This exploratory study was carried out for the Enviroschools Foundation. It aims to represent some of the important ideas, processes, points of view and outcomes that we noticed as researcher-participants in ReGeneration ’09, a four-day hui held in February 2009.
ReGeneration brought together young adults and secondary-school-aged youth with an interest and involvement in sustainability and environmental issues within their schools, workplaces and communities. A long-term goal was to help inspire and build youth-initiated and youth-supported regenerative action in communities across New Zealand.
We identified key features of the ReGeneration ’09 learning environment and considered how these features compared with common approaches to secondary school teaching and learning. We hope to contribute to further thinking about how our education system might be reshaped to incorporate more of the ReGeneration ideas and ways of doing things.
A “zeitgeist” around sustainability, social change, self-organisation and emergence is visible in contemporary literature, as well as in the broadcast and online media environment. It challenges us to think about change processes, and about human relationships with one another and the Earth, in a very different way from those that have predominated in Western society through the Industrial Age. Aspects of ReGeneration give us insight into the kind of paradigm shifts that other writers have argued will be necessary in today’s times of genuinely open-ended challenges, particularly in shifting from a mechanistic paradigm to a complex systems paradigm.
The report braids together multiple voices: our own, participants’ and other authors’. It presents a picture of ReGeneration at a specific moment in time. The ReGeneration network continues to evolve and change—to learn and regenerate. We hope that the report will form part of this emerging regeneration narrative