Regenerative and Nature-based Education for thriving People, Environment and Regions

Regenerative and Nature-based Education for thriving People, Environment and Regions

Regenerative and Nature-based Education for thriving People, Environment and Regions 1280 720 Circonnact

Author: Vanessa Vivian Wabitsch

“Education is the most important tool to change the world.” Luis Camargo

In this Regenerative World podcast episode international expert Luis Camargo, in regenerative and nature-based education and founder of OpEPA speaks about the significance of education for enhanced quality of life and addressing environmental, social and economic challenges around the world. Nelson Mandela and other leading pioneers advocated for the importance of education already many decades ago. Today education is of utmost importance to tackle personal and environmental stress as well as climate change.

Regenerative and nature-based education is learning from experience in and with nature and establishing the three levels of connection – to Self, nature and people. Nature is the field of learning as well as the teacher and guide. It involves the mind, body and emotions to enhance the personal quality of life and address the root cause of environmental challenges – the disconnect between people and nature. Regenerative and nature-based education is essential for all fields from elementary education up to working with people and communities in industries such as tourism, agriculture or any other fields.

Education is empowering people

According to an indigenous wisdom, the light of one candle can only shine a certain amount of light. If someone wants it to shine brighter the limit is soon reached. The candle shines as bright as one candle shines. To shine more light, it is necessary to have hundreds or thousands of candles. According to the Western mentality, the candle or person has to become bigger and brighter, because it is the candle or person that shines. According to the regenerative principle, the more people shine, the more light we have in the world. A system thrives with diversity of lights.

Education has to be nature-based. Neuroscience proves that the wiring of the brain occurs a lot more in nature than in a room. A good example is education of kids in early years: If a child is in nature, it is surrounded by many stimuli such as the smell of flowers, the sound of birds, the breeze of the wind, the feeling of the grass, the big trees. This causes the wiring of the brain that builds connections and sees the invisible. If a child is only in the room surrounded by one or more objects the brain develops fewer connections. This applies to education and development of adults as well.

Transforming barriers towards regeneration

One of the biggest barriers towards regenerative education and tackling the roots of environmental problems is fear. People create a crust to protect themselves which causes difficulty to change. Luis recommends everyone the following exercise: “Ask oneself: What disconnects myself – from myself, nature and people? Then ask: What connects me to myself, others and nature?“ In its essence, love connects which is the openness to establish relationships to Self, people and nature. Some people are more sensitive to one or the other. For some mindfulness is a good entry point, for others nature or community. It does not matter where to start, as long as all relationships are fostered.

For regeneration all three relationships have to be present for transformation of the self as well as the development of initiatives with impact on the region and system. By that the mindset and inner shift occurs which has an impact on actions in service to community, environment and the region. A good example is the work with tourism, food and agriculture and communities. Luis Camargo worked with communities on the topic tourism and food and looked at: How is food produced? How is food valued by the people in the community? How does the tourist relate to the food?

“Food systems have the power to change all systems. We are not paying too much attention. It is about allowing the food to be nutritious and create the mechanism for tourists and locals to understand that. It is essential to bring people back to the place and tourist will fall in love. These narratives reinforce the relationship.”, says Luis Camargo.

It is important to strengthen bioregions so that are independent regarding energy, water, food, health. Of course, this is relevant for all topics such as transportation or restoration. However, food is one of the most powerful drivers to change the system as everyone can relate to it and it is connected to many industries.

Bringing regeneration to life

The motivation factors for people to work with the regenerative approach is many-folds. Due to the increase of the urban development, people yearn for the connection to nature. Communities are interested to empower local capacities, remember the value they have and who they are. This is essential to protect the place and reestablish a sense of belonging of the local people and give them a voice to speak and develop their territory. And this leads to attracting the visitors a community wants to have and creates more qualitative experiences for them. By that social, environmental and economic challenges can be addressed in an effective way.

The challenge in realizing regeneration is the need to act regeneratively in the context of the world where a degenerative system of rules and mechanisms is established. To change the system the “Three level of horizon” approach is essential. This means to establish a transition system and methods (second hill)  that are similar to the existing system (first hill) which enables the transition to a regenerative system (third hill). 

“The most important to bring regenerative projects, living and organisations to life is to ask oneself: “Am I in the right relation? Is this decision strengthening my three relations to nature, people and myself?” If not, it is necessary to adapt or change the decision.” Luis Camargo

We are currently in a big shift in the world which goes along with multiple turbulences. It is easy to fall into hopelessness. The most important is to maintain active hope. Luis Camargo emphasizes that “We can write the story of the world we want to see. Everyday we can activate the world – every action is creating the world that we want to see. Never lose hope. Be grateful for the past – it brought us where we are. Everyday write the story you want to see. A world of individuals that are in right relation.”

Dive into the Regenerative World podcast episode to learn more: See here for more information and listen in on Apple, Spotify, Youtube and Google.

Interested in leading work and life regeneratively? Contact us for more information on regenerative leadership- and circular design trainings and projects.

Regenerative World is the blogcast by Vanessa Vivian Wabitsch to reconnect and lead regeneratively. 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, economy and development with Vanessa Vivian Wabitsch and other international experts.

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