We need to start using the R-words more and D-words less.
More restoration, revitalization, renovation, and remediation, and much less development, depletion, or degradation — those directives of the 20th Century that have wrought incredible damage on both the planet and its inhabitants.
That’s the message delivered by author and international speaker, Storm Cunningham, in his latest book, reWealth! It’s his follow-up to the acclaimed Restoration Economy, the first book to document the eight giant, fast-growing industries in the “restoration economy” that are renewing our natural and built environments.
Given the widespread destruction of healthy ecosystems and therefore, healthy integrated communities, we need to move beyond the status quo of simply conservation or “sustainability” to establish both the process and program of building reWealth in the restoration economy, advises Cunningham.
I can only have the audacity of hope that President Elect Barack Obama arranges to have Cunningham over for dinner – often. (Cunningham’s office is but two blocks from the White House). After all, it’s in the restoration economy that we’ll find the best “green collar jobs” in companies that thrive under a triple bottom line and with missions to remake the world for the better.
Below is a visual summary of the “renewal engine” for reWealth, which bases wealth creation on asset renewal. The natural, built and socioeconomic environments, together, must all be renewed to be viable.
“The renewal engine is a permanent, non-profit, public-private organization,” writes Cunningham. “It makes decisions according to the three ‘renewal rules’: rewealth (basing wealth-creation primarily on asset renewal), integration (of natural, built, and socioeconomic assets) and engagement (of all stakeholders).”
If you’re an ecopreneur, investor, community leader or professional, this authoritative book matches the theory with practical realities of businesses, organizations and communities that have shifted how they operate to restore our damaged world. The estimated $2 trillion restoration industry is already fast at work healing the planet.
ReWealth! dives into the processes and programs of restorative change that’s transforming the way we do business and operate as communities. Among the many topics addressed in considerable, but easy to read detail, include:
* Natural resource restoration
* Community & regional revitalization
* Building economic growth without ugly sprawl or unsustainable resource extraction
* Our global economic, environmental, technological, & sociological future
* New and emerging business and investment opportunities
* Visions and plans for integrated post-catastrophe recovery (resulting, for example, for impacts of climate change)
* Public policy to renew natural, built and cultural environments
* Strategies for local, regional, national and global economic development
* Renewal of community assets (heritage, brownfields, infrastructure and culture)
* Renewal of planetary assets (ecosystems, watersheds, fisheries and agricultural lands)
ReWealth! offers provides stories of people who are restoring the world for a living, whether as entrepreneurs, investors, or “retirees” as well as professionals who have applied “renewal rules” and “renewal processes” that reverse environmental, infrastructure, economic, or social crises. ReWealth! details how you can craft “renewal engines” that make communities magnets for renewal funding, especially through public-private partnerships, regardless of whether you call a Main Street or Madison Avenue home.
Not an academic mindwalk, Cunningham’s book puts into print what Resolution Fund, LLC has been doing with communities for many years now. His Washington, DC-based firm helps communities worldwide ignite rapid, resilient renewal of their economy, their natural resources, and their quality of life.
In a time of financial crises and a recession where wealth seems to be evaporating quicker than water in the desert, when bridges fall and many people are asking what kinds of jobs are, in fact, worth saving, reWealth offers answers that meet both our present needs, and those seven generations ahead.
What’s particularly appealing about reWealth is that offers never-ending opportunity and avoids the scarcity mode we find ourselves in lately. “Unlike many activities that go under the rubric of ‘sustainable’ or ‘green’ but which are merely less-damaging forms of sprawl and extraction (dewealth), there never comes a time when people say we’ve got to stop revitalizing – our quality of life is too high or we need to stop restoring this watershed – the water is too clean and there are far too many native fish in the river now,” essays Cunningham.