• Matt Sykes

2020 Scorecard - Measuring Regeneration

By Matt Sykes

This year I set off on a journey, one that connected me with some of the world’s most progressive business leaders, and I didn’t even have to leave my home. Such has been the curious nature of 2020. In so many ways, the confinement of COVID lockdown was exactly what I needed to incubate Regeneration Projects.

But how did it begin?

When work trips to Sweden and Queensland were cancelled it became a sudden line in the sand. Simultaneously, a conversation with a colleague who had just lost her job quickly sparked a new direction. For nearly 6 months, I’d been chipping away at the edges of a business focused on Regeneration, but it was still floating. So, when Daisy flagged a competition being held by the UN World Tourism Organisation, I saw it as a way to really pin it down. The concept was to propose a regenerative framework which businesses could use to re-emerge after COVID. Why not seize the silver lining and embed a ‘net benefit’ ethos into businesses, industries and the economy as a whole? But it can't just be talk.

Building the business

Here we are nine months later. When I reflect from an operations point of view here’s the basic flow … For three months I laid the foundations, launched a website and social media. Next, I started piloting with established connections in tourism, conservation, design, purpose-driven business and cross-cultural education. And during Spring, partnerships became RP’s mantra, which was based on the understanding that Regeneration starts from the soil and that means cultivating symbiotic relationships with other changemakers. (Summer’s focus will be systems)

The challenge becomes when financial capital doesn’t flow, i.e. during a recession, how do you measure your performance? That question is at the heart of RP and it’s the question that the whole business community needs to properly contemplate over the End of Year break.

Measuring Regenerative business performance

Through the first half of Regeneration Year RY20/21, we’ve worked with clients around the world to better identify, measure and communicate the impacts of their products and services. In essence, that means analysing a business through our five pillars of Regeneration - Community, Nature, Culture, Trade and Stories. From a startup and small business perspective, The Other Straw’s 2019 -2020 Impact Report is a prime example. The 1-page Scorecard on the second last spread was a spin out of their Regen Roadmap business coaching journey. From a more established organisation perspective, in this case a not-for-profit, I’ve been working with The Thin Green Line Foundation to embed regenerative principles into their 5-year strategy. This has involved extensive collaboration with their Managing Director, GM and Chairman as well as strategy sessions with their Board. While the final elements come together, check out their new Annual Report. RP is also negotiating with leaders of Victorian hot springs and bathing tourism with the goal of establishing an industry group, and standards that will include regenerative principles. So, that’s a glimpse of the stack, we’re working across different scales of the economy to use Regeneration as a different way for way businesses to grow.

Now of course, come the end of the year, the team at RP was excited to reflect on our own performance. So, here's how we see it. Take a look and let us know what you think. We wanted to step back and really consider how our work relates especially to Melbourne and its surrounding ecosystems and communities. Our blueprint-inspired '2020 Scorecard' is now a baseline for our transition beyond Sustainability (harm minimisation) and into a bold future of Regeneration, defined by increasing net benefit and thriving.

Thank you for sharing the journey so far, enjoy the break and be ready for 2021!

You can checkout our Scorecard here:

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