When we cooked up THRIVE BMC (The Regenerative business model canvas) last year, we were all coming from a place where we were tired. Tired of dealing with the extractive world and tired of the inane qualities of humans, our civilization and nature being ignored in our modern lives. So building this model was pretty much creating hope and a tool for ourselves to work towards the future we believe in. And we understood that to shift habits, actions of ourselves and those around us, we first need to shift perspectives. We need to make a shift in our mindset. At that point we gave birth to the regenerative mindset, with the deep guidance of what we all knew best, our roots. Our roots here in South Asia and the Eastern philosophies we grew up with.
By working with over a hundred regeneratively-oriented entrepreneurs, what we realized is that regenerative mindset encompasses four key elements: joy, agility, abundance, and inclusivity. These elements are essential for cultivating a positive and sustainable approach to life and addressing the challenges we face in our world today.
Joy: is a fundamental aspect of a regenerative mindset. It involves finding happiness, fulfillment, and wholeness in our lives and activities. It encourages us to approach challenges with optimism and enthusiasm, fostering a sense of purpose and well-being. By embracing joy, we tap into our innate creativity, resilience, and ability to navigate difficult situations by serving others, or solving a greater problem to make life better for others.
From an Eastern perspective, joy can be seen as a reflection of inner harmony and balance. In Eastern philosophies like Taoism, finding joy involves aligning with the natural flow of life, known as the Tao. It emphasizes the interplay of yin and yang energies—the feminine and masculine aspects—in creating a harmonious existence. Joy arises when we embrace both the receptive, nurturing qualities of the feminine (yin) and the active, dynamic qualities of the masculine (yang), fostering a holistic integration of our being.
Agility : refers to the ability to adapt and respond effectively to changing circumstances. In a rapidly evolving world, being agile is crucial for personal growth, professional or personal success, and addressing complex global issues. An agile mindset allows us to embrace uncertainty, learn from failures, and quickly adjust our strategies. It enables us to seize opportunities, explore new ideas, and find innovative solutions to challenges, promoting continuous improvement and progress.
As much as this is a startup or corporate buzzword, we come to it from an eastern philosophies perspective. Emphasizing the importance of adaptability and flexibility in navigating life's challenges. In Buddhism this is reflected through the concept of impermanence. Everything changes and nothing lasts forever. The concept of Wu Wei, often associated with Taoism, suggests that by aligning with the natural rhythms of the universe, we can effortlessly flow with change. By balancing the yin and yang energies within us, we cultivate a state of harmony, allowing us to respond to situations with grace, ease, and resilience. This fluidity of mind and action enables us to embody the principle of non-attachment, adapting to circumstances while staying rooted in our true nature.
Abundance: entails recognizing and celebrating the abundance that exists in the world, rather than approaching life from a scarcity mindset that we’re trained to from the industrial era. It involves acknowledging that resources and opportunities are not finite, but can be expanded through collaboration, innovation, and sustainable practices. Adopting an abundance mindset encourages us to think beyond limitations and to seek win-win solutions that benefit individuals, communities, and the planet as a whole.
Eastern philosophies teach us to perceive abundance beyond material possessions and cultivate an attitude of contentment. The idea of interconnectedness, as found in Buddhism and Hinduism, recognizes that all beings and elements in the universe are interconnected in a vast web of existence. By nurturing a sense of interconnectedness, we shift our perspective from scarcity to sufficiency, recognizing that the resources available to us are abundant when approached with gratitude, mindfulness, and responsible stewardship.
Inclusivity: Inclusivity emphasizes the importance of embracing diversity, respecting all individuals, and fostering an environment of equality and belonging. It involves recognizing and valuing the unique perspectives, experiences, and contributions of people from different backgrounds, cultures, and identities. An inclusive mindset promotes collaboration, empathy, and understanding, enabling us to build stronger relationships, generate more innovative ideas, and create a more just and equitable society. In an organisation, this is to go beyond metrics which only scratches the surface like counting the number of females in the workforce, and embrace the concept of shared ownership of resources, and assets.
Eastern philosophies embrace the notion of inclusivity through concepts like interdependence and compassion. Buddhism, for example, emphasizes the interconnectedness of all living beings and encourages us to cultivate empathy and understanding for others. The I Ching, a Chinese philosophical text, reflects the balance of yin and yang energies through its hexagrams, symbolizing the dynamic interplay of opposites. By embracing diversity and recognizing the inherent value in each individual, we foster a sense of unity and create a harmonious society that honors the unique contributions of all.
Together, joy, agility, abundance, and inclusivity form a holistic framework for approaching life and problem-solving with a regenerative mindset. The more joy you have, there is a freedom that’s unleashed within you that allows you to be more agile. The more agility you have, the more opportunity you have to tap into abundance as you’re not weighed down by historical baggage. When you have embraced abundance, you have the ability of being inclusive because inclusivity and empathy have no space in a mind grappling with scarcity.
By integrating these elements into our daily lives, decision-making processes, our interactions with others, and the organizations we build, it helps us embrace both the external and internal dimensions of our being, fostering a deep sense of connection, harmony, and purpose in our journey toward a more sustainable and inclusive world.