Envisioning and Implementing Net Regenerative Regional Development: Fantasy or Evolving Reality

Dr Dominique Hes
Melbourne School of Design, The University of Melbourne
dhes@unimelb.edu.au(Please do not email credit card information under any circumstances)

We need a new vision for a future for humanity, an irresistible vision of opportunity, abundance and the potential for thriving. Regenerative development can provide a pathway for this vision. Case studies are beginning to show that when applied the concepts underpinning regenerative development can accelerate a transition to equitable, sustainable, post fossil carbon societies. The evolving reality of working ecologically, using living systems thinking, is showing the potential to both address the problems that our current development patterns have created and forge a new path towards creating real wealth. The key is seeing humanity as having a positive and contributing role.

The definition of Net Regenerative Regional Development is development that supports the health and vitality of a region through mutually beneficial relationships between all the stakeholders and flows of the system. Though in its infancy in application, Net Regenerative Regional Development is based on the accumulation of millennia of human knowledge and gives us a real opportunity to turn the future around from the despair of current predictions. Using the key values of the ecological worldview, this is explored through the lens of a regional project in Victoria, Australia and other international projects. These projects show emerging evidence of ecosystem restoration, community vitalisation and system healing; and demonstrate that we have a real alternative to business as usual. The implications are far reaching and have the potential to touch all aspects of human endeavour, education, governance, industry, economics, science and the production of knowledge. Just as we moved from hunters and gathers to farmers, to the industrial system, it is now time for the next step in human development. That step is to become ‘composers of the future.’

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