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Traditional education models are failing to instill a sense of empowerment, especially as they pertain to environmental issues. This failure leads to a profound sense of despair and encourages a sense of helplessness and apathy in the face of the existential threats tied to climate change, biodiversity loss, and environmental degradation. Regenerative education, by contrast, works to facilitate one's role as a changemaker empowered to create positive change.


Core to the philosophy of regenerative education is “enabling and developing the understanding of patterns… [so that] students engage in self-actualization, self-realization, system actualization, and system-realization.” More specifically, these processes move towards whole systems exploration, going beyond the traditional models of education focused on rote learning in isolated subject areas. In moving towards whole systems change, students recognize the complexity in order to redefine current systems and adopt new paradigms for a changing world. The goal is to facilitate and empower students to articulate their purposes, intentions, and callings in order to enact positive change, specifically to “reimagine” a food system that is life-giving, restorative, and enhancing. 

Ultimately, this learning releases the unacknowledged possibilities and potentials within ourselves, between each other, and within the natural world, allowing us to reach a greater capacity to nurture, support, and give life. This type of education emphasizes the following five components:

  1. It’s solution based. The focus is to learn through innovation—a process that develops insight, interest, and excitement. In this setting, one learns firsthand through engagement with real-life projects.

  2. It honors community and self-reflection. Regenerative education urges us to engage meaningfully with our communities, each other, and ourselves. In doing this, we must also explore our worldviews and actions; that is, we need to ask ourselves: who’s benefiting from our practices, and what ideas are being maintained and perpetuated? Do our actions create equality and inclusion? Is all life being celebrated?  

  3. It recognizes teachers as facilitators. In this setting, teachers develop activities and projects that intentionally bring forth and build upon participants’ unique experiences, ideas, and potential. Students learn from each other while also developing a greater awareness of their strengths, skills, and abilities. 

  4. It’s ongoing and continuous. Once the live workshops and programs are over, students stay connected through support systems to develop and expand their ideas, projects, and practices.

  5. It’s centered on the whole. All learning in this system recognizes the interconnectedness of human activity within the wider web of life.

In implementing these five components, Global Roots partners with organizations around the world to assist in developing workshops and programs grounded in regenerative education. Currently, Global Roots collaborates with RAICES Global in developing 7-15-day Whole Systems Change education programs. 

About educational opportunities that Global Roots supports


"We need to tell stories about solutions and give people hope rather than struggle with the overwhelming sense of weight and isolation that we feel when we only focus on the problems of the world. We need to encourage, co-operate and inspire our friends, family and community. The solutions to the problems of the world already exist. They just need to be made visible to the public eye so we can implement them at the global scale. Once we expand our worldview to acknowledge the vast scope of the new models, we can create positive change exponentially." 

~ Maddy Harland

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