On October 3, 2018, a decade after the 2008 global economic crisis, Capital Institute, the non-partisan think tank founded by former JPMorgan Managing Director John Fullerton, announced a global collaborative effort to address escalating global crises driven by unsustainable economic practices.
Building on eight years of studying systems that sustain themselves in the real world and documenting exemplary projects and initiatives addressing the world’s growing economic and ecological challenges, the initiative, called The Regenerative Communities Network, is a collaboration among some of the world’s leading place-based regenerative practitioners and thought leaders.
Since the organization’s 2010 inception, Capital Institute has grounded its theory of regenerative economics in practice through its Field Guide to a Regenerative Economy, which has illuminated more than 50 projects and enterprises that demonstrate the emergence of regenerative economic activity in the real world as direct responses to the building pressures of the day.
“Network members are exploring together a new strategic ‘roadmap’ for the transition out of our extractive, finance-driven economic system into a more just, regenerative, and thus sustainable way of living on this earth“, said John Fullerton, Founder and President of Capital Institute. “We are excited and confident about the launch of our Regenerative Communities Network, as it offers a viable set of new possibilities to unlock the immense hidden potential that will be the source of humanity’s future prosperity,” he added.
The Network began to form in 2017 in response to invitations from communities to support and connect their journeys towards regenerative economies in diverse bioregions around the world. The Network has been carefully and intentionally designed with the following goals:
Support the development of rich knowledge-sharing and skill-building networks within and across communities
Increase regenerative capacity at the individual, organizational, community, bioregional, and global level
Help to drive substantial amounts of capital towards regenerative initiatives
Inspire a fresh policy agenda
The Regenerative Communities Network is organized by “hubs” – cross-sector collaborations focused on catalyzing the emergence of a place-based regenerative economy – an economy that utilizes nature’s laws of sustainability to unlock prosperity for humans and the environment. Capital Institute offers two years of no cost support in a cycle of engagement that includes leadership support, storytelling, systems mapping, metrics, workshops, regenerative project support, and connections to regenerative capital.
The network has been launched with an initial group of seven regenerative community hubs on a supporting digital platform:
- Tottenville, NY Hub – Main street revitalization and urban agriculture focus along with Regenerating Tottenville activating storytelling project;
- Hudson Valley, NY Hub – Regenerative agriculture focus including storytelling and enhanced farmer training programs;
- Buffalo-Niagara, NY Hub – “Regenerative Factory of the Future” incorporating community workshops, advanced material science research collaborations, inclusive workforce development, and place making;
- Denver-Boulder, CO Hub – Regenerative real estate development and business focus with community workshops, research collaborations, and regenerative investment models;
- Mexico City/Mexico Hub – Regenerative finance for biodiversity and local communities drawing on systems mapping and international funding collaborations;
- Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica Hub – Regenerative agriculture, holistic grazing, and ecotourism with engagement with local territorial council process and research and education collaborations;
- Costa Rica National Hub – National scale regenerative strategy driven by 28 territorial scale initiatives across the country;
- Regenerative Communities Network Digital Platform – a gathering and working space for regenerative practitioners within hubs and around the world is free and open to all;
- Global Strategic Partners include Buckminster Fuller Institute, Ecotrust, Regenesis Group, Savory Institute, SDG Transformations Forum, and Small Giants.
“Regenerative communities respond in an inclusive, locally-designed way to massive global problems like climate change, biodiversity loss, and growing inequity. They begin to see themselves as a living system, opening new possibilities for transformational action,” explained Dr. Stuart Cowan, Director of Regenerative Development at Capital Institute and co-author of Ecological Design. “Connecting across bioregions and cultures, these communities collectively offer the possibility of hope – and of a regenerative world,” he added.
Capital Institute is a non-partisan think tank working to create a more just and sustainable way of life on earth. Together with their collaborative network, they combine modern science, storytelling, and the knowledge of timeless wisdom traditions to illuminate the path from an extractive economy to an emerging regenerative economy that supports the long-term well-being of people, planet and business.
Participation as a bioregional hub in the Regenerative Communities Network is free and includes a variety of complimentary services from the Capital Institute over a two year period of engagement.
Photo of sunset in Costa Rica via Adobe Stock.