Regenerative development in a nutshell

Regenerative Development is an approach that encourages communities to support and create positive relationships that will benefit society and our environments by allowing the system to evolve and adapt to changing circumstances.

This paradigm emerges from an ecological mindset by embracing uncertainty and change. It moves away from the idea ‘control’ as we cannot predict how systems will evolve. Instead, it learns from nature and understands that diverse strategies acting in unison are key elements to create an adaptable and resilient environment (and development).

Most importantly, it views the world from a holistic perspective. That is, this framework understands that every issue has many interacting factors contributing to it; thus, any attempt to improve the situation must act across different scales and elements.

How is this different from current strategies?

Current development strategies understand the world from a ‘mechanistic’ perspective; that is, the aim is to control the variables. To do so, it breaks apart the systems and deals with one element of the issue in isolation. Afterwards, we are surprised that the issue was not fixed after the intervention.

In general, the same values that drive our economy ‘get more revenue for less work’, drive traditional development strategies ‘do more with less’. As such it is unstable in the long run.

In the video below, Dominique Hes explains the process to move from the traditional paradigm towards regenerative development in the same way that belief evolved from the notion of a ‘flat earth’ to ’round earth’ vision. At the beginning, the idea seems crazy but slowly the idea is increasingly accepted until it becomes the norm.

Seacombe West is a proposed development project that uses the Regenerative Development framework to explore next-practice. Ultimately, this project will add on to case studies that are continuously proving the need to develop differently and to embrace the notion of ‘round-earth development. If you wish to know more about this project, visit the project page where we describe the facilitation process that is allowing this to become Australia’s first Regenerative Development.

A metaphor on Changing Paradigms

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Cristina Hernandez