Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Regenerative Development for Breakfast

Bill Reed and Jim Newman came to speak about regenerative development - not just regenerative design, but bringing regenerative concepts into each of our own minds to change the design approach fundamentally. Over a dozen Chapter members and friends came out to hear from these two, based on the work Bill has been doing for many years at Regenesis Group.

Bill's message is fresh and important. The way our society thinks about the world has resulted in a built environment that diminishes our communities. The traditional means of arriving at so-called mutually beneficial results is often through compromise. But compromise is a continuous process of lowering one's standards and expectations. Bill advocates for reconciliation rather than compromise. Reconciliation brings two sides of a situation into harmony, benefiting both sides rather than forcing everyone to tolerate a lesser solution.

He explained how this path for project design and implementation has been used in a variety of locations - in particular a farm community proposed to become residential "ranchettes" which were diminishing three ecosystems. A reconciled design approach resulted in an epiphany moment for the owner team and a design solution that resulted in projected improvements to all parties - better ecology, better community and even better returns to the investors!

Regenesis has worked with private landowners, businesses, schools, governmental organizations and tribal governments across the United States and internationally on everything from land development, community and urban planning, eco-resort and retreat development, education and learning center design, and agricultural land use and stewardship planning. See a sampling of their project case studies here. 

Jim and Bill have agreed to convene on a monthly basis to explore further the concept of regenerative development and the mental shift to embrace ever-bigger wholes to solve problem situations. Stay tuned for an evening program in August!

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