Sustainability Symposium Recap: Paul Hawken

Paul Hawken on Regeneration as a means to end the climate crisis in one generation.

At the Sustainability Symposium 2022: Roadmap to Decarbonization, internationally renowned author and sustainability expert Paul Hawken delivered a keynote presentation that outlined the framework needed to attain a truly regenerative system.

Hawken points out that our economy is inherently extractive—we extract from mines, oceans, soil, forests, people, cultures, and communities. It's also degenerative—we know that resources are drying up.  We can see the end of the road with respect to diminishing resources, which makes it essential to pivot our economy towards regeneration and a life-giving system that “creates more life instead of less.” 

Hawken also highlights the disconnect between climate awareness and climate action. Specifically, he points out that our language isn’t effective. We have chosen disengaging and negative words to describe the current climate crisis. “Fear-mongering is not the answer,” Hawken insists. “The human brain will shut down, according to neuroscience.”

Hawken insists that the only way to heal our system is to reconnect it with itself. “In doing so, the system will regenerate faster and more completely than we could ever imagine,” he says. 

The movement of regeneration is happening across the world. Hawken defines regeneration as “putting life at the center of all things.” Hawken notes that addressing social justice is paramount to facilitating a regenerative economy. We need to learn how to care for one another before we can progress on climate goals. 

Hawken emphasizes that we need to work together to increase the quality of life for every living thing. In his vision of regeneration, humans come together and listen to each other.

“Regeneration is innate in humans. Any time we express care, we are regenerating.  We are one body, and the earth is one thing.” 

Click this symposium session video to listen to more wisdom from Paul Hawkin. 


Watch the Sustainability Symposium 2022 here! It is divided up by sessions so you can watch the entire two-day event, or just the sessions that interest you.