Tools for the Regenerative Renaissance

A new 6-week better-than-free scalable course funded by SEEDS, the regenerative currency, to help onboard civil society onto open-source, decentralised platforms and practices

RenaissanceU
Jan 18 · 5 min read

Article by Phoebe Tickell

I’m excited to share about a course I will be contributing to this coming year, starting on February 10th. The course is called Tools for the Regenerative Renaissance, will be 6 weeks long, and connects the dots between regenerative food systems, regenerative education, new money systems, collective and cooperative business models, radically distributed governance and the power of community and collective imagination 🌟. Applications close in 3 days!

Shifting to regenerative practices

I think for a while, I’ve thought that the shift to using regenerative practices, ethical, open-source, decentralised platforms and technology and radically imaginative and co-creative governance and ways of working will just happen, as a matter of time.

And it’s true, we can see it happening — just last week we saw millions of people flock to messaging platforms Telegram and Signal over Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger. This is due to rising concerns about what companies like Facebook do with user data, and the power big tech companies have in ways we are less and less able to control.

As people discover more about the tools, platforms and practices we call ‘normal’, many start to look for alternatives. I think back to how long it took me to discover these practices and tools, and how much active searching, experimentation and testing it took over the years.

A platform to support the shift

During the first weeks of the pandemic, my friend Stephen Reid and I were reflecting on how quickly things changed and how many things we used to consider ‘normal’ shifted in a matter of weeks. Airports shut and a mass grounding of flights reduced CO2 emissions by up to 60%. In week one of the pandemic, the government pledged £3.2m to local authorities to house people who were either sleeping on the streets or thought to be at high risk of sleeping rough during the pandemic.

We were aware a lot of these changes would not last, and that lasting change takes systemic level transformation. The different part of the system have to be connected, and talk to each other. We wanted to make it really easy for people to access and see these regenerative tools, practices and platforms together — for the movement they create together.

So we created this platform in May 2020: Don’t Go Back To Normal. It’s a simple open library that collects and curates these tools and allows people to add their alternatives, like a wiki. We created a website template and made the code open-source so anyone else around the world could replicate it for their local context. Here is the video of our launch event in June, and a panel hosted at Harvard Berkman Klein Center:

A 6-week course open to everyone

In the Autumn, the open library was picked up by SEEDS community and regenerative cyptocurrency (https://joinseeds.com/), and we were invited to submit a proposal for a grant of 2.5m SEEDS (about $50k at current prices) from the SEEDS community to develop the platform into a six-week online course for 100 people from across the globe called Tools for the Regenerative Renaissance. This will be offered by a decentralised university called RenaissanceU.

We will prioritise applications from marginalised people who experience discrimination and disadvantage — indigenous people, migrants and refugees, people of colour and people applying from less privileged backgrounds. All applications will be considered.

The really exciting thing is that we are using the bulk of that funding to pay people to study it! The bulk of the grant will be used to reward participants that complete all assignments (15,000 SEEDS, approx $300, ~$50/session). This is roughly 10x the registration fee for the course (which has three tiers $10/30/60). A number of zero fee scholarship places are also available on request. Fill out the short application before 20th January (Wednesday!).

Rieki Cordon (Ecosystem Facilitator at Hypha, the organisation leading the development of SEEDS) is working with us to co-design the course.

The course will explore all the tools that we know of (and are ready) to serve us today in organizing locally, directly and immediately to build a new type of civilisation, and build a community of people around it. Each session will involve a guest expert and facilitator from each subject area.

Schedule and course details

The schedule can be found here:

  • Week 1: Introduction
  • The Regenerative Renaissance
  • Week 2: Regenerative Agriculture & Thriving Local Economies
  • Permaculture, Open Food, Community Supported Agriculture, Circular Systems & P2P energy
  • Week 3: Regenerative Money
  • SEEDS, Celo, Circles, Cobudget & Aragon
  • Week 4: Decentralised Organising and Horizontal Leadership
  • Teal, Sociocracy, Holacracy, Enspiral & Loomio
  • Week 5: Co-operative Ownership
  • Platform Co-operatives, Purpose Organisations & Dandelion
  • Week 6: Wrap up
  • Reflection and Next Steps

The course will take place on six consecutive Wednesdays starting on the new moon in February (10 Feb, 17 Feb, 24 Feb, 3 Mar, 10 Mar, 17 Mar), 6–8pm UK time/7pm CET. The typical schedule for a session will look like:

  • Part 1 (55m): Overview, background/history, theory. Led by the facilitators, with the possibility of breakout groups towards the end of the time.
  • 10m break
  • Part 2 (55m). Conversation with a guest expert followed by Q&A

Each week the 100 participants will receive ‘homework’ which will consist of tasks such as:

  • Signing up to and playing with one or more apps/services
  • Watching a screenshare walkthrough video
  • App-related tasks e.g. participate in a Loomio decision, make a SEEDS transaction
  • Reading articles on theory/background
  • Watching videos/films

Graduation will be subject to participants completing the following:

  • Keeping a learning log reflecting on the user experience of featured apps and drawing out key messages of featured articles/videos
  • Recording and sharing at least one sensemaking conversation with a small number of other participants on the course (this could be a post-course reflection)

Applications and registration

Applications are now open. Successful applicants pay a registration fee in Seeds (S500/1500/3000 low income/standard/abundant, which is approximately $10/30/60). A number of zero fee scholarship places are also available on request.

As I said above, we will prioritise applications from marginalised people who experience discrimination and disadvantage — indigenous people, migrants and refugees, people of colour and people applying from less privileged backgrounds. And all participants who complete all assignments receive 15,000 Seeds (approx $300, ~$50/session) at the end of the course.

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Phoebe Tickell — Narratives, complexity, systems. Catalyzing transformative innovation in the face of converging crises, advising on complexity approaches, systems design, regenerative leadership, and education for regenerative development.

Tools for the Regenerative Renaissance

Exploring the present and near-future of the Regenerative Renaissance

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