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The Regenerative Communities Network (RCN) was launched as an urgent response to the Anthropocene — and the declaration of a Planetary Emergency by the Club of Rome and others. We need a profound response to:
The members of the RCN are place-sourced initiatives at large landscape (bioregional), ecological megaregion, or small nation-scale working to build community-designed regenerative economies.
The RCN is currently being incubated as a project of the Capital Institute and was publicly launched in October 2018 with seven members. It is supported by a Global Team of Systems Conveners while it continues to move towards self-governance.
A mosaic of place-sourced, diverse, and regenerative economies linked across scales.
The RCN is a global learning and action network designed to support place-sourced transformation towards regenerative economies.
Watersheds, bioregions, and ecoregions are the natural units of regeneration.
They are where geologic reality and human culture intersect. They are large enough to function as living systems, yet small enough that we can know them intimately.
We need to name and connect isolated regenerative efforts within each bioregion, then nourish them to become strong and integrated. Any one bioregional initiative seems audacious; connected together these initiatives become powerful and inevitable.
We need to rapidly apply and test principles of regenerative economics at human scale so they can be applied in policy and practice at all scales.
How can we design economies that are fundamentally in the service of life?
The RCN is trying to open spaces for deep transformation at multiple levels: individual leaders, organizations, ecosystems of organizations, networks, bioregions, and ultimately linked, multi-scale action networks.
Our current hypothesis is that the Principles of Regenerative Economics, particularly reframed as strategic questions, can serve as a visionary map for place-based transformation, and support a generative process of unfolding rather than a divisive closing of dialogue. You can read more about these principles here.
During its design process and through ongoing co-creation with members in its network, the RCN has identified 8 key dimensions or work streams for regeneration. These work streams are being activated at all levels of scale and from a wide range of perspectives, within the RCN and through many other networks and initiatives.
These 8 dimensions can be activated roughly in sequence. As increasing levels of regenerative capacity are achieved in each dimension, a powerful cycle of regeneration is unleashed: systemic, transformative leadership supported by regenerative education in practical areas; increasing ability to sense, tell stories about, and map the bioregion from a systems perspective illuminating key interventions; design, planning, and evaluation of proposed projects and initiatives; and resourcing of these projects and initiatives with financial, social, cultural, natural, and other forms of multi-capital abundance.
Once all eight dimensions are activated and a complete cycle of learning and action occurs, additional transformational cycles can occur, with system-wide reflection on the process and outcomes.
The members of the RCN are bioregional or other place-based (e.g. ecological megaregions, megacities, small nations), collaborative action initiatives working together to create regenerative economies and undertake regenerative development within their chosen area.
The RCN recognizes its limited and partial perspectives. As Arturo Escobar so powerfully articulates in Design for the Pluriverse, we are working to preserve a world in which many worlds are possible, which requires a commitment to a diversity of worldviews, languages, cultures, and living beings. The RCN is one articulation of inquiries, models, and forms of knowledge that have ancient roots across diverse indigenous cultures.
The RCN is committed to learning from all actors in place-sourced transformation and in supporting each member in the network to do the same in its unique cultural and historical context. These actors particularly include those who have suffered from colonialism, trauma, and marginalization, and their leadership is essential, their voices must be heard and their initiatives properly resourced.