Updated: Mar 3
By Claire Wild
Since launching the Trans-Tasman Regen Roundtable alongside Matt Sykes in late 2020, I’ve been fortunate to meet some outstanding regen leaders and embark on some challenging and exciting conversations about what is - and isn’t - regenerative development.
Regeneration is about recognising that the challenges facing society are messy and interconnected, and can’t be solved in isolation. So, we need to transform the whole system - with all its complexity and all its mess. This approach is brilliant in theory, but overwhelming in practice.
To make sense of this, it can be helpful to consider the balance of perfection and progress.
Perfection is when our global society calls on our rich diversity and collective strength to drive the change we need for a just and equitable world. However, humans can be ego-driven, biassed, short-sighted and resistant to change. These barriers can leave perfection feeling overwhelming and out of reach, causing any aspirations towards regenerative development to stall.
Progress is a less sexy form of regeneration, but is an important step in the right direction. It finds ways for regenerative development to happen alongside egos, bias, short-sightedness and change resistance. Progress doesn’t mean we need to give up on perfection; instead, it accounts for where we are now, and finds the big, and small, steps we can take towards regeneration.
To progress regeneration, it can be helpful for regen leaders to consider the following questions:
How far along the path towards regeneration are you and your community?
What level of change is your community ready for? What are they not ready for?
What barriers might prevent regeneration in your community? How can you reduce these barriers?
Given where you’re at, what level of change you’re ready for, and the barriers you face: what does a step in the right direction look like?
Change is hard, messy, and non-linear. Some pockets of the regeneration world are ready for the big leaps towards perfection; others are just taking their first steps. The important thing is to move in the right direction.