On September 15, Regenerative Future Planning – Bay Area brought together 70 people engaged in efforts to create a regenerative future – one that protects the planet while improving the lives of the beings (people & otherwise!) living on it. The event was co-produced by 10 Bay Area based organizations working in agriculture, finance, business and media.

Our desired outcomes were to strengthen the local network across sectors, refine our shared language, better understand each other’s efforts, identify opportunities to collaborate, and discuss approaches for future coordination.

David McConville of Buckminster Fuller Institute shared a big picture overview of regeneration in literature and design. Jeff Hohensee of Natural Capital Solutions shared conclusions and next steps from the recent Regenerative Future Summit in Boulder, CO. After each short talk we split into breakout groups to discuss frameworks for regenerativity, and practices for building community in our industries. 

Plans are now in the works for a next gathering!

I had a wonderful time meeting new people and was inspired at how many people are thinking about regenerativity in their industries and across society as a whole. I also had a productive lunch date afterward with Susan Silber, the director of the NorCal Community Resilience Network, about nonhierarchical governance design and media production. I’ve heard many other groups had similarly fruitful post event networking lunches.

​I had the honor of giving an end of session summary, and suggesting what next steps this group of people can take together to maximize mutual support: What am I hearing?

​I had the honor of giving an end of session summary, and suggesting what next steps this group of people can take together to maximize mutual support:

What am I hearing?

  • A pattern I’m hearing is difficulty of scale (subsequent Facebook discussion brought up “the network power of the richly interconnected, federated small” -Gil Friend, and “local adaptive propagation” -Michelle Holliday).
  • A tension between changing or enrolling the existing structures, and creating new ones. There seem to be significant resources and attention tied up in this dilemma.
  • The importance of accessible narratives that help us achieve our goals and infiltrate existing systems and industries with regenerativity.
  • The need to redefine capital. For example, how do we include regenerative indicators in the accounting?
  • The intersection of environmental and social justice is a high leverage point

What are our next steps? / What should we do to create mutual support among this group of people?

  • Support indigenous peoples’ autonomy and leadership, from however you can in your industry. For example defense of intact large carbon sinks.
  • Stay connected. Reach out to people you resonated with today and have a coffee date or a phone call soon.
  • Contribute to re-localizing production.
    • A need I heard is for a consulting service for people/projects who are in the middle zone of receiving finance (i.e. they don’t quite fit existing systems for getting the capital boost they need to contribute regenerativity at scale). Connect the dots of existing consultancies, foundations, funding and advisory mechanisms.
    • Future event idea: finance models for regenerative endeavors, and transforming existing finance structures. Living Economy Advisors in LA is convening an event on this soon.
  • Keep protoyping. Demonstrate what looks like a fantastic well-prepared alternative.
  • Future event idea: How can we influence large organizations to do things a different way?
  • Listen for bottom up solutions from existing local groups, rather than telling them what to do. “Start a coordinated ripple effect” instead of “boom we’re going to intervene”.
  • “Watch for the solar systems and gravitational pulls so we can orbit around each other” – David McConville
  • Participate in creating a global network to be stronger together
    • Coordinate the full stack – systems design, on the ground work, messaging, policy, and “influence the power players”.
    • Get involved with a working group from the Regenerative Future Summit
    • Bloom Network is hosting an internationally coordinated conference + action day on regenerative solutions. The first will be in July 2018 in SF. Get in touch with Magenta if you’d like to collaborate. Bloom’s local chapter networks across the world is an infrastructure we can utilize to help scale regenerative practice across sectors.
    • Think with your heart and embodied intelligence, and tap into the collective mind of this group of people. To feel the next moves you can make for highest leverage. Our existing infrastructures are not built to support regenerative, cross-sector coordination, so we have to hold each others’ hands to open up the pathways for connecting resources in novel ways.

More next steps people suggested:

  • There’s a New Zealand visa available for people to innovate on regeneration – it’s called GIVES – global impact visa – 3 year, no minimum stay, no education requirements. It’s a fast track to residency and a passport.
  • Share elevator pitches of what regeneration is.
  • A next event could give people a deeper look into how specific industries are looking at regeneration.

I’ll close this blog with a fantastic graphic summary from Amanda Ravenhill of BFI:

Thank you to the co-producing organizations of this gathering: RASA: Regenerative Agriculture Sector Accelerator, San Francisco Permaculture GuildLift EconomyRegenerative Agriculture FoundationHummingbird LabsInquiring Systems IncBloom NetworkNew Resource BankThe Determined and Green World Ventures.

Blog post by
Magenta Ceiba, Bloom Bay Area, executive director of Bloom Network