Why do we need to go beyond sustainability?
Goethe Institute Webinar 1 — Daniel C. Wahl visit to Brazil
Earlier this year — in March — I spent 12 very intense days in Brazil to offer a few talks, workshops and a four day immersive to celebrate that Editora Bambual had translated my book, Designing Regenerative Cultures, into Brazilian Portuguese. I had the good fortune of having Flávia Vivacqua and Taisa Mattos take on the job of organising the whole trip for me. I am deeply grateful to both of them!
Together with Tatyana Lorenz of the Goethe Institute Sao Paulo we co-created the ‘Regenerative Design Cycle’ which started with two webinars before the visit. Below is the recording of the first of them, recorded in January 2019. The webinar was live with simultaneous translation to Portuguese and what’s more simultaneous subtitling! ( There are two short glitches in the sound — only a few seconds!)
dedica-se há mais de 20 anos aos estudos da natureza e dos sistemas ecológicos. Educador e consultor para organizações…
Here a quick taster of what you will find in the webinar:
I start with one of my favourite Goethe quote to highlight what for me is the essence of regeneration:
NATURE! We are surrounded and embraced by her: powerless to separate ourselves from her, and powerless to penetrate beyond her. […] We live in her midst and know her not. She is incessantly speaking to us, but betrays not her secret. We constantly act upon her, and yet have no power over her. […] She has always thought and always thinks […] That which is most unnatural is still Nature; the stupidest philistinism has a touch of her genius. Who so cannot see her everywhere, sees her nowhere rightly. […] The spectacle of Nature is always new, for she is always renewing the spectators. Life is her most exquisite invention; and death is her expert contrivance to get plenty of life. […] She is complete, but never finished.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in T.H. Huxley (1869)
Then I introduce Bill Reed’s and the Regenesis Group’s framework that puts business as usual, green, sustainable, restorative and regenerative into a spectrum — a journey we now need to commit to so we can swiftly move beyond simply doing no damage and start reversing the damage we have done for far too long to the living Earth we depend on and emerged from. We are participants in life as a planetary process.
Then I highlight some larger scale ecosystems regeneration projects like the one on the Loess Plateau in China, the Instituto Terra in Brazil, the work of the Commonland Foundation and their 4 Returns approach. …
I speak about Herbert Girardet’s work on Regenerative Cities which you can look up in this World Future Council document and in is book with the same name. …
I explore the link between cities and their bioregions and the way that using a watershed approach could inform a bioregional regeneration of the whole planet — bioregion by bioregion. …
I highlight the critical relationship between worldview and design and explain why Gaia Education has always taken a four dimensional design based approach to sustainability and regenerative practice. …
Before taking questions for another 20 minutes or so, I share how the diagram below was co-created by a group of Masters in Holistic Science students on September 12th, 2001 as we all tried to ‘make sense’ out of what had happend the day before in New York while we were out exploring Gaia Theory on Dartmoor. The session was help by the Catalan philosopher Jordi Pigem, who guided 9 students along with Brian Goodwin and Stephan Harding in what turned out to be a deepening into essence. I later added a few more details when I created this version below as an illustration for my book.
Let’s redesign the human presence and impact on Earth within the life time of those of us alive today!
Enjoy! … and Share if you feel it might be of interest to others.
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Daniel Christian Wahl — Catalyzing transformative innovation in the face of converging crises, advising on regenerative whole systems design, regenerative leadership, and education for regenerative development and bioregional regeneration.
Author of the internationally acclaimed book Designing Regenerative Cultures