Working with Wholes

By |2020-12-17T21:40:58+00:00December 14th, 2020|Categories: Story, Thinking|

"Mythologist Joseph Campbell once said, "People who don’t have a concept of the whole can do very unfortunate things." But the corollary is rarely considered: People who understand the whole can do very fortunate things." - Linda Booth Sweeney Humans possess the capacity to think in wholes – to see whole systems at work. Our ancient ancestors did so without the aid of our current dependence on machines. Everything in creation was viewed as inter-related and connected. Then a new story emerged, slowly and then almost all at once. This new story focused on the idea of separation instead of connection. It tells us that humans are simply rational actors behaving in our own self-interest, ultimately seeking to transcend this world for a better [...]


By |2019-03-25T15:49:52+00:00March 19th, 2019|Categories: Thinking|

The entirety of our world is alive! We are a part of, and integral to this living, breathing, moving, speaking, listening, touching, defecating, squirming, decomposing, growing, interacting, complex whole of Life. We are surrounded by, immersed in, and a part of the living world. We co-inhabit a living planet in reciprocal relationship with all other living beings. Without our fellow beings we would not long survive. We depend on other beings to pollinate plants, produce food, provide air to breath, clean water, regulate climate, decompose waste, make edible matter from sunlight and living soil, manifest beauty and soothe our soul. “The opposite of nature is impossible.” – Buckminster Fuller It seems, though, that we have forgotten this, as if we are trying to remake [...]

The Evolution of 7group

By |2019-03-25T15:47:41+00:00February 1st, 2019|Categories: Organism, Thinking|

As we continually regenerate 7group our beliefs, philosophy and principles evolve. Here is the latest evolution of our thinking. The System we are seeking to Transform: Processes that develop the interactions between human world views, the built environment, and living systems. Belief:  “Humans are nature” Processes for developing how humans create and inhabit built environments can regenerate life. Human world views evolve through processes of exchange. The built environment has the potential for regenerating life. All life is sacred. Philosophy:  “Everyone plays a valuable role” Use every project and interaction as an instrument for developing our own and others’ capacity to engage regenerative thinking/doing/being with caring and compassion. Principles:  “The built environment serves as an instrument for regenerating life” Develop regenerative thinking . . [...]

IBPSA Features One of Our Own

By |2018-10-26T20:18:14+00:00October 26th, 2018|Categories: Thinking|

International Building Performance Simulation Association’s mission is to foster better building performance through building simulation by improving the design, construction, operation and maintenance of new and existing buildings in the United States. Each month, they highlight a member asking them to share their insights about themselves, their careers and the present and future state of energy simulation as they see it.  This month their Member Spotlight is on 7group partner, Marcus Sheffer. Learn more about how Marcus’ path led him to building energy modeling (BEM) and journey with him as he explores the connections between living systems and energy modeling. In this brief discussion, Marcus shares why BEM is exciting (yes, he said exciting) to him and why it matters. He details how BEM [...]

Manifesting Your Project

By |2018-07-02T16:51:31+00:00July 2nd, 2018|Categories: Process, Project, Thinking|

Your project is far more than an amalgamation of materials and systems. It is a physical manifestation of your values, of what you really care about. Its design and construction sets the stage for much of what it becomes and serves over its lifetime. Its effects will extend well beyond the people who design, construct and inhabit it. It can contribute to the ecological health of the place it inhabits. It can serve to enrich the community, the watershed and the larger systems that support and enable it to exist. It can be experienced as more than an enclosure for people to be sheltered by focusing on its larger purpose and greatest potential. Just like each one of us, every project should be manifested [...]

Regenerating Your Community

By |2018-08-07T20:25:51+00:00April 4th, 2018|Categories: Learning, Process, Thinking|

Every community is entirely unique. Each is distinctive. This work is about exploring, understanding and evolving that distinctiveness, so that members of each community can deepen their understanding of the unique essence of their particular place . . . and to see that essence as the core instrument for developing any community’s quality of life. In other words, such a regenerative process aligns community members (and project teams, when applicable) around what makes that community singular in a way that can grow the community’s viability and vitality indefinitely. An effective regenerative and integrative process invites community members (and design team members, again when applicable) to serve as authentic co-creators: they co-create and own any given program or project’s purpose, rather than being told what [...]

Telling Your Story

By |2018-04-11T13:43:47+00:00February 15th, 2018|Categories: Story, Thinking|

The most powerful person in the world is the story teller. The storyteller sets the vision, values and agenda of an entire generation that is to come. – Steve Jobs For thousands of years, since the first cave paintings were discovered, telling stories has been one of our most fundamental communication methods. Stories are not a recitation of facts, but integrate human perspective and emotion to create affectiveness. Tell me the facts and I’ll learn. Tell me the truth and I’ll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever. – Native American Proverb Regenerative thinking identifies “three lines” of impact for the work in which we engage. The first line is individual personal development, and story creation provides a way [...]

The Evolution of Ecological Design – GreenCon 2018

By |2018-02-16T18:11:42+00:00February 15th, 2018|Categories: Learning, Thinking|

How has your thinking about what constitutes a green building changed over time? Is a green building a collection of components with green attributes? Is simply doing less harm good enough? Are we slowing down our impacts fast enough? Can doing good offset the damage we have caused? Can humanity shift from degrading living systems to helping all beings thrive? If yes, can we meet our own needs while doing so? What is sustainability trying to sustain? How can a system designed to constantly evolve reach a state of sustainability? Can technology address the ecological imperatives we face on the planet? Can we achieve sustainability without a significant shift in our worldviews? Do humans have the capacity to change their worldview absent dramatic crisis? Can [...]

Regenerating 7group

By |2017-12-19T20:37:36+00:00September 8th, 2017|Categories: Organism, Thinking|

Our journey began more than 25 years ago as we explored what constituted a green building. Our initial focus was on trying to figure out how to implement specific strategies related to technical building systems. We caught the LEED wave very early and worked to help create it in a myriad of ways as it swept across the market. We developed a keen focus on systems thinking and an integrative process. Impactful videos on our approach and projects put us on the map here and abroad. We wrote a book on integrative design with Bill Reed in 2009 that has become the definitive guide on the subject as applied to green building projects. While we still apply an integrative process to all of our [...]

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