Evolving the Field – Part 1

By |2023-08-25T21:31:12+00:00August 25th, 2023|Categories: Process, Thinking|

The excerpt below comes from the final chapter of our book, The Integrative Design Guide to Green Building: Redefining the Practice of Sustainability. This chapter foreshadows where we were headed then and speaks to what it is we are really working on now. A TRANSFORMATIONAL PROCESS The bottom line is that we need to change the field of development. In the bigger picture we need to change the way that human beings inhabit the planet. The good news is that our experience has taught us that the process of integration is by nature a transformational process. Recently we went back through our work history to identify those projects that were truly successful—that is, those that achieved higher-order sustainability goals on time and in budget. [...]

Exploring New Project Possibilities through a Beginner’s Mind: Omit the Checklist

By |2022-03-01T15:28:49+00:00February 25th, 2022|Categories: Process, Project, Story, Thinking|

“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.” - Shunryu Suzuki Every day, every week, month and year we’re given a clean slate. Every day is a day to start anew. It’s normal to fall into habitual ways of doing things, we all do it. When we catch ourselves defaulting to our old modes of thinking, it provides us with an opportunity to create something new. Of course, some tasks, such as brushing our teeth, require less of us and don’t necessarily need our full attention, while others require us to show up wholeheartedly. But, what if we tried using our other hand to complete this everyday task? How would this change our thinking, our perspective? Now, [...]

The Thanksgiving Address: Remembering and Giving Thanks to the Natural World

By |2021-12-08T21:30:02+00:00December 1st, 2021|Categories: Learning, Story, Thinking|

"Beginning with where our feet first touch the earth, we send greetings and thanks to all members of the natural world." - Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass When we open our eyes to the world around us, we can see there is much to be thankful for no matter what time of the year it may be. While we may get lost in the shuffle on any given day, a quick step outside along with a deep breath reminds us that we're not alone. The damp soil beneath our feet, a singing bird and the shining sun reminds us that Earth, our home, supports all of life. Even the cold, dark winter reminds us to take it slow and enjoy this time of rest, [...]

Manifesting Quiddity

By |2021-10-20T16:24:54+00:00October 13th, 2021|Categories: Thinking|

“Nobody is superior, nobody is inferior, but nobody is equal either. People are simply unique, incomparable. You are you, I am I. I have to contribute my potential to life; you have to contribute your potential to life. I have to discover my own being; you have to discover your own being.” - Osho You are entirely unique. In the whole history of human kind there is no one like you. Even identical twins are absolutely idiosyncratic. One of one, unlike no other. All other living beings are also entirely unique. The same can be said for all livings systems such as ecosystems, communities, neighborhoods and organizations. In fact, each place on Earth is beautifully distinct from every other. “Essence is the irreducible core [...]

Energetic Fields

By |2021-10-19T17:41:42+00:00July 7th, 2021|Categories: Process, Thinking|

"Every thought, action, decision, or feeling creates an eddy in the interlocking, inter-balancing energy fields of life. In this interconnected universe, every improvement we make in our private world improves the world at large for everyone." - David Hawkins Did you ever arrive at a meeting late and when you walked into the room you sensed something terrible had been discussed and the room felt heavy? In the same vein, have you ever arrived late at a meeting and felt you had just missed an amazing breakthrough and that everyone in the room felt up and there was a general positive vibe in the room? Have you ever felt either of those energies without ever having heard a word spoken? If you have, like most [...]

Regenerative Evocation

By |2021-03-31T20:21:52+00:00March 31st, 2021|Categories: Learning, Thinking|

Evocation: the act of bringing or recalling a feeling, memory, or image to the conscious mind. In order for us to evolve, we must recognize the trauma and resulting limiting beliefs we hold that prevents us from coming into our wholeness as human beings. We need to evoke our own regenerative capacity and capabilities if we are to heal ourselves and the traumas we inflict on one another and the other than human beings of this world. Healthy living systems are constantly evolving. They remain healthy by aligning their evolution with the principles of nature. The same can be said for people, communities, organizations, and any human focused system (like the way we produce and consume food). Aligning the way people think, with the [...]

Manifesting Potential

By |2021-03-10T14:20:24+00:00March 10th, 2021|Categories: Story, Thinking|

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” – Socrates “Nature uses human imagination to lift her work of creation to even higher levels.” – Luigi Pirandello  “Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done.” – Robert A. Heinlein. Most of us have been educated and trained to solve problems. We’re all pretty good at it . . . but imaging and manifesting potential? Not so much . . . yet effecting change requires building our capacity to do so. How many project meetings have you attended that were designed and aimed at solving a problem? Think of the last such meeting you attended with a group of folks with whom you were working [...]

RE Farm Café – The Power of Storytelling to Introduce Regenerative Thinking and Design

By |2021-03-02T21:34:23+00:00March 1st, 2021|Categories: Project, Story, Thinking|

7group and the West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund have just released Remarkable Reinvention, a 10-minute video that compresses years of regenerative thinking and design effort. Following the journey of owners Duke and Monica Gastiger, we see the initial idea for a green restaurant on a farm evolve to RE Farm Café at Windswept Farm - a café nested in a farm, a farm nested in a community and regional food production and consumption system. And while direct experience certainly offers the strongest learning potential, the role of storytelling to educate and inspire cannot be overlooked. "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 [...]

Working with Wholes

By |2021-11-15T18:29:30+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 [...]

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