Towards a regenerative economy by Dr. Daniel Christian Wahl

Redesigning our industrial system of production and consumption around the circular patterns of resource and energy use that we observe in mature ecosystems is only one part of redesigning our economy using the insights of ecology. To create a truly regenerative economy challenges us to ask deeper questions and initiate more far-reaching transformative change.

The stock-market crash of September 2008 shocked many mainstream economists into realizing that the current system is fundamentally dysfunctional. Some of them have since become effective change agents of the transition towards a regenerative culture. Rather than condemning these highly intelligent, well- connected, well-resourced, and extremely capable people for their roles in creating some of the mess of Horizon 1 (which we all had a part in), we should celebrate the new-found support of people who have access to, and the respect of, important decision-makers.

John Fullerton, a managing director at J.P. Morgan until 2002 and now a member of the Club of Rome and president of the Capital Institute, is one of the most active facilitators of the dialogue about how we might create a regenerative economy. He has published a list of principles that could be used to characterize a regenerative economy (Fullerton, 2015). If we turn the list of proposed qualities of a regenerative economy into guiding questions, they might sound like this:

How do we create an economy with its operations based on cooperative relationships (between each other and within the ecosphere)?

How would a regenerative economy nurture the entrepreneurial spirit?

How would a regenerative economy enable empowered participation?

How can we ensure that the economy promotes robust circular flows?

How would we design balancing mechanisms (feedback loops) into the economy?

How can we enrich the interactions in our economy by mimicking “the edge effect” (the point where two ecosystems and their diversity meet)?

How can we nurture regenerative economic activities that honour place by expressing the culture and ecology of place in their relationships?

What would an economy that views wealth holistically look like?

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Courtesy of Medium.