselves and for society as a whole. It help us to make sure that the Earth’s wealth is maintained and passed on across generations. Seen from this perspective, the notion of “wealth” becomes the ability to improve on the wellbeing of all, including ourselves, our communities and the ecosystems we interact with.
And this brings me around to regenerative education. Simply put, we need to develop the ability to better understand ourselves and the world we inhabit and to overcome our tendency to fall back on old habits of thinking and believing. Regenerative education enables us to tap our evolutionary potential and create meaning from what we learn in order to make wise decisions and informed choices based on current reality. This is what guides our work at Gaia Education.
I invite you to adopt a key practice in this process of transformation and regeneration, Keep a journal of your daily reflections and insights, and record what new sense you make of your learning. Track this process over time and discuss it with others. It will have an influence on your life. This is a small part of the inner work that we can do to evolve and transform our lives. In the end, change is only possible through personal transformation. Everyone has a unique role to play in creating a new paradigm. We can change the world, one individual and one community at the time through conscious action.