Author Archives: martin brown

Regen Notes 2

Welcome to Regen Notes, a fortnightly newsletter of regenerative news, stories and more, with a focus on the built environment, curated by Martin Brown. (This post originally released on 19th January) Follow and subscribe to Regen Notes here


On a recent tutored session the question “What is it you need to know right now’? was posed. And it is a great question. In particular, what is it we need to know right now to enable the built environment to progress on climate and ecological crisis matters, as we head towards COP26, other 2021 milestones and beyond to 2030? 


It is indeed a question many are now asking and many seeking to provide answers to. The recently launched Climate Framework is seeking to break down silos and establish common ground, define a common language, and identify the holistic knowledge and skills every built environment professional must be equipped with to deliver truly sustainable built environments today and in the future.


There is a resonance here with Rob Hopkins in the Transition Handbook, over 10 years ago. foreseeing a great upskilling in the built environment. Something we are still waiting for. Rob Hopkins continues to inspire on “What If” questions – with his latest podcast asking the question What if rewrote our national curriculum based on permaculture principles? By now, as Rob Hopkins notes, on a journey into ‘From What If to What Next’, it is clear that one of the key things in our world in 2021 that needs reimagining is our education system.

During a series of ‘new normal’ Specifi talks during 2019, I asked the question: What if every MEP trade course started with teaching Ecology 101? It is now clear that building designs will look for more and more nature-based solutions, yet do we understand how nature works?


Prince Charles launched Terra Carta, For Nature, People & Planet, with The Sustainable Markets Initiative at the One Planet Summit on the 11th January in Paris, seeking to, amongst other aims ‘broaden the definition of sustainability, beyond simply a net-zero transition, to be inclusive of Nature, People, Planet, Equality and Prosperity’ “Humanity has made incredible progress over the past century, yet the cost of this progress has caused immense destruction to the planet that sustains us. We simply cannot maintain this course indefinitely.”

As reported in the Guardian, a coalition of more than 50 countries has committed to protecting almost a third of the planet by 2030 to halt the destruction of the natural world and slow extinction of wildlife. The High Ambition Coalition (HAC) for Nature and People, which includes the UK and countries from six continents, pledged to protect at least 30% of the Planet’s land and oceans before the One Planet Summit.

Yet the concept of connectivity with nature is something on which we have differing levels of understanding. Miles Richardson and colleagues at Derby University Nature Connectedness Research Group, have launched a free online MOOC course. Made up of eight short units, it provides an opportunity to learn about Nature Connectedness and the value of having a strong relationship with nature. 


Earthday 2021 is ramping up its planned activities and celebrations on April 22nd with over 1 billion participants. When life around the globe returns to normal, our world cannot return to business-as-usual. Our global community has been shocked by the largest global crisis in a generation. COVID-19 has shown us the necessity of thinking ahead, but the next crises are already on their way. Climate change, species loss, pandemics and massive natural disasters might define the future unless we do something now. We have the solutions, both natural and technological, we just need the will.


If we need a reminder wake-up graphic, Ed Hawkins, (of warming stripes) supplied just that with a tweeted global temperature variations image. The thread of this tweet makes great reading for making sense of past warming with additional input (videos and comments) from Katharine Hayhoe. Ed Hawkins @ed_hawkinsGlobal temperature variations over the last 2020 years January 17th 20214,604 Retweets9,053 Likes


Earlier in the week, again on Twitter, Oliver Baldock asked another important question “Anyone have any / know of anyone who has techniques for getting clients to adopt low embodied carbon targets on their project. I’m looking into barriers which are slowing the tackling of embodied carbon in construction and would love to discuss! (and this is another great thread to read) Oliver Baldock @ollie_baldockAnyone have any / know of anyone who has techniques for getting clients to adopt low embodied carbon targets on their project. I’m looking into barriers which are slowing the tackling of embodied carbon in construction and would love to discuss! @ArchitectsCAN @archdeclareJanuary 13th 20216 Retweets23 Likes

My response here is to look at who is doing the carbon reduction approach well, at a client level, a contractor level and external to the built environment. We can look, for example at British Lands Net Zero carbon strategy, at Baxall Construction’s approach to monitoring and reducing carbon at construction level, (NFB Major Contractors Carbon Report pg 23) and externally to BrewDog’s carbon policy and their Make Earth Great Again programme.Martin Brown @fairsnape@ollie_baldock @ArchitectsCAN @archdeclare Make it financially attractive to reduce carbon – as British Land net-zero carbon strategy … 1/3January 14th 20212 Likes

Returning to ‘What If’ questions – and learning from Brewdog, what if the built environment offset twice the amount of carbon it generates, whilst also implementing rigorous actions to take carbon out?

Zoom Regenerative.

Zoom Regenerative returns for its first session of 2021 on 26 January, addressing more what if’s, on vital regenerative themes. Joanna Watchman (Content Comms for a carbon-conscious world and Work in Mind) shares insights on the importance of sharing stories, without greenwash, and as part of Creatives Declare, the importance of transparency in revealing income from fossil fuel clients. And from Diana Ilina, Paris, we hear on the plans to green the city and create a 15 min walkable city. 

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Regen Notes – Newsletter 1

Welcome, to the first of fortnight newsletters about regenerative practices and thinking, linking the built environment with the wider climate, nature and ecology agendas in the UK and beyond, collated by me, Martin Brown 

2021. We are 2 years into the 12 given by the IPCC to limit climate change catastrophe, and 11 months away from COP26 in Glasgow where Paris commitments are to be ratified. As is customary at each year end, reviews of the previous year dominate, and of 2020 the most worrying and sobering was the Guardians Floods Storm and Searing heat 2020 in extreme weather. Where, month by month weather records were broken, and the effects of human driven global heating experienced across the globe.

Way back at the start of 2020, before the pandemic, the year was seen as being a watershed on action for climate and ecology, building on the momentum from Thunberg, School Strikes, Declarations, XR and more. Corona Virus had other plans and although the anthro-pause, when the whole world came to a stop, on numerous times, resulted in the the largest single year carbon emission reduction – it wasn’t enough, and that we would need similar, if not greater reductions every year to avert real climate breakdown. (CNN

All this illustrated that we no longer have the luxury of only just reducing our impact on the environment but need more and increasingly radical solutions. A blog post from Rozall Telbis (Medium caught my eye with the title of Sustainability is Dead. This is something we have known for a while, as we increasingly see it as a bridge, a transition from business as usual to regenerative practice. Not a state in its own right. (Back in 2016, in FutuRestorative I focused on and explored Yvon Chouinard’s comment ‘we shouldn’t use the word sustainability until we give as much back (RIBA:

Telbis makes the point that Sustainability first ‘entered the mainstream’ in the 1972 Club of Rome sponsored book, Limits to Growth, to impose limits to the way we live our lives – and that Sustainability is Akin To Baby Steps, and while the concept of sustainability may have had sincere origins, it has quickly dominated environmental discourse, and it is now used ad nauseam by governments, environmental groups, and companies, among other entities, to sell products and buy votes.

Moving forward, we are now entering the UN Decade on Restoration (2021-2030) with “10 years to restore our planet. 10 actions that count. Every single day” Against a backdrop of environmental crisis, the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration is a chance to revive the natural world that supports us all. The next ten years will count most in the fight to avert climate change and the loss of millions of species. The UN Decade on Restoration web page highlights 10 actions in the strategy that can build a #GenerationRestoration. (UN: )

There are many wonderful and inspiring regenerative practices now emerging and indeed well established, as recently pictorially demonstrated in the Guardian’s overview of Icelands innovations to reach net zero, on energy, food, buildings transport and lifestyle.

Cities, such as Paris, partially in response to Covid 19, partially as a continuing regenerative practice, are beginning to reimagine themselves, as a collective of small village communities, rather than one homogeneous city, through ’15 minute Cities’creating stronger, more resilient and thriving communities (BBC –

Zoom Regenerative concluded 2020 with a participant round up of what has postively inspired during the year, ZR will continue through 2021, commencing on 12th Jan, providing a platform to share, learn from and celebrate regenerative practices around the world. (Fairsnape:

Something to Do

Asking your MP to speak up for wildlife. The first (UK) Environment Bill in over 20 years is making its way through Parliament and will soon be debated by MPs. UK Wildlife trusts are calling for a clear, legally binding target in the Bill to reverse the decline of species and habitats within a decade. By being the first country to set an ambitious target in law for the recovery of nature, the UK will set an example which the rest of the world can follow. (Wildlife Trusts:

Something to Read

As this is the first newsletter on here and for 202, book recommendation has to be Braiding Sweetgrass, Robin Wall Kimmerer, for a real grounding in understanding our relationship with nature, and in particular plants. Towards the end of 2020 Kimmerer wrote for Emergence magazine on the need for a new, eco-economy (Emergence Magazine The Serviceberry: An Economy of Abundance)

Something to Listen to …

The amazing podcast series from Rob Hopkins, From What If to What Next continues to inform and inspire (Hopkins:

Something to Look out for …

The RESTORE research network publication from the Scale Jumping working group will be available very soon. Through the application of system thinking, how can we identify injection points to scale jump from the proven regenerative practices in our quislings and cities, to a state where they become mainstream, the new normal. (Restore:

… and Something Else

The thinking behind Regenerative Agriculture and its nexus with design living buildings has featured on Zoom Regenerative a number of times, particularly with the Nature Barn, a Living Building Challenge project on the Diggens farm in Devon, that practices regenerative agriculture and rewilding. (Digg and Co:

Read the wonderful article from Patrick Barkham A moo-ving target: fenceless grazing widens possibilities for cows and wildlife, where technology is being embraced by rewilders who want cows to mimic the grazing of extinct wild herbivores such as aurochs and move through wider landscapes in a natural way, ensuring their grazing creates mosaics of habitat and boosts rare flora. (Guardian:

Related, I am reading and engrossed in Nick Hayes excellent passionate Book of Trespass – where he makes the point that fences were originally to keep stock in but soon became the symbol to keep people out. Now that we can train and keep stock within zones marked through an app, without fencing, what impact will this have on law of trespass, on rights of way and right to roam. (Bloombury:

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Ego Eco Seva – Revisited

Reading Zoe Cohen’s recent linkedin share of a 2016 Ego-Eco article from Art Tawanghar lead me to revisit my my framing of regenerative sustainability work and consultancy support within Ego-Eco-Seva thinking …

Ego-Eco is a great way to frame our past and current approach to the environment, sustainability and the climate crisis, but does it go far or deep enough? We tend to think of ‘Ego and Eco’ as being distinct periods, Ego illustrating our thinking post-industrial revolution when we took what we wanted to satisfy egos, and dumped what we didn’t without thought to the consequences.

We perhaps see the current ‘Eco’ period starting in the 1970s with the first Earth Day, or with the Club of Rome, or as I like to frame it, with the 1987 Brundtland Common Purpose definition. But of course, ‘Ego and Eco’ are running concurrently. Even in the era of ‘Eco’ focus we see Ego’s surface and suppress Eco thinking, for example, in the auctioning of the Arctic wildlife area for oil drilling, in the UK HS2 project and architects pulling out of Architects Declare to continue working on projects that are seen by many as vanity projects.

But the Eco phase, if taken as the Brundtland ‘do nothing today to compromise tomorrows generation’ is failing us. Over the last 30 or so years since Brundtland most if not all climate indicators, (CO2, temperatures, waste et al) continue heading in the wrong direction.

Yet, against this backdrop, connectivity with nature has become a keystone for the emerging regenerative sustainability agenda. Manifest through the ‘woke’ application of biomimicry, biophilia and sustainable building accreditations such as the Living Building Challenge that see buildings and us as inhabitants as part of the natural eco-systems. But these are the exemptions and in many ways still passive, with a dominant focus on reducing impact.

We need something more, a new mindset to eclipse ‘Eco’. Many like myself (Daniel Wahl, Cost Restore and others) are using the Sanskrit expression of Seva. It translates as ‘being in service’ which I have used as ‘doing the right thing’ because we are a part of, not apart from nature, it is very much reciprocity, we are in service to nature as nature is in services to us.

Remaking Cities – Milan 2019

The earliest illustration of ‘Ego Eco Seva’ was in a GlanceSideways blog, Oct 2012 adjusting the Ego Eco graphic to show ‘the path to a perfect relationship within the ecosystem” As a graphic, it triggers a powerful and necessary reframing of Ego-Eco as the attitude needed to create a sustainable culture, ‘one that nourishes and cares for the earth we live on. Seva is a role that can only be performed with a relationship of love and humility to all entities in the environment’

Ed Gillispie in a lovely early 2020 Medium The End of ‘Saving the World’? article describes the Seva mindset … ‘The planet does not want to be saved. Or rescued. Or even changed. Our planet wants to be loved. Love is not a game of numbers and spreadsheets, checks and balances, debts and contracts. It is an exalted dance of joy, respect and gleeful, mutual appreciation and true partnership’.

In the wonderful Braiding Sweetgrass, Robin Kimmerer Wall addresses Seva and reciprocity from an indigenous angle, learning from plants, learning from nature. For example through the harmonious harvest of only taking what we need and using everything we take. RKW writing recently in Emergence Magazine, The Serviceberry takes this further as a basis for a new bio-economy … an economy of abundance

Arundhati Roy writing in the Financial Times at the start of the lockdown in the UK describes the pandemic as a portal through which we will pass. (This was one of the articles that triggered my founding the successful Zoom Regenerative series) And now with vaccines, we can start to see the other side of the portal, and focus on her question of what good will we take through, and what bad will we leave behind.

A sustainability Seva approach based on reciprocity, in service to others and nature, would be a fine thing to take through the pandemic portal as the new normal for 2021 and beyond. We have technological and digital solutions, we have nature-based solutions, we now need the new normal, free from the restraints of the ego-eco old normal, to apply and scale-up.

Read Zoe Cohen’s Linkedin Post sharing a 2016 article from Art Tawanghar that lead me to revisit my my framing of regenerative sustainability work within Ego-Eco-Seva thinking …

Zoom Regenerative 24: Celebration + Reciprocity

Edition 24 of #ZoomRegenerative closed 2020 by celebrating guests who shared regenerative insights over the year, and the sharing and gifting what has inspired us on regenerative themes in 2020. And wow, was there a lot …

2020 has been an extraordinary year, one of grief and sadness for many but also one of time for reflection and exploration of ideas. Starting in April, Zoom Regenerative’s impressive guest list covered the globe and spectrum of regenerative sustainability. As did the scope of the what has been inspiring us over the year. Here is a recap that should keep us busy and inspired way into 2021 and also makes for a wonderful ideas list for Christmas gifts.


Not surprisingly there were many books mentioned, including:
Braiding Sweetgrass – Robin Wall Kimmerer (link)
Underland A deep Time Journey – Robert Macfarlane (link)
From What is to What if – Rob Hopkins (link)
Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds and Shape Our Futures – Merlin Sheldrake (link)
Chasing the Sun: The New Science of Sunlight, How it Shapes Our Bodies and Minds – Linda Geddes (link)
Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist – Kate Raworth (link)
Burn – Using Fire to Cool the Earth. (link)
My Name is Chellis I’m in Recovery from Western Civilization – Chellis Glendinning (link)
Imaginal Cells: Visions of Transformation (link)
The Power of Now – Echart Tolle (link)

“There is so much information out there, don’t be overwhelmed by it all. All we can do is live in the highest state of consciousness and we will naturally gravitate to the right information and decision making” (JP)


Thich Naht Hanh (link)
Kate Raworth (link)
Johan Rockstrom (link)
Joe Biden (link)

“The greatest gift we can give is our presence” (MB)


The Story of Plastic (link)
BBC Planet North (link)
2040 (link)
Kissing the Ground (link)
Fantastic Fungi (link)
The Biggest Little Farm (link)

“To give of ourselves, through food, is such an act of generosity and reciprocity” (AW)


ACAN (Youth) (link)
Zoom Regenerative (link) (We need a website!)
Connecting Fashion and Built Environment
RESTORE Final Conference (link)
Rocky Mountain Institute (link)
LETI (link)
Architects for Future – (link)
Supply Chain Sustainability School (link)

Happiness is within us all. The pot of gold we are trying to find is deep down inside all of us. Accessing your sub conscious through mediation we can simply transcend to find that inner peace :). Then we bring it all back up into our conscious state 🙂 (JP)


Brain Pickings – Maria Popova (link)
Reboot the Future (link)
The Regenerative Podcast (Neal Collins) (link)
Carbon Literacy Programme (link)
Resilience (link)
What If (podcast) – Rob Hopkins (link)
As You Sow (link)
Merlin Sheldrake BBC Book of the Month audio (link)
Bamboo – (link)
Cradle to Cradle – (link)
Miyawaki Forests – (link)
Bio Ladies – (link)

“To me creativity is prayer, creativity is meditation, creativity is life. So don’t be afraid of life and don’t close yourself in indifference” (N)


A Costa Rican Sunrise
Earth – Sustainability Conferences within a (Bristol) Planetarium

“I want to thank you so very much for the opportunity you open to be part of these formidable webinars and gatherings. Feels like a family” (VM)

Well, I guess that concludes 2020 ZR reflections, and as we approach the winter solstice on December 21st we turn to welcome in a new spring, new growth and new light for a truly regenerative 2021.

This post originally appeared on Regenerators Patreon

No Music on a Dead Planet

A Spotify playlist for Zoom Regenerative?

When producing FutuREStorative a few years back, I included a music playlist that in some way, over the years had inspired my sustainability thinking. Pan forward to 2020 and alongside the emergent regenerative agenda there is a wonderful collection & collaboration of artists whose work and passion resonates with the zoom regenerative themes, particular on connectivity with nature and the need for a just climate, social and cultural future.

Music Declares Emergency is a group of artists, music industry professionals and organisations that stand together to declare a climate and ecological emergency and call for an immediate governmental response to protect all life on Earth. We believe in the power of music to promote the cultural change needed to create a better future.

Please do enjoy, be equally inspired by and subscribe to the Zoom Regenerative Spotify playlist

Listen to the regenerative work, lyrics and messages from the likes of Sam Lee, with his latest album Old Wow, to Karine Polwart on Rivers Run, Jenny Sturgeon’s musical interpretation of Nan Shepherd’s The Living Mountain and the lovely Spell Songs artists. (just how beautiful is the Blessing?) 

All wonderful inspiration and so much more than just background listening. And with a nod to Zoom regenerative I have included tracks titled Mycorrhiza/Tree of Life, Soil & Soul and Costa Rica. There is one track on the ZR playlist that was also on FutuREstorative – Where do the Children Play by Yusaf/Cat Stevens – re-released this year as 50 years, (yes 50) celebration of Tea for the Tillerman. (Check out the video)

What would you like to see on the regenerative playlist?

This article originally appeared on ZR Regenerators as an early / exclusive post

Gathering Moss

An area of nearby Beacon Fell in the Forest of Bowland, was felled by high winds a few years ago and then recently cleared by forestry operations leaving acres of tree stumps. It is an area where we have taken over 100 daily walks in 2020, since the first lockdown back in March, giving the privilege to watch the area regenerate through spring, across the summer months and now into autumn, preparing for new growth.

One of the fascinating, mesmerising and mindful observations is not in the self seeding saplings, abundant foxgloves, or the increase in scrub, but in the minutiae of lichens, mosses and ferns around and on the remaining stumps. A miniature eco system (reluctant to call it a miniature garden!) of Electrified Cat’s Tail moss (I think … Mosses and Lichens are visually and intriguingly named – Oakmilk, Witches Butter, Devils Matchsticks … )

And then, this, a beautiful short observation in the Guardian Diary earlier this week, ‘Abiding beauty amid the bareness’ from Phil Gates:

Mosses and liverworts, arriving by air as invisible spores, thrive on these flat, porous surfaces left by chainsaws, free from the shade cast by surrounding brambles and ferns. Some recently cut stumps are already showing signs of colonisation; deeper in the forest I found others, felled a decade ago, that have become luxuriant moss gardens.

It’s tempting to think of evolutionary success stories as inexorable advances in complexity, driven by competition. But there is another, less anthropocentric, dimension: resilience. The lowly organisms in front of me, whose origins span unimaginable geological timescales, now colonising remains of fallen giants, survived cataclysmic global mass extinctions. Mobility, as spores carried everywhere on the wind, has been their enduring asset in an ever-changing world.

And then … this delightful interview with Robin Wall Kimmerer with Janice Lee in Believer Mag popped up in my twitter feed from Emergence Magazine. Author of Braiding Sweetgrass, Kimmerer and references from Sweetgrass, has featured large in many of our Zoom Regenerative presentations and discussions.

Kimmerer is also author of Gathering Moss, which is where this wonderful interview starts, asking the question “What can Mosses teach us about uncertainty” ?”and provides insights to learning and connecting with nature as we find ourselves in lockdown here in the UK, and elsewhere around the world, once again. Gathering Moss is described by Maria Popova on BrainPickings as “an extraordinary celebration of smallness and the grandeur of life, as humble yet surprisingly magical as its subject — botanist Robin Wall Kimmerer extends an uncommon and infectious invitation to drink in the vibrancy of life at all scales and attend to our world with befitting vibrancy of feeling”

Janice Lee: In this time of intense grief, Robin Wall Kimmerer’s work resonates with the wisdom of the entire plant world, its past and present and future. Plants are not simply of the world, passively shaped by external forces—they are world-builders, and they make it possible for the rest of us to exist.

RKW: Mosses are so very permeable. I think about them in contrast to higher plants, which have barriers and boundaries, waxy leaves and so forth, trying to keep the inside in and the outside out. But mosses don’t have that capacity and therefore they’re really intimate with their environment. And that means there is a relinquishment of control. When moss dries out, it dries out. But that’s not the end of the world. You just wait and it’ll be wet again. And, you know, no harm done. It’s that notion of control and having all needs satisfied—or all wants satisfied—at all times that, of course, our society and our economies have really propelled us toward. That notion that we’re entitled to the wealth of the world and to comfort and to convenience is pretty new for humans. And those comforts and conveniences themselves can be barriers to intimacy and connection and relationality because they make us think it’s all about us and our needs, which are not independent of the needs and desires of the millions of other species on the planet

RKW: Because mosses have, as you know, a strong sense of philopatry, that love of home. They live “here” in a very specific niche and not anyplace else (many of them). By staying home, people and mosses are able to engage in reciprocal relationships with place. That place is taking care of you, but in order for that to happen, you have to take care of that place, which mosses do, and which people can do when they are rooted in place.

And wow, the autumn sky colours we are seeing now as sunset coincides with our daily evening walks, and we find ourselves adjusting work patterns to make time to be on the fell to catch the sundown light.

Now’s the time to share ideas about the future for people and nature

Having finally completed our HUMAN. NATURE. BUILT ENVIRONMENT Scale Jumping chapter together for the RESTORE WG5 publication yesterday , and then hosted a wonderful #ZoomRegenerative session last night that explored the regenerative mindful human-nature connection, this very relevant and timely article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Nature is under pressure. Ecosystems are being degraded rapidly and a billion species are at risk of extinction. This is the shocking picture set out by an independent intergovernmental body, the Inter-governmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). The platform was established to make stronger connections between science and policy. Its view is that the only solution to the crisis is radical change in the way humans live.

Humans are deeply implicated in the crisis underpinned by the notion of the anthropocene, which is the time that humans have become the dominant impact on earth. This is highlighted in the current crises of a global pandemic, racial tensions and growing inequalities.

There is a lot of research on the impacts that human actions will have on the future of the planet. These range from carbon emissions leading to climate change through to plastic waste devastating ocean life. But there’s little research on what sort of future people want. This is even more true for understanding what a better future could look like for different people and in different contexts. Such stories of the future are important tools for decision-makers whose choices will bring about change.

The IPBES expert group on scenarios and models responded to this gap in positive stories of nature. We worked on creating visions that reflect the diverse values that nature holds for people. We also wanted these visions to be applicable in different contexts.

We started with a workshop in New Zealand in 2017, with 73 participants from 31 countries, representing all UN regions. Using a method developed from the Seeds of Good Anthropocenes project in South Africa, the participants identified “seeds” of change that they believed would be the start of a better future. These seeds were as diverse as displacing GDP growth as a metric and giving rivers legal standing, and as distinct as centres of distinction on indigenous and local knowledge and gene editing technologies.

Visions of the future

Seven radical visions of desirable nature futures emerged from this.

How the 7 desirable visions generated in the 2017 workshop in New Zealand formed the basis of the Nature Futures Framework that sets out three core values of nature: nature for nature, nature for society and nature as culture. These value perspectives build on the IPBES guidance on multiple values for nature. Authors’ own and images from Mary Brake, Reflection Graphics; Dave Leigh, Emphasise Ltd.; Pepper Lindgren-Streicher, Pepper Curry Design

Building from the visions, the expert group then developed the Nature Futures Framework. This is a simple way to show and talk about the ways in which nature has value for people:

● Nature for nature, in which nature has value in and of itself;

● Nature for society, in which nature is primarily valued for the benefits or uses people derive from it;

● Nature as culture, in which humans are perceived as an integral part of nature.

The framework aims to illustrate all the ways nature is appreciated. It’s intended to allow multiple voices to debate what a more desirable future for people and the planet could look like. A recent application of the framework with youth from around the world illustrated some common features of desirable futures. These included an emphasis on diverse community solutions, a reconnection with nature and a reconfiguration of the economic system to showcase what really is valuable for well-being.

Differences include how technology is employed in the future. This looks into whether it’s a central solution like energy and transport for example, in a hyper-connected world where everyone is educated about diverse cultures and places. It could also be a more locally diverse future that emphasises being in place and where innovation is based on indigenous and local knowledge. What these diverse futures show is not a “better or worse” future, but alternatives that can help inform decisions in the present. People have a diversity of relationships with nature. Only when this is appreciated can the world find its way to a better future.

A call to arms for participation

Reaching this global understanding requires buy-in and input from as many people around the world as possible. The newly constituted IPBES Task Force on Scenarios and Models is, therefore, calling on researchers and practitioners to contribute. They can take part in scenario processes or use the framework in their own exercises.

It is especially important to get participation from the African continent. The region is often marginalised in global environmental scenarios, despite its bio-cultural diversity. To reach as wide an audience as possible, the Nature Futures Framework’s paper on creating desirable futures has been translated into a range of languages under-represented in global research. These include AfrikaansArabicBembaisiZuluSetswanaShonaTwiWolof, and Yoruba.

Before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 was to be a “super year” for nature. Various global decisions that will shape the planet’s future were to be taken, including the Convention on Biological Diversity’s renegotiation of biodiversity targets. As these events have been postponed, and as the world seeks to recover from the pandemic, it is even more essential that decisions about the future consider humans’ diverse relationships with nature.

Such decisions can be supported by visions, scenarios and pathways that are collectively developed and made accessible to all interested stakeholders. New types of globally relevant scenarios are urgently needed to show what could be achieved and catalyse the interventions needed to move towards these more desirable futures.

A starting point can be registering as a stakeholder on the IPBES portal: Building a better future requires everyone’s buy-in. The scientific community is starting to realise how important it is to listen to voices from the ground. Without these voices, targets for the planet will remain out of reach.

Mindful Regenerative

#Mindful Regenerative. Vitality. Transparency. Reciprocity. Human Nature Connectivity … in business and in design.

Key words that sum up yesterdays awesome #ZoomRegenerative discussions prompted by inspiring talks from Joey 🌱 Pringle + Sonja Bochart

The next Zoom Regenerative is scheduled for 20th October 2020.

Regenerative Sustainability in Nine Graphics

This was an early access post for Regenerator Patrons.

Here are nine regenerative graphics and charts that have shaped, and are shaping, my sustainability thinking and may inspire others., There are a number that I have created, inspired by regenerative thinking from others. Some concepts are a few years old now and well established but remain very powerful, others new, inspirational and provide deeper insights into regenerative sustainability 

For a Regenerative Worldview.We may (or may not) have left behind our Ego worldview, but in the Eco era (since Brundtland when we pledged not to compromised tomorrows generation) our key indicators are still heading in the wrong direction. A new mindset and approach, Seva, that sees our relationship and responsibilities as part of the planetary eco systems, not apart from. A worldview, whilst still core to indigenous cultures, is necessary to embrace actions needed to address the climate and ecological emergency we find ourselves in. (More)

For Regenerative Sustainability.It was Yvon Chouinard who said we should not use the word sustainability until we are giving more back than we take. This format appeared in FutuREstorative, based on many similar, earlier graphics, illustrates sustainability as a bridge, a tipping point between being degenerative and regenerative approaches to sustainability and economics. (More)

For Regenerative Climate– The warming stripes from Ed Hawkins visualising temperature differences have become a powerful image in understanding climate change and hence recognition of climate crisis. I have reversed the stripes to encourage discussion on regenerative approaches we need to reverse temperature increases – and get back to safe levels. (more)

For Regenerative Practitioners– The regenerative practitioner framework that commences with self actualising, something more and more regenerative built environment projects are embracing as they kick off, ensuring all project members are in the ‘regenerative’ mindset. (More)

For Regenerative Resources and Materials. This butterfly diagram, illustrating the Circular Economy approach from the Ellen MacArthur Foundationhas been called the most important diagram for sustainability.

For Regenerative Wellbeing… the New Economics Foundation five key elements to wellbeing, connecting, being active, taking notice, learning, and giving. 

ForRegenerative Communities.This excellent colourful graphic captures the vital elements in Rob Hopkins From What is to What If book, along with a very good dose of Transition Town thinking …  

Regenerative Economics. Kate Raworth’s Doughnut Economics has captured the zeitgeist of the moment as we seek meaning in regenerative economics aligned to regenerative sustainability. Moving away from degenerative economics where ‘growth and development is linked to increasing consumption of finite resources’.

For Regenerative Futures. A summary of Roman Krznaric recent inspirational new book The Good Ancestor: How To Think Long Term in a Short-Term World (graphic: Nigel Hawkin)

Coming Back: remembering and re-awakening our connection with earth

Such an inspiring Place presentation and discussion on zoom regenerative recently.  A huge thanks to all those involved. 

For me an immense takeaway was the concept of place having knowledge, and landscape as a web of knowledge, and the impact, both good and bad we have, on place, on land, on culture as we build. If we are really seeking to be ecologically robust, socially just and culturally rich then we do indeed need to readjust our regenerative compass.

We will revisit this theme as there is so much to learn and adapt within our regenerative practices.

The recording, text and other material can be found in the Zoom Regenerative dropbox 

There were some wonderful shares during and immediately following the session:


Allison page website:  –

and then …

… a  related book on my read list is Good Ancestors by https://www.romankrznaric.comwho was on a webinar a few days ago with Brian Enowho made the comment that we cannot understand time without understanding place. 

…  this appeared from the BBC Ideas page on a feed this morning – is it time to reassess our relationship with nature?–