The corona virus and the design of our society

The corona virus and the design of our society

Blog 1.

Today a first blog from a new series of Natuurlijk! We take advantage of the topicality of the corona virus and explain how a natural design can improve the resilience of our society. Starting with our organizations. We of Natuurlijk! see in the corona crisis, in addition to the enormous impact, especially the opportunities to rethink the man-made designs. We are inspired by nature and all its wisdom.

In mid-February my good friend Lucas and I were having a meal¬† in a good Italian restaurant with our partners, to have a good chat. At that time, the corona virus was somewhat ‘in China’ and closer to now ‘also in Italy’. So quite far from our bed. We thought, we hoped.

Lucas predicted that this virus was going to have major consequences and I was surprised that someone who is normally so positive in life was now so concerned about what is going on. “Not only on the stock market, but even if you do not have shares, this will have major consequences for pensions, employment and the economy,” he explained. “The vulnerable people in our society are particularly affected.” Since then the thought never left me.

Since quite some years I have immersed myself in the natural design strategies of nature and how we as humans can let nature principles work to our advantage in our man-made designs. Our ‘human designs’ and, for example, globalization clearly have limitations and risks. If this corona virus is able to paralyze the world, what else awaits us?

If we look at nature, the natural design is based on eight natural design strategies. In the upcoming blogs I will explain why a crisis like the one caused by the corona virus will never occur in nature. And how we can take advantage of that knowledge.

I certainly do not want to insinuate that we can immediately solve all our contemporary problems. It may well prompt us to think about a more resilient and future-proof designs. For all humanity, in harmony with all life and nature around us. In addition, I always think of Permaculture.

Inspiration from Permaculture

Permaculture is a science for designing the human living environment in a way that is environmentally sustainable and economically stable. Complex ecosystems in nature serve as an example.

David Holmgren – the founder of Permaculture – nicely indicates in one of his books that traditional agriculture is mainly labor-intensive, industrial agriculture is mainly energy-intensive and a system designed by Permaculture is mainly information, knowledge and design-intensive . Think not only of a system for agriculture, but also of a system for our entire society. Systemic thinking is the starting point.

A Permaculture design is a natural design of a system in which all parts have a ‘under the line result’ that strengthens the total system. We call this at Natuurlijk! a regenerative design. Regenerative organizations are created by applying this within organizations. Below the line, regenerative organizations deliver more than they cost and are therefore really sustainable and not green washing. By applying this in organizations, society can change from the inside out. This is how we make the transition to the regenerative era.

What does this mean for organizations?

Regenerative designs are already successfully used on a small and larger scale. The reason for this success is that regenerative organizations operate in local conditions (one of the natural design syrategies), making them less dependent on external factors. Another reason is that they focus on optimization rather than maximization, making them more profitable for all stakeholders. Diversity is also of paramount importance. If something goes wrong in one link of the system (think of crop failure), the versatility of crops means that you can still harvest enough. Furthermore, parts of the system are as multifunctional as possible, so that each element can fulfill multiple functions. This creates a flexible and adaptive system. Organizations that apply such principles are regenerative, resilient and can do fast, much, meaningful, beautiful and economically profitable work.

In the coming blogs I will go deeper into how nature can inspire us in creating a natural and regenerative design for the future. I also explain why this offers opportunities for organizations to be regeneratively and economically healthy.

The next blog in this series about corona and our society is about: Global versus local

Natuurlijk! has the mission for organizations and their stakeholders to create engagement, decisiveness, innovative drive, positive cooperation and appealing regenerative results.

By providing insight into nature principles and their application in organizations, we share in-depth knowledge about the transition to the regenerative era. We do this by sharing our practical change knowledge in training and in practice.

Natuurlijk! inspires, designs, advises and assists with change issues and their development.

Became curious?

Do you want to know how Natuurlijk! can mean something for your organization in terms of engagement, change, regenerative organization and training? Feel free to contact us via this website or via a message to

The drawing in this blog was made by By Evie; Evie helps organizations to capture complex matter in a striking image.

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