What is even beyond sustainability? The Regenerative Development considers the human being as integrative part of nature, capable of being present and act as a reponsive part of the biosphere, even healing the woulds caused before. This idea is the guiding concept of a project series that we are relizing in a wonderful international partnership.
The Community Catalysts initiative aims to encourage youth and community leaders, activists and local decision-makers to learn and use progressive tools such as action research, supporting active citizenship, innovative community development methods, and participation in public policy planning. In this way, the regenerative development of rural and urban communities and the local economy can begin.
The first step in our collaboration is a project implemented between 2018 and 2020, in which we developed a guideline and video materials and created a practical toolkit for working with communities to support the design and implementation of initiatives and local projects rooted in the Regenerative Development paradigm.
Launched in 2020, our ongoing project is the second step on the road, focusing on the economy. The approach used here is the idea of the Transformative Economy, which includes Agroecology and Food Sovereignity; the approach of Commons; the Feminist Economy; and the Social and Solidarity Economy. In the economic dimension the regenerative development can be facilitated through these principles according to our view. In the project, after a participatory action research, we are developing a curriculum and creating an online platform to disseminate the principles of the Transformative Economy as widely as possible.
The third project, aiming at the social, community dimension will start in 2022. Here the central idea is Community Resilience. We will report on this in more detail later.
The organizations cooperating in the project carry out social, ecological and economic regeneration activities in different countries of Europe. We are all looking for complex, unique responses to the challenges of local society, addressing every 21st century problem with a holistic approach, be it disruption, difficulty or even disaster due to conflict or malfunction in the natural habitat or society.
Organizations working in partnership are: Resilience.Earth from Olot in Catalonia, who have been catalysing community participation processes for 15 years in 15 countries, including eco-social planning and action research; Red de Transición, also from Spain, who have been active in the transition movement for 10 years, with the aim of creating new civic models and the most flexible institutional and community functioning possible; Palma Nana in Sicily, which has been in operation since the 1980s, one of its main activities is the strategic development of sustainable food supply and producer-consumer cooperation; the Portuguese Projecto Novas, who has been working in environmental education for more than 20 years, operating a farm and regenerative approach in a permacultural approach at the moment, with Gaia Education, which has been active since 1998, with a vast network of 48 countries. In our project on the Transformative Economy, the Department of Business of the University of Barcelona has also joined the partnership.
All three projects are supported by the European Commission's ERASMUS+ program.