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2017-07-11 - #062

Designing Regenerative Business Models

We're delighted to be able to announce this month our speaker is Dr. Daniel Christian Wahl is a consultant and educator in regenerative development, whole systems design, and transformative innovation (www.danielchristianwahl.com).  He is a member of the International Futures Forum since 2009 and Gaia Education since 2007. He is the author of the recent, excellent and increasingly acclaimed book Designing Regenerative Cultures.

In his presentation this month we'll get an introduction to how Daniel suggests his work could be applied to the design of regenerative business models.  Daniel suggests this conversation could focus an a variety of different issues, depending on the interest of participants. Below he provides some 'provocations' you might enjoy looking at before the meeting.

As usual, we are meeting on the 2nd Tuesday of the month
  • Date: Tues July 11 
  • Time: 90 minutes starting 16h30 EST /21h30 GMT / 22h30 CET

To join the meeting please see to the F2F co-ordinates or virtual logistics posted to our LinkedIn Group in this post.

Anyone who joins the LinkedIn forum is considered a member of this group and is welcome to join at the meeting


To introduce his book Daniel wrote:

Since early 2017, Daniel has been releasing excerpts from this book (published under Creative Commons 4.0 NC) on this Medium blog: https://medium.com/@designforsustainability 

From the book:

"Sustainability alone is not an adequate goal. The word sustainability itself is inadequate, as it does not tell us what we are actually trying to sustain. In 2005, after spending two years working on my doctoral thesis on design for sustainability, I began to realize that what we are actually trying to sustain is the underlying pattern of health, resilience and adaptability that maintain this planet in a condition where life as a whole can flourish. Design for sustainability is, ultimately, design for human and planetary health (Wahl, 2006b).

A regenerative human culture is healthy, resilient and adaptable; it cares for the planet and it cares for life in the awareness that this is the most effective way to create a thriving future for all of humanity. The concept of resilience is closely related to health, as it describes the ability to recover basic vital functions and bounce back from any kind of temporary breakdown or crisis. When we aim for sustainability from a systemic perspective, we are trying to sustain the pattern that connects and strengthens the whole system. Sustainability is first and foremost about systemic health and resilience at different scales, from local, to regional and global.

Complexity science can teach us that as participants in a complex dynamic eco- psycho-social system that is subject to certain biophysical limits, our goal has to be appropriate participation, not prediction and control(Goodwin, 1999a). The best way to learn how to participate appropriately is to pay more attention to systemic relationships and interactions, to aim to support the resilience and health of the whole system, to foster diversity and redundancies at multiple scales, and to facilitate positive emergence through paying attention to the quality of connections and information flows in the system. This book explores how this might be done." 

This conversation with the Strongly Sustainable Business Model Group could focus an a variety of different issues, depending on the interest of participants. Here are some 'provocations' you might enjoy looking at before our meeting:


To introduce himself Daniel wrote:

Dr. Daniel Christian Wahl works internationally as a consultant and educator in regenerative development, whole systems design, and transformative innovation. He holds degrees in biology (Univ. of Edinburgh), and holistic science (Schumacher College), and his 2006 doctoral thesis (Univ. of Dundee) was on Design for Human and Planetary Health. 

He was director of Findhorn College between 2007 and 2010, and is a member of the International Futures Forum since 2009 and Gaia Education since 2007. He has collaborated with UNITAR and UNESCO, many large NGO, and as a consultant he has worked with companies such as Camper, Ecover and Lush, as well as, with UK Foresight and the Commonwealth Secretariat. 

Daniel is a fellow of the RSA, a Findhorn Foundation Fellow, on the advisory councils of the Ojai Foundation and of the Ecosystems Restoration Coop, and member of the research group of the Global Ecovillage Network. Daniel co-founded Biomimicry Iberia (2012) and has been collaborating with ‘SmartUIB’ at the University of the Balearic Islands since 2014. He currently also works part-time as Gaia Education’s head of innovation and programme design.

His first book Designing Regenerative Cultures was published in 2016 by Triarchy Press and has already reached international acclaim. The 'SDG Community Implementation Flashcards' he developed for Gaia Education have been taken up enthusiastically by UNESCO and are being translated into the 5 official UN languages. 


No slides were presented.  And a link to the unedited recording of this meeting is available via our drop box.  Please contact Prof. Nabil Harfoush for access via the Linkedin Group.

The link to the recording is posted as a comment to the Linkedin Post about this meeting, along with on-going discussion about the meeting by our members.

Attendance list was updated at the event (if a location is not provided participant was in Toronto)
  • Daniel Christian Wahl
  • Antony Upward (SSBMG co-founder, Convener Flourishing Enterprise Innovation Toolkit Project)
  • Amy Feldman, Innovation Consultant
  • Michi Komori, Sustainable Business Practices Consultant
  • Randy Sa'd, Executive Director REFOCUS on Sustainability
  • Lindsay McDonald, FreshEye Thinking
  • Alana Boltwood, Student MDes Strategic Foresight and Innovation, OCAD University
  • Yeshua Adonai, Founder of Systemic Innovation, si.life (Silicon Valley)
  • Simon Robinson, Holonomics Education (Sao Paulo, Brazil) 
  • Maria Robinson, Holonomics Education (Sao Paulo, Brazil) 
  • Peter Jones, SSBMG co-founder, Prof. MDes Strategic Foresight and Innovation, OCAD University
  • Stephen Davies, Prof. MDes Strategic Foresight and Innovation, OCAD University
  • Ron Memel, MDes Strategic Foresight and Innovation, OCAD University
  • Florencia Rivolta, Argentina
  • Ian Pinnell, Community Animator, Flourishing Enterprise Innovation Toolkit Project
  • Andrew Simpson, Ecotone Software
  • Chad Green, Program Analyst, Loudoun County Public Schools (Virgina)
  • Dori Tunstall, Dean Faculty of Design, OCAD University
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