The future doesn’t just happen, it’s up to us to create it. As we face the challenges of climate change, inequality and environmental degradation, we know to simply sustain is not enough. We want to see a world where people and communities harness their potential to be sources of health and regeneration for all life on earth. Because people and planetary needs are intertwined, our problem solving should be too. We need to regenerate.
The RSA has been at the forefront of significant social impact for over 260 years. From championing early smokeless combustion technology to hosting the influential Food, Farming and Countryside Commission.
And it is our intention to stay another 260. But to do so, we must face our current planetary crisis head on, and bring together the skill sets of our community to help shape an equitable future where all of us can thrive as part of the Earth’s ecology.
The Regenerative Futures programme brings people and ideas together to show how this could look, act and feel, through building awareness and capability and demonstrating in practice. We invite you to be part of this change.
We are exploring 5 key entry points for change.
Today, product lifecycles, from materials extraction to consumption and disposal, are linear and drive waste, pollution and poor labour conditions.
What if tomorrow, the materials and products flowing through our lives were regenerative?
Today, despite a need for widespread collaboration for change, grassroots movements don’t always have the resources, power or capabilities to reach the tipping point needed for wider change.
What if tomorrow, we were able to build and grow movements towards a regenerative future?
Today, citizens are seen as only able to make change in fashion through individual buying choices. Their potential to be innovators and to influence and drive wider change remains unrealised.
What if tomorrow, we each had greater agency to shape our lives and the systems around us?
Today, our economy is underpinned by a financial system that prioritises growth to the detriment of other forms of value on which both humans and the living world rely.
What if tomorrow, our financial system supported a holistic view of a thriving world?
Today, having invested in a narrow definition of leadership, our leaders are not equipped with the capabilities needed to work with 21st century systems.
What if tomorrow, changemakers led with ambition towards a regenerative future?
How we got here
Human activity since the Industrial Revolution has put growing pressure on our planet, leading to environmental degradation.
As awareness of these challenges spread, we sought to ‘do less harm’ to the planet.
Now we seek to learn from Earth’s living systems and look to a regenerative future.
Regenerative projects in action
This positioning paper explores ways in which taking a regenerative approach can help address the complex challenges of today. It looks ways in which we can re-think our relationship with the planet and build a healthy ecosystem, as an interconnecting whole across environment, society and economy. It forms the foundation of the Regenerative Futures programme at the RSA.