5 Resolutions for Becoming a Regenerate in 2019
Now more than ever, our communities and natural systems need to realize their potential for new life — their ability to adapt, evolve, and thrive. At the dawn of the new year you may feel a calling, as I do, to rise up to the challenges of our time — to transform your professional practice toward regenerating life in yourself, your organization, and the communities and ecosystems in which you work.
Hint: The Journey Begins Within
Realizing potential within our communities goes hand in hand with realizing potential within ourselves. But not just any potential… it’s about developing your specific capabilities to be effective, to work in complexity, to bring others along in the journey of evolving, and to align our intentions and actions in a way that contributes to the well being of all life. In short, we must become regenerative practitioners.
In the new whitepaper, Becoming a Regenerative Practitioner, we explore the territory of regenerative practice across five different life-long practice areas. Building capability in each area is essential for the life-long pursuit of becoming a regenerative practitioner. In addition to defining the five areas of practice, the paper includes insights from regenerative practitioners around the world and what each practice area means to them.
1. Become a Systems Actualizer
The aim of a regenerative practitioner is to become a “systems actualizer,” someone who helps to realize the unique, value-adding potential of a place, an organization, and/or an ecosystem. A fundamental requirement of this work is that we constantly regenerate our own thinking, strengthening our ability to sense what is emergent, what is essential, and where potential exists. This, in turn, enables us to evolve ourselves, our communities, and other living systems.
2. Develop Your Framework Thinking
Adept use of dynamic frameworks, such as the LENSES Framework, Levels of Work, and Theory U, help to bring ordered thinking and the ability to act effectively within complex systems. As we practice using frameworks, we become more attuned with those that are needed and helpful at any given time, thereby enabling and amplifying the practice of regenerative development.
3. Work on Self-Actualizing
The ongoing ability to develop capacity and capability within oneself is essential for participating in regenerative development work. Self-actualizing is about realizing the potential of one’s true self to create and manifest benefit through one’s work in the world. Self-actualizing is often the limiting factor in a practitioner’s ability to participate as a systems actualizer, and requires constant attention.
4. Get Great at Developmental Facilitating
Development facilitating is a dynamic and adaptive process for helping groups evolve their sense of purpose and their ability to realize potential together. Developmental facilitators identify what to focus on, how to evolve individual and collective thinking, create and hold space for group transformation, lead divergent and convergent thinking, and help establish systems for action planning and ongoing management.
5. Hone Your Living Systems Understanding
At its core, regenerative practice is about coming into attunement with the living world through understanding and being able to work within the larger context in where we live. Such understanding aligns our work with the integrity and wisdom of living systems. It helps us see where and how to engage, based on life’s principles in a specific place.
Bringing it All Together
Together, these five practice areas provide a framework, or a landscape, for becoming a regenerative practitioner over time. The journey to becoming a regenerative practitioner necessitates both conscious and continuous commitment to all five practice areas — indeed, becoming a regenerative practitioner is a meaningful pursuit worthy of a lifetime!
Interested in learning more?
Download the full paper at the Institute for the Built Environment or at CLEAR who partnered on the development and publication of the white paper, Becoming a Regenerative Practitioner: A Field Guide.
The ideas and content for this article and the full white paper were inspired by diverse people and groups working with a regenerative approach. Many of the specific concepts laid out here were first introduced to me in 2013 when I participated in The Regenerative Practitioner series, offered by the Regensis Institute for Regenerative Practice and furthered by work with Carol Sanford through her Change Agents Development program.
About the Author: Josie Plaut guides companies, municipalities, and organizational through developing capacity and action plans for regeneration and sustainability. Her work spans domestic and international projects and organizations across a variety of scales including buildings, master plans, municipal programs, coalitions, and organizational development. She is the Associate Director at the Institute for the Built Environment and Executive Director at CLEAR (Center for Living Environments and Regeneration).