What would it take to design an inclusive regenerative future?

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4 min readAug 20, 2023

By Dr Dimity Podger

Supercharged by a week designing regenerative enterprise offerings and learning engagements with a team of legends here in Australia !

What is really exciting about this work, is the inherent need to evolve the “tools” of the trade. It’s an adventure for the geek-at-heart: exhilarating because it’s developmental AND because the effects in the world are life giving.

An emerging learning design framework

What I would like to share with you in this post is a framework I have been co-evolving to serve the much-needed developmental work that supports the transition to a regenerative economy.

The framework itself interweaves living system principles, transformational learning design approaches, and earth-human-centred design, with some spice from my education for sustainability days.

Practically, I am working in MURAL, and applying Regenesis Institute for Regenerative Practice frameworks, Carol Sanford frameworks, KAOSPILOT methodologies, as well as practical wisdom.

What is emerging looks and feels and acts like a regenerative learning design system.

What is clear to me is that there is so much potential for raising thinking to a regenerative level in the way we design how we design, with people, for each other and our planet.

Principles to consider when designing regenerative solutions

The following are a few principles I would like to highlight, that have emerged through the work our team did in co-designing WWF-Australia’s Regen Local Learning Lab for place-based regenerative enterprises.

These principles can support you to bring your engagement design to a regenerate level, and the transition from an industrial-colonial-mindset towards a regenerative mindset.

Participants exploring key challenges in transitioning to a regenerative economy and opportunities (Gippsland Local Learning Lab, WWF-Australia, 2022; Image credit: Dimity Podger)
  1. Be community-led and honour agency; you will be building together from foundations and experience
  2. Genuinely centre First Nations wisdom, leadership, culture, Country, voice and perspectives
  3. Deeply connect and surface the potential of place for regeneration for now and into the future
  4. Attend to life-giving opportunities for mutual-value creation and reciprocity with respect to our interrelationship with Nature and one another and supporters across a community
  5. Grow capability in knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes aligned with co-creating regenerative futures
  6. Create conditions for place-based community-led regeneration throughout your engagement, giving thought to supporters, partners, guides, and so on, who are in the system.

An invitation to continue the evolution

The next few weeks will involve an ongoing iteration and evolution of the “system” to support the design of developmental engagements that are regenerative across domains — business, policy, education, health, urban development, economic, conferences, meetings, etc.

For now, these are the aims I have in mind:

  • Continue to make visible the layers of the system (from my direct audience through to through broader system) in learning design
  • Strengthen the approach to identifying and highlighting the opportunities and potential for mutual value creation throughout a system (eg. capability, mindset, motivation, outcomes)
  • Utilise the framework to develop regenerative thinking capacities and mindsets by co-designing with others using the system
  • Evolve it towards a framework that supports the evolution of all engagements, including how business is designed and generates value
  • Grow who I am to be able to serve what is emerging.
Beginning with a Welcome to Country and Walk on Kurnai Country led by Kurnai Elder, Cheryl Drayton, Kurnai Nation (Gippsland Local Learning Lab, WWF-Australia, 2022; Image credit: Dimity Podger)

Would you like to nerd out with me on this?

I would love to do this with others. If this sounds like your thing and you would like to nerd out with me on this via a regenerative thinking partner frame, drop me a note in the comments.

This may be of interest to you if you are KAOSPILOT trained learning designer, a Regenesis Institute for Regenerative Practice alumni, a co-design specialist, system leader, place-based change practitioner, social innovator, L&D human, people & culture leader, service designer.

You can read more insights in to what it takes to build an inclusive regenerative future for Australia in this WWF-Australia blog post, written by the Innovate to Regenerate Team and collaborators: https://wwf.org.au/blogs/what-would-it-take-to-build-an-inclusive-regenerative-future-for-australia/

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baha’i-inspired global learning community, accompanying individuals and groups, to transform business + economy contributing to a prosperous civilization