A Reminder About Our Positive Potential

December 26, 2015

Earlier in November, we attended a screening of the documentary film Inhabit: A Permaculture Perspective, as part of the Environmental Film Series put on by the Permaculture Calgary Guild and the Green Sanctuary Calgary. If you haven’t seen this movie yet, it is definitely worth checking out. It combines the principles of permaculture with the stories of a diverse set of practitioners from across the United States into an inspirational and beautifully filmed narrative. It is useful to those who are completely new to the concept of permaculture, as well as those who are familiar but are looking to learn more about the permaculture movement. As the film’s website suggests, it offers “a reminder that humans are capable of being planetary healing forces”.

The movie talks about permaculture as a model for regenerative design, a concept that is near and dear to our hearts here at reGenerate Design. After the screening there was a lively discussion, where the question was raised “do we have the opportunity to leap-frog past sustainability to regeneration?”. Our answer would be a resounding yes! We can create social and ecological systems that move beyond sustainability, or the maintenance of status quo, and actually make things better through our interventions. Here is a comprehensive article that talks about this in more detail.

The article offers a theoretical examination of permaculture as regenerative design, examples of how this relates to our society and technologies like green building and the preservation of soil, and a look at possible future directions for civilization. It says that “of all the actions we might take, building soil is truly sustainable and regenerative, and central to ‘Earth Stewardship’ “, which is an example given by David Holmgren as to a possible future scenario of our life on earth. One of our passions is the creation of food forests, which build healthy soil and provide a perennial food source, and are truly an example of regenerative systems. It is a simple but fundamentally game-changing shift in thinking, and we use it as inspiration for all of our projects, whether it is a small food forest in someone’s yard or the naturalization of a schoolyard that involves engaging and co-designing with students and teachers. We are all aware of what is happening in the world and the media provides a near constant reminder of the powers of degenerative or destructive forces, whether they be human or nature. It is important to remember that humans have the potential to not only do less damage to the earth and each other, but as the article and movie suggest, we can move into the future as stewards of the earth. This is why we chose to call ourselves reGenerate Design.

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