In this paper we outline the foundational thinking behind our Regenerative Futures programme. We explore what ‘regenerative’ means, why it is an important topic for anyone interested in social, economic or environmental change, and we lay out what the RSA’s work aims to achieve in this space.
What does it mean to be ‘regenerative’?
- We find that far from simply being a new piece of jargon, regeneration, when used in its fullest sense, marks a fundamental shift in thinking and action in the arenas of environmental, economic and social change.
- It is grounded in a living systems view of the world and recognises the interdependence of the challenges we are facing today, across climate change, social and economic inequality and environmental degradation.
- We describe regenerative as both
- A mindset, a way of seeing the world, which is long rooted in many cultures, religions and wisdom traditions around the globe, but which is less present in dominant economic and social systems today.
- And as an emerging paradigm, which looks to deepen notions of sustainability to take a holistic approach to addressing the challenges of our time.
- We describe how and why taking a living systems approach to these challenges can unlock new ways forward and we offer 8 Design Principles which can support these ideas to be put into practice.
The RSA Regenerative Futures programme
- This paper forms the foundation of the Regenerative Futures programme at the RSA. This programme of work supports a vision of the world where people and communities to manifest their potential to be sources of health and regeneration for all life on earth.
- The programme aims to bring people and ideas together to show what a regenerative future could look, act and feel like.
- It aims to do this through building awareness, building capabilities and demonstrating change in practice.
- The programme builds on the RSA’s experience of taking pioneering approaches social and environmental challenges, across projects like the Great Recovery, the Citizens Economic Council and the Food, Farming and Countryside Commission.
This paper examines where in the UK ‘decarbonisation dynamics’ could be most acutely felt and highlights areas at risk of being left behind.