Regenerative Development: The journey begins within

Our communities and natural systems have the need, now more than ever, to be able to adapt, evolve, and thrive. That is what regenerative development is all about – developing the potential for people to play contributive, beneficial roles as members of the larger communities and ecosystems in which we live.

In our new whitepaper, Becoming a Regenerative Practitioner, IBE graduate fellow Emily Amedée and I explored the journey of becoming a regenerative practitioner. One of the key realizations is that a fundamental requirement of this work is to constantly regenerate our own thinking and way of being in the world. This paper outlines five practice areas that are essential for the life-long pursuit of becoming a regenerative practitioner. In addition to defining the five areas of practice—and the purpose, products, processes, and functioning capabilities for each area—the paper includes insights from regenerative practitioners around the world and what each practice area means to them.

Here is a sneak peek at the five practice areas:

Systems Actualizing

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.

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.


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.

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.

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 which we exist.

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!

You can learn more about it here.