Author: Vanessa Vivian Wabitsch
For decades we are talking about the topic of climate change and sustainability – and the development of sustainable systems is still happening too slow. By leading tourism and economy in a regenerative way we can activate change. The regenerative tourism and policy expert Dianne Dredge elaborates on how to develop flourishing places for people and environment by tourism, shift mindsets and design regenerative tourism in a way that is owned by all stakeholders.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are expected to have a 60-years delay according to the Social Progress Index. This might be too late for many species of plants, animals and maybe even many humans. We can see this already by the effects of the climate-, energy- and biodiversity crisis leading to diseases, environmental disasters, war. So how can we accelerate the transition and reach the SDGs?
“We need to catalyze the change by becoming more regenerative.”, says Dianne Dredge
How can we become regenerative? Regenerative means to be aligned with nature and thrive on all levels – personally, socially, environmentally and economically. A regenerative economy promotes sustainability and goes beyond – it contributes positively to people, environment and enterprises. We can become regenerative as an individual by living in a regenerative way and as a collective creating life-affirming systems such as tourism and the economy – and both is going hand-in-hand.
During this interview Dianne Dredge, Founder of The Tourism Colab, shares from her decades of experience in tourism and describes the essence of regenerative tourism by showcasing good practice examples such as The Islander Way on Flinders island in Australia. We talked about the key aspects of regenerative tourism which is related to a regenerative economy and living. Dianne Dredge talks about the importance of the mindset shift, to ask good questions and to include all stakeholders to disrupt the system, become regenerative and by that catalyze the Sustainable Developments goals.
“The mind-set shift and tuning into head-heart-gut are essential to achieve the SDGs.”
Dianne Dredge points out that we need to tap into whole-body intelligence and change our mindsets to be regenerative. The mindset shift happens through experiential learning that allows to combine head-heart-gut. It is about feeling the community, nature and what we are responsible for. This takes us beyond the scientific data and leads to embodied insights and solutions.
The power of questions
Dianne Dredge points out the importance of how to ask questions to go beyond patterns and find solutions. In our work at Circonnact with regenerative and sustainable tourism and economy we observe that the question turns around “How to decrease carbon emissions?”. This is a good and also a challenging task – with a risk to get stuck there and not tackling root causes. What if we ask the question differently: “How can we contribute positively to the development of this place, to people and to nature by tourism?” This addresses the challenge of carbon emissions in a holistic and constructive way which leads to solutions on multiple levels such as biodiversity, health and communities, local economy. In the end all these are all related to decreasing carbon emissions.
According to Dianne Dredge, the most important aspect to develop impactful and regenerative projects is to include all stakeholders. In the past tourism talked about key stakeholders – the businesses and big organisations. But the key is to have a diverse and inclusive group of stakeholders and to call upon their expertise. It is important to include all stakeholders involved in tourism – microbusinesses, the community and nature.
Curious to learn more about how to disrupt the current dysfunctional systems, regenerative tourism and methods for regenerative design and stakeholder engagement?
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Regenerative World is the blogcast by Circonnact to reconnect and lead regeneratively and sustainably. Get inspired by stories, best practices and nature’s inspiration on creating regenerative products, organizations and projects for a way of living aligned with nature. Explore regenerative leadership, development, economy, tourism and food with Vanessa Vivian Wabitsch and other international experts.