In this series of blogs, the corona virus is the reason to take you into the vision of Natuurlijk! about how nature can inspire us to solve our contemporary challenges. In this blog I zoom in on one of the 8 design strategies that nature uses: respond to local circumstances.
Globalization is a magic word
Fair is fair globalization has brought us a lot and will continue to do so in the future. However, we can take a more critical look at where it really serves us and where it does not. And to what extent does it help us to become regenerative?
It is of course fantastic that we can buy exotic fruit (like my favorite mango) on the market. Possess technological achievements from Japan and the US and travel easily to wherever we want. International knowledge sharing and cooperation certainly makes us stronger and more resilient.
We now also know that there is a downside to it. The unsustainable side, such as dragging food over the globe, may be clear. And partly due to the global connection and the great mobility that this entails, the corona virus has been able to spread at lightning speed. Everything is connected to everything and that also makes us vulnerable.
In the national and worldly economy, everything had to be bigger and bigger or you wouldn’t count. The damage to nature and the exploitation of people are some of the flaws in this one-dimensional woven system. A regenerative climate policy alone requires a 90 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. This is only possible in a radically different model of globalization, including other power relations.
The counter-current in our society
A movement has arisen from people who are increasingly working locally and sustainably with each other. Mostly from citizen initiatives because people really want and can organize it differently. It starts on a small scale and grows rapidly due to the great interest of people who want to participate.
In Europe, for example, there are already thousands of citizen cooperatives for renewable energy. In Germany, they own half of the installations for green energy production. More and more people are also producing their own food through cooperatives. Think of the large-scale food forests that are currently being set up. Local entrepreneurs support each other in local and regional groups by selling each other’s regional products. Or to purchase services and products within the region instead of outside. Farmers who return their lands to nature and switch to forestry. Now we have to wait for the politics to support this.
The question is whether globalization will keep its ‘magic’ or whether new magic words will come. I myself am convinced of the latter. Don’t get me wrong, global is certainly not wrong, but the impact on our overall system is sometimes simply too great and sometimes makes us unnecessarily vulnerable. Because we become so terribly dependent on events that initially do not affect us or over which we have no influence, but that we can infect us very quickly. During the corona crisis it became clear that we are totally dependent on foreign producers for the protective equipment and equipment that are so badly needed on the frontline. Then you can still have so much money in cash, the availability does not improve.
Tomatoes from Spain
In the Dutch supermarkets, tomatoes from Spain and from even much further are on the shelves, while they are grown around the corner in abundance and of very high quality. With fewer pesticides. The tomatoes that are grown here then go abroad again. Something in the design is not right here? It is not a regenerative design! Natuurlijk! really does that differently.
It has to do with market forces, supply and demand, price orientation. That ignores a number of things that are important for regeneration. For example, environmental costs caused by transport pollution are not taken into account in the pricing of an imported product, which means that they remain invisible throughout the entire chain. Higher yields due to ‘improved’ production methods unfortunately yield products with less nutritional value. More transparency on the products in the store will make customers choose more consciously. “The polluter pays” is increasingly accepted by society. It will not be long before we can measure the quality of fruit and vegetables ourselves with a device in the store. Then it is no longer only important how it looks (flawless), but especially how healthy the product you buy is (the content of vitamins, minerals and fibers). We’ll do all that in a few years.
The example of nature
Nature does not let the humus fly in ‘from far away’ to enrich the soil on the spot. It uses what falls locally from the trees. A local circular cycle enriches the entire system more and more and does not pollute, just like in an untouched forest. In nature, raw materials are used that are available locally and more than enough.
What does this mean for organizations?
For the reasons mentioned above, there is an increasing need and therefore a demand for regenerative products and services. In the end, existing interests will be broken down and political support will emerge. Then a different policy will be pursued and this will have a major impact on organizations. If you do not want to wait for that as an organization, then delve into all trends – even if they are only small – and continue to follow them. For example, take a look at the example of Mondragón Cooperative Corporation in Spain or the largest food forest in Europe that is currently being built in The Netherlands. If you take the lead in these trends yourself, as a company you will receive a lot of goodwill from the public and it will also make and keep you economically healthy. It all starts with really wanting this by heart.
The more consumers have the opportunity to hook up, the faster the change will go and frontrunners will benefit the most. It is not only about production, but also e.g. about financing new sustainable initiatives. Supporting innovations and deliberately no longer participating in the ‘old’ unsustainable alternative. Green washing is dismantled and regeneration will be the new standard.
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.
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 email@example.com
The drawing in this blog was made by By Evie; Evie helps organizations to capture complex matter in a striking image.