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  • benjaminnewman01

Mod. 1.3 - Leaders Q&A

Assume you are in a leadership role and want to share what you are learning with the people that you lead. How would you answer the questions listed below if they asked them?

  • What is Regenerative Thinking?

  • What are some examples or applications of Regenerative Thinking?

  • Why is Regenerative Thinking important for our future?

  • In what ways might you Lead for Regenerative Sustainability?


I think one way to define Regenerative Thinking is to say it’s a philosophy or worldview that asks humans to look at themselves and the natural world around them as being in relationship with one another. And, in the same way that we give time to, and protect, the relationships that we care most about, we would do the same for the natural world. It means being considerate of and being intentional in our personal behaviors and habits in the same ways we are with our professional work, our partners, children and closest friends. And this practice is underpinned by the idea that the future success of the planet requires that humans realize the earth is not an unlimited pool of resources from which to extract, but rather, an active agent and teacher of life-making from which we have so much to discover and learn.

One example of how Regenerative Thinking is applied is called biomimicry, which is the practice of imitating the processes and systems found in nature in one’s work. Many of us learned about some of nature’s peculiar symbiotic relationships in school, such as crocodiles and the plover bird. The crocodile opens its giant jaws and the plover bird picks the food out of the crocodile’s teeth, thus cleaning its teeth and simultaneously feeding the plover. We see this type of practice imitated in metaphors like “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander” and applied in business relationships all the time.

Regenerative Thinking is important for our future because it goes beyond ecological and environmental sustainability practices and asks humans to become real partners and co-creators of the planet’s future by investing in and learning from nature’s ways of operating to create regenerative models that don’t just conserve the planet as it is, but work in alignment and in tandem with the planet to help it flourish in the ways it has for thousands of years.

One way I try to lead for Regenerative Sustainability is through my daily commitment to actively look for and pursue new information about Regenerative Sustainability that I can apply to my personal and professional life. The crazy thing is, once you begin doing it, you begin to see the lessons are all around us. We are constantly interacting with nature’s systems and we don’t even realize it. I try to use as much of my lunch break every day to get out for a walk. Sometimes I will put on music or a podcast that is separate from my work to help clear my head, but often I will just wander or stop and look at something that catches my attention and let myself study what’s happening for a few minutes. Whether it’s trees blossoming in the spring or squirrels chasing each other around trees, or even how a city’s architecture creates wind tunnels. There’s so much to learn from our world as it is right now that not only reminds us of how we interact with our environment on a daily basis, but how much we have to learn and realize that we are co-creators of the future with the natural world.

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