“For 25 years sustainable development has been held up as the solution to the world’s problems. But instead we have had ever more pollution, biodiversity loss and climate change. Sustainability has been abused like few other terms in history. It is time to think not just about sustaining the world’s badly damaged ecosystems and human communities, but about regenerating them instead?” That introduction to this year’s Schumacher Lectures in the UK offers good food for thought this Earth Day.
E.F. Schumacher, author of the 1973 classic Small is Beautiful, had a career that included two decades as Chief Economic Advisor to the UK National Coal Board and more notable final years as an advocate for “appropriate technologies”—which Wikipedia describes as “encompassing technological choice and application that is small-scale, decentralized, labor-intensive, energy-efficient, environmentally sound, and locally controlled.”
Fritz was one of a handful of seminal thinkers—including Robert Rodale and Buckminster Fuller—who were speaking, way back in the 1970s, about regeneration, regenerative economies, the regenerative capacity of earth’s ecosystems. These regenerative roots of what we now call the sustainability movement provide, I think, a more fertile meme than mere “sustainability.”
Here’s a test to see if I’m right:
If your company were focused on building regenerative capacity—its own, of its value chain, of its communities, of the local and planetary ecosystems that support it—how might you do your business differently?
What new opportunities might emerge?
That’s why Natural Logic is looking for 3 companies to join us in a business experiment—a phased, disciplined, and frankly confrontive exploration of the massive business value at the intersection of your business, your purpose and what the world needs from you.