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Walk through the essentials of regenerative design and emergence in our FAQs, explaining how combining simple, natural elements can create complex, resilient systems that thrive, upcycle vitality, and evolve over time.


What is 'regenerative'?

Regenerative is a term that has gained traction in recent years, originally introduced by The Rodale Institute in the early 1980s, initially in the context of agriculture. It has since expanded to encompass a broader spectrum of activities focused on sustainability and resilience.

At Regenerativist, we interpret ‘regenerative’ through a holistic lens, encompassing principles, processes, and elements that foster emergent phenomena. This includes a focus on Permaculture design, strategic Placemaking, and community resilience, all aimed at creating systems and environments that are not only sustainable but also thriving and self-renewing.

By integrating ancient wisdom with modern technological advancements such as data analytics and web technologies, we use regenerative design to achieve outcomes that are beneficial both to the environment and the communities we serve.

green leafed plant

What is 'wellness'?

Wellness is defined by the Global Wellness Institute as ‘actively pursuing choices and lifestyles that lead to optimal overall health’. Wellness includes physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social, and environmental health. This matches a regenerative systems design approach. Regenerative design creates sustainable, circular systems that renew ecosystems and communities. It takes a big picture view and designs for parts to work together. This allows healthy, sustainable solutions to emerge across areas of life.

For example, designs that connect people with nature and each other don’t just heal the environment. They also benefit mental, emotional, and social health. When parts are designed to work together, the whole system thrives.

Regenerative design creates ecosystems that support wellness across individuals and communities. It does this by focusing on:

  • Renewable energy
  • Local food systems
  • Green buildings
  • Engaging nature
  • Promoting equity
  • Creating community


These regenerative systems induce emergent wellness. That means new properties of health and thriving emerge from parts working together. The result is collective flourishing across interdependent dimensions of wellness.

Regenerative design takes a systems approach to yield solutions and growth. This generates holistic wellness for people and planet.

A vibrant, lush landscape embodying the concept of regenerative design, showcasing a blend of Permaculture and Placemaking elements-concept art style

What is 'Emergence'?

Emergence is like a garden where individual plants grow together to create a rich, diverse ecosystem. Each plant, insect, and microorganism plays a simple role, but collectively, they form a complex, thriving environment with qualities that no single organism could achieve alone.

This concept is seen in nature when individual elements interact in a system, leading to new, often surprising behaviors and functions, much like how a diverse garden supports various forms of life and ecological interactions, far beyond the capacity of a single plant species.

Regenerative design naturally showcases how interconnectedness can give rise to complex, dynamic systems. The added complexity in an emergent system, like a thriving natural ecosystem, enhances its resilience and capacity to hold vitality.

Overall, the complexity in emergent systems isn’t just about having more parts; it’s about how these parts interact in sophisticated ways, creating a system that’s more robust, adaptable, and vibrant. This complexity is a big part of what makes these systems resilient and capable of sustaining vitality even under stress.

woman walking on pathway during daytime

Ecological Medicine

A foundational principle that underlies both wellness and regeneration is that we must consider the environment or surroundings of our experience. Quantum physics and many spiritual paths have revealed that we cannot be separated from each other or the environment in any real way. 

We recognize the interconnectedness of human health and the health of the environment and consider how our well-being is inextricably linked to the health of our ecosystems. In this way, community, ecology and public health are naturally and deeply integrated.

Ecological Medicine, therefore, is not just about treating illness, but about fostering an environment and lifestyles that inherently support health and well-being, recognizing the critical role that a healthy ecosystem plays in this process.

Understanding that human health is not isolated, but deeply connected to the environment. This means considering how factors like air quality, water purity, and biodiversity impact overall health.
Drawing from traditional practices like Chinese medicine, which view the body as a system in balance with its surroundings. This holistic view includes not just physical health, but mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being.

Advocating for and implementing healthcare practices that are sustainable and have a minimal negative impact on the environment. This might include the use of medicinal plants grown in permaculture systems, ensuring both the health of the patient and the ecosystem.

Combining ancient wisdom with modern technologies such as data analytics and blockchain, we use ecological medicine to develop innovative approaches to health that are informed by a deep understanding of ecological systems and modern scientific methods.

Educating communities about the importance of environmental stewardship as it relates to health and utilizing community networks to promote practices that support both ecological and human health.

succulent plant lot

Applied Systems Design

Systems are found everywhere in our lives and exist at every scale of our experience. Material flows in nature, dimensions of human awareness, knowledge, spirituality, time, etc. are all interconnected through the beauty of systems. 

Applied Systems Design, as we practice it, is a comprehensive, interdisciplinary approach that brings together diverse strands of knowledge and experience to design systems that are sustainable, regenerative, and responsive to the needs of both people and the planet.

It refers to a practical approach to designing systems that are holistic, integrated, and focused on sustainability and resilience.

We consider not just the individual components of a system, but how they interact and form a cohesive whole.

Imagine blending ancient practices with cutting-edge technologies like A.I. and blockchain. This could involve using data analytics to inform the design of sustainable ecosystems or leveraging AI to optimize Permaculture designs.

Central to our work is the creation of systems that are not just sustainable but regenerative. This involves designing processes and systems that restore and rejuvenate the environment and communities, going beyond mere conservation.

Our work in urban agriculture, web media strategy, and digital project management shows an application of systems design thinking across various domains. This involves designing web platforms that support sustainable initiatives or developing strategies that integrate sustainability into different aspects of business and community life.

a path with grass and trees

Elevate Sustainability in Your Business, Organization, or Community

Ready to explore how regenerative practices can enhance your business, organization, or community? Connect with me for a free, no-obligation strategy call OR a personalized presentation (both are available in-person and via Zoom). We’ll collaborate to create solutions that seamlessly blend economic viability with environmental and social integrity.

Take the next step towards a regenerative future for your venture. Schedule our meeting below. Let’s lead the change together!