30+ Key Innovations In Regenerative Business & Operating Models
Many of the ingredients we need for regenerative businesses and brands already exist. Discover the innovative frameworks, technologies, and tools that you can use to design and evolve a regenerative business model.
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Many of the ingredients we need for a Regenerative Renaissance—made up of regenerative businesses and brands—already exist. A transformation, a paradigm shift, will always include, yet transcend, the old order as we find ways through the edge of chaos to invent the future.
Regenerative brands and business models (will) bake together frameworks, technologies, and tools like:
- Consciousness (purpose, happiness, relationships) is becoming as important as matter (profit, productivity, performance). This means a recalibration of economic and financial accounting to encourage and measure human well-being, prosperity, learning, meaning, and joy, as well as productivity/profit/GDP
- Optimizing and consciously trading off at least 6, probably 8 or 9, different forms of capital, including social, relational, intellectual, natural, and material capitals
- A recalibration of globalization, with the focus shifting to the mobility of ideas and relationships (consciousness) as opposed to simply (cheap) labor and liquid capital (matter)
- Slow, patient, and humble capital that is less interested in material scale, exponential returns, and rapid exits (i.e., ‘unicorns’); and far more interested in sustained and sustainable positive impact (e.g., ‘zebras’)
- Authentic business purpose at the core of all organizations (that is realized with concrete changes in business practices and investment in employee and user well-being)
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- Increasing development of sustainable, prosocial, and regenerative asset classes for capital to be invested in
- Distributed ownership models — like co-operatives, social enterprises, and BCorps — allow users/citizens/workers to share in the rewards, wealth, and decisions as well as the risks, worries, and effort: enriching all in the system, not extracting value for a few.
- Increasing peer-to-peer transmission of value, products, and services such as education and healthcare, moving away from the costly and controlling expert/professional-to-user model.
- Compassion, kindness, and wisdom are as important as knowledge, skill attainment, and accreditation in education, adult learning, and employee training.
- Legal rights for the planet/nature (e.g., in Bolivia and Ecuador), what has been called Earth Jurisprudence
- Sharing economies that benefit all sharers, not just the platform (from ride and resource sharing to co-living communities) and the ‘recommending’ of shared resources and spaces with expansive participatory wisdom to avoid the ‘tragedy of the commons’
- Ensuring local communities have increasing food, water, energy, and shelter sovereignty.
- Participatory design and diversity in decision-making (e.g., Citizen’s Assemblies, circle-led governance, Way of Council). Transparent and accountable decisions are made with wise intuitions as well as historical data.
- Decentralized organizational structures (e.g., Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) and holocracies)
- Gender, race, and cognitive diversity in organizations with the dissolution of all pay and power gaps
- Local decision-making and direct democracy (e.g., Flatpack Democracy)—where central decisions are only made when the edge cannot make them well (a principle called ‘subsidiarity’)
- Local supply chains (e.g., onshoring) where imports are substituted for homegrown materials and ideas, and ‘surge protection; is built in to maintain resilience in the face of supply and demand shocks.
- Regenerative agriculture; and the rewilding of land and communities
- Local currencies (e.g., Lewes Pound) and forms of non-commodified ‘gift exchange’ that build trust, coherence, and resilience
- Biodegradable materials, ‘green chemistry,’ biophilic ingredients (e.g., algae-led waste processes and bio-inks), ‘mycomimicry,’ and ‘mycorestoration.’
- A permanent shift to renewable, low, and zero carbon energy sources and decentralized systems of district/local solar energy
- Circular and net-positive supply chains with baked-in climate cooling and carbon sequestration technologies that are managed holistically and optimized as a whole system
- The closure of tax loopholes and the removal of off-shore tax statuses so that corporations pay for the commonwealth that so much of their profitability is drawn from (roads, universities, public innovations, schools, ambulances, etc.)
- The uncoupling of GDP growth from carbon (e.g., doughnut economics); and the recoupling of externalities to industrial processes and finance
- The proactive ‘degrowth’ of planet-polluting and humanity-diminishing industries
- The leverage of transparency technologies like tokens and the blockchain (including DeFi); and emancipatory technologies like AI and nanotech in ethical, and therefore likely less exponentially profitable, ways
- The reduction of ‘walled gardens’ and anti-competitive monopolies on the Internet, with an Open Internet, Open Source development, and copyleft Creative Commons IP
- Variously colored New Deals to regenerate the social compact between the liberal order and its citizens.
- Here are limitless opportunities to create exponential value for self and system in this digital, disrupted, and damaged world.
It will be messy, challenging, and really, really hard. But there is a Triple Win (win-win-win) to be had in every future-proofing transformation: a win for our careers, a win for our organizations, and a win for our crisis-hit world.
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