Green-building ©CHUTTERSNAP-Unsplash

Green-building ©CHUTTERSNAP-Unsplash

Behind the buzzwords: what does Innovate to Regenerate really mean?

17 Mar 2022

Keywords
  • innovation

In case you missed it, WWF-Australia’s Innovate to Regenerate program has launched! 

This innovation program aims to find creative solutions to reverse environmental damage and create a positive impact for people and the planet.

Innovation. Regeneration. Solutions. 

Sound like corporate buzzwords, right? So what do they really mean? And what’s the deal with Innovate to Regenerate?

Innovate-to-regenerate-hero

Regeneration

Simply put, regeneration is the term used for the process of restoring something which has been damaged or lost. 

Regeneration goes beyond sustainability. It actively reverses environmental degradation, healing both people and the planet. And that’s something we could absolutely use right now.

Because the 2019-20 bushfires saw up to 12.6 million hectares of forest and bushland burnt. 

The latest IPCC report details how impacts such as extreme heat, more frequent heatwaves, and more frequent and severe bushfires will occur if our carbon emissions are left unchecked. 

And now, just the last few weeks have seen ‘1 in 1000-year floods’ devastate the east coast of Australia.

Something clearly needs to change, and fast. That’s where regeneration comes in.

At WWF, regeneration means anything from the creation of an Indigenous Traditional Knowledge Hub dedicated to re-developing cultural food and fire practices to finding community-led ways to switch to renewable energy sources and away from fossil fuels. 

We’re talking about any actions that help restore our natural environments and improve the systems that rely on or impact them. 

Innovation

The word innovate refers to the process of making changes in products or methods to improve their outcome. 

And that doesn’t mean you have to use the latest tech to do so, we’re just after creative solutions to address the problems our communities and environment faces.

In this case, innovation could mean building a network of high-tech, regenerative villages that strive towards self-sufficiency and zero waste or by strengthening connection between the community and wildlife by enhancing wildlife corridors.

Basically, if there are problems that are affecting our communities or our environment, we want  to find new and improved solutions. And you can help us.


 

The Innovate to Regenerate Challenge

If you’ve been lucky enough to see the Regenerating Australia film, you’ll know that we can build a cleaner, greener and more resilient future for Australia with the right changes. If you haven’t seen it yet, find a screening near you. 

To help bring the film to life, WWF-Australia is deploying $2 million of funding to support solutions that can reverse environmental damage and create a positive impact for people and the planet.

How does it work? 

Members of the public with an idea (and we mean anyone! Not just those with science or tech backgrounds, but students, community groups, business owners or Mrs Jones down the road) can submit their ideas through the Impactio platform this month. Here, they’ll be seen by experts who can connect them with industry leaders, advice and funding to get their idea off the ground and into our communities.

You can also join a two-day Local Learning Lab, where participants will develop the skills to design or improve their regenerative solution.

What does this mean for me?

The challenge will support and test ideas at all stages of development, so we are open to existing and new concepts and projects, as long as they deliver impactful solutions and are financially sustainable. In particular, we’re interested in solutions that focus on driving wealth back into communities and foster local ownership. Ideas will help demonstrate regenerative business models are viable, sustainable and work to make both people and nature stronger.

So, if you have a solution with clear social, environmental and economic benefits, we’d love to hear about it! 

Have you looked at a certain process in your community and thought, ‘there has to be a better way of doing that’? Perhaps around renewable energy systems or food and agriculture practices. Or maybe you’re part of a group that’s committed to helping our environment and wild places and have some ideas around how you conserve nature for future generations? 

WWF-Australia will then bring these ideas to life by leveraging our reach and connection these solutions with expertise, resources and funding.

Got an idea? Sign up for the challenge today!

The challenge is hosted by WWF-Australia, in partnership with Regen Studios and Fire to Flourish, to connect ideas with resources, mentorship, market insights and financial support.

 

Get involved

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