The Principals of Regenerative Economics from Capital Institute

If you are looking for more insight in to what regenerative economics is all about, check out what Capital Institute has to offer. Capital Institute is a “non-partisan think tank,” formed in 2010, that aims to transition the current economy in to a regenerative economy. They value sustainability, and support finding solutions to “a new way of living on this earth that promotes a shared social, economic, and ecological prosperity.”


Capital Institute has a side project called The Field Guide. This site allows people to share their own stories and experiences with regenerative economics. On the site, they provide eight qualities that outline the values of a regenerative economy, they are posted below. Hopefully they will give you more insight in to what regenerative economics is all about! 

The Qualities of a Regenerative Economy
In Right Relationship

Humanity is an integral part of an interconnected web of life in which there is no real separation between “us” and “it.” What's more, we are all connected to one another and to all locales of our global civilization.  Damage to any one part of that web ripples back to harm every other part as well.

Wealth Viewed Holistically

True wealth is not merely money in the bank. It must be defined in terms of the well-being of the whole, achieved through the harmonization of multiple kinds of wealth or capital, including social, cultural, living and experiential. It must also be defined by a broadly shared prosperity in all these varied forms of capital. 

Innovative, Adaptive, Responsive

In a world in which change is both ever-present and accelerating, the qualities of innovation and adaptability are also critical to health. It is this idea that Charles Darwin intended to convey in his often misconstrued statement: “In the struggle for survival, the fittest win out at the expense of their rivals.” What Darwin actually meant is that: "the most fit is the one that fits best."

Empowered Participation

In an interdependent system, fitness comes from contributing in some way to the health of the whole. The quality of empowered participation means that all parts must be "in relationship" with the larger whole in ways that not only permit them to negotiate to meet their own needs, but also in ways that enable them to add their own unique contribution towards the health and well-being of the nested, larger wholes in which they are embedded.

Honors Community and Place

Each human community consists of a mosaic of peoples, traditions, beliefs, and institutions uniquely shaped by long-term pressures of history, culture, local environment, and changing human needs.  Honoring this fact, a Regenerative Economy nurtures healthy and resilient communities and regions, each one uniquely informed by the essence of its individual history and place. 

Edge Effect Abundance


Creativity and abundance flourish at the “edges” of systems, where the bonds holding the dominant pattern in place are weakest. At those edges the opportunities for diversity and novelty are the greatest. Working collaboratively across edges – with ongoing learning and development sourced from the diversity that exists there – is transformative for both the communities where the exchanges are happening, and for the individuals involved.

Robust Circulatory Flow

Just as human health depends on the robust circulation of oxygen, nutrients, etc., so economic health depends on robust circulatory flows of money, information, resources, goods and services to support exchange, flush toxins and nourish every cell at every level of our human networks. The circulation of money and information are particularly critical to individuals, businesses and economies reaching their regenerative potential. 

Seeks Balance

Balance is more than just a nice way to be; it is actually essential to systemic health. Like a unicycle rider, regenerative systems are always engaged in searching for this delicate dance. Achieving it requires they harmonize multiple variables instead of optimizing single ones.  A regenerative economy seeks to balances small, medium and large; wealth and power distribution; competitiveness and collaborativeness; efficiency and resilience; diversity with coherence.

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