Attempting to map and measure Ecovillage impact in terms of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, if became clear that the level, scale, and format of the SDGs do not fit or easily capture what we see happening in communities and bioregions everywhere – people taking the future into their own hands, cocreating the kinder, safer, richer, more diverse and ecologically sound world they want to live in.
That’s why we decided to cocreate the Regenerative Development Aims. The RDAs were born from an intention to measure and showcase the impact and practices of ecovillages and other community-led initatives for reaching the SDGs. We approached them through the lens of the Ecovillage Map of Regeneration and the practices we identified as key for ecovillage impact, mapping each one onto its corresponding SDG, while researching which actions at local level provide pathways to wider regenerative development. We also included the bioregion as a level of action, to emphasise that while a regenerative human presence on Earth is built from the bottom up, communities need to work together at nested scales, and in solidarity with each other.
The result is a dialogue between the SDGs and local and bioregional, community-led cultural, economic, ecological and social practices for transformation. It allows us to look at communities and better understand the role they play. It also allows to to look at the SDGs from a more holistic perspective, creating a map of the many interlinked actions and pathways that together help shift the system. The RDAs underpin the scoring of the Ecovillage Impact Assessment, where results are sorted and presented according to the RDAs as well as the Map of Regeneration.
The presentation above shows the Regenerative Development Aims and pathways side by side with the original Sustainable Development Goals and targets that inspired and shaped them. We hope they can in turn inspire more people to join ecovillages in both taking and demanding more radical action for diverse, free, peaceful and just human societies and cultural, economic, ecological and social regeneration everywhere.
Pages with RDAs have a coloured background and a small GEN logo. Pages with SDGs have a white background a the circular UN icon for the global goals. The Regenerative Goals are not connected to and do not express the views of the United Nations.
We call the RDAs Aims instead of Goals since they are outcomes to keep realising, rather than goals that can be achieved once and for all. We call them Pathways rather than Targets because we believe that deep socioecolgical transformation is a process where the means should reflect the aims, and meaninful, contextualised goals are created and refined together. This is also an easier way to work at the local and regional scale, since a lot of the aggregate data and international agreements that the SDG targets are based on, are missing or lack meaning at that level.