Humanity is confronted with threats unprecedented in the history of our species. There is an urgent need to describe the "how"; for managing the convergent threats of ecological overshoot and civilization collapse. This book offers a clear and cogent pathway for safeguarding humanity's future through an extended period of cascading consequences.
To a great extent, the rest of our lives will be defined by how those who understand our global predicament organize and cooperate with one other. We are in the midst of a planetary change process that extends far beyond a human lifetime. Most of us experience a kind of intergenerational amnesia – having never seen an intact ecosystem or a healthy human economy at any point in our lives. How can we design our way through the struggles that now lie ahead?
We design by embracing the fundamental insight that all living systems self-organize around the patterns of regeneration. Applied to the scale of entire landscapes, this reveals how all truly sustainable human cultures throughout history were organized at the territorial scale as bioregional economies. A planet-wide network of learning ecosystems is needed that can hold the complexity of birthing these regenerative bioregions during and after the rest of the collapse that we were all born into.
This book offers genuine hope. There truly is a pathway to regenerate the Earth. It is not to be found in the shallow optimism of techno-fixes or consumer choices. Nothing short of a spiritual revival of indigenous lifeways will do. Combined with the best scientific knowledge about human behaviour, cultural evolution, and the dynamic Earth; a path can be made by walking it throughout the rest of this century and beyond.
Joe Brewer is a complexity researcher and transdisciplinary scholar who has devoted his life to helping humanity through the sustainability bottleneck. He weaves insights from the scientific study of cultural evolution, human cognition, and earth system science into frameworks for action. Prior affiliations include the International Centre for Earth Simulation, the Center for Complex Systems Research at the University of Illinois, the Cultural Evolution Society, the Rockridge Institute, and the Evolution Institute.