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Designing a “bioregional regenerative economy”: how could that work, realistically?

Format: Workshops, RSD11, RSD11: Radical shifts in planetary health, Topic: Learning & Education, Topic: Socioecological Design

Tobias Luthe, Haley Fitzpatrick, and Daniel Christian Wahl

The cross-scalar spiral as an actionable heuristic for designing within bioregional complexity

No doubt that we need to urgently transition towards economies that are sustainable, and even beyond sustainable, regenerative. Theoretically, regenerative economies need to focus on the (bio-)regional scale, given a spatial size that includes sufficient diversity and scale to build a regenerative economy.

Thinking it through, critically, question-based, yet concrete: how could such an economy look like? What are the possibilities to create such an economy with the capacity to continuously regain its needed energies and resources to vitalize and sustain? To actively restore degraded systems and create regenerative cultures rooted in cooperation, not competition? Specific to different bio-regional assets and cultures? We propose the cross-scale spiral of autopoietic complexity, with its eight scales of governance, as an actionable heuristic to envision what a bioregional economy may comprise and what governance needs to be established.

This workshop is a question-based, partly visual dialogue around tangible entry assets for using the spiral heuristic, manifesting its governance implications together with very concrete illustrations of what a regenerative economy may look like, practically. We build upon previous RSD contributions (“When is Systemic Design regenerative?”, “Systemic Cycles – a bioregional prototype?”) and deep dive into what needs to be implemented and what maybe remains fuzzy? The outcome will be a largely enriched, critical yet tangible, visualized dialogue with more concrete understandings and tools to design toward regenerative economies.

Keywords: economy, bioregional regenerative cultures, transition governance, autopoietic relationality, visual dialogue

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Citation Data

Author(s): Tobias Luthe, Haley Fitzpatrick, and Daniel Christian Wahl
Year: 2022
Title: Designing a “bioregional regenerative economy”: how could that work, realistically?
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
Volume: RSD11
Article No.: 036
URL: https://rsdsymposium.org/designing-within-bioregional-complexity
Host: University of Brighton
Location: Brighton, UK
Symposium Dates: October 3–16, 2022
First published: 30 September 2022
Last update: 30 April 2023
Publisher Identification: ISSN 2371-8404
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