Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Email from Medard Gable to Joo Hock:

Photo of Medard from

Dear Joo Hock,

Please feel free to forward this to all my friends on your Bucky network.

It is my conviction that Bucky carried the concept of sustainability to a higher level— that of regeneration. What I mean by this is that regeneration is to sustainability as sustainability is to the business-as-usual or conventional non-sustainable development. Sustainability is the concept that development will not destroy or degrade the foundations upon which development depends; that future generations will have the same level of life-support resources as the present generation has. (Non-sustainable development does not care about future generations and their resources or life-support systems; it is all about getting what is wanted right now.) Regenerative development takes sustainability to the next level. Instead of just having the same level of resources in the future as we have now, regenerative development strives to have more resources or better life-support systems in the future than we have now. Here's an example: conventional farming systems results each year in less topsoil and biological capacity to produce than the previous year. Sustainable farming results in maintaining topsoil and biological complexity and capacity. Regenerative agriculture results in more and better quality topsoil and biological complexity each year. One way of looking at it is that "sustainability" seeks to maintain what we have for future generations, and "regeneration" seeks to increase what future generations have.

Regenerative development is at the core of the design science methodology that participants learn at the annual Design Science Labs ( A paper describing regenerative design can be found at

Best regards,

Medard Gabel

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