What’s “degenerative”? What’s “regenerative”?

These words and concepts can seem very abstract, which makes it hard to apply them in practical ways to our livelihoods.

Thankfully, our living Earth, and the soil beneath our feet provide very concrete ways to understand how erosive spirals degenerate ecosystems and communities.

We need to be able to identify degenerative feedback loops in our lives, livelihoods, and economies. “Deciding to become awake” and then naming those is an important first step towards intervening in degenerative systems.

The soil also enables us to understand what regenerative feedback loops can look like, and this video shows an example of how we can work with nature to heal damaged ecosystems.

Are these metaphors useful for you in thinking about your livelihood? How?


  1. Leslie on November 30, 2018 at 9:38 pm

    Your comment about measuring a society’s success by GDP reminded me of a Ted Talk I watched about Bhutan’s measurement of success as Gross Domestic Happiness AND they are carbon negative. It is a great model of what is possible: https://youtu.be/7Lc_dlVrg5M

  2. […] What’s “Degenerative”? What’s “Regenerative”? Two videos exploring this concept—by learning from the soil. […]

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