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Regenerative investments and female leadership: a path to prosperity and wellbeing

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By Susana Gago

· 4 min read

Phasing out the traditional investment model

In a world marked by extreme environmental challenges and absurd socio-economic disparities, the urgent necessity to shift the investment landscape towards regenerative approaches has become clear. The prevailing classical investment paradigm, which primarily seeks to maximize profits regardless of its devastating consequences, has led to ecological degradation, social inequalities, and systemic vulnerabilities.

As the limitations of this ideology become undeniably evident, the call for a paradigm shift towards regenerative investments grows louder. Regeneration, with its focus on renewal, restoration, and stewardship, offers a compelling path to build resilient ecosystems and societies. However, embracing this shift requires us to recognize that the transition to a regenerative future cannot be financed solely through extractive investments, necessitating a reevaluation of our priorities and the empowerment of feminine leadership in the process.

Classical investment models have traditionally been based on the pursuit of profit maximization. While this approach has undoubtedly driven economic growth and innovation, it has also had devastating consequences for the environment and society. The relentless extraction of resources, fueled by short-term gains, has led to deforestation, habitat loss, pollution, sickness, and climate change. Moreover, this approach has contributed to widening income disparities, leaving marginalized communities and vulnerable populations disproportionately affected by environmental degradation and economic instability. The illusion that unregulated profit growth can be sustained indefinitely is crumbling in the face of resource depletion, climate emergencies, and social unrest.

Ushering in regenerative investments

Regenerative investments offer a transformative alternative that aligns with the need to create the necessary conditions for life on the planet. At its core, regeneration is about fostering renewal and growth in a way that enhances the resilience of organisms and ecosystems against disturbances. Applying this concept to our investment strategies means prioritizing activities that restore ecological balance, promote regenerative agriculture, encourage responsible consumption and help fight climate collapse. By investing in regenerative practices, we not only address urgent environmental issues but also create pathways for long-term economic prosperity, proving that regenerative investments can create multifaceted value.

However, the scale of the transition towards a regenerative future is vast and demands a shift from the extractive investment mindset. The very nature of extractive investments, which seeks to extract maximum returns from limited resources, is at odds with the regenerative ethos of giving back more than we take. A large-scale shift to regenerative practices requires patient capital and fair returns that recognize the inherent value in restoring ecosystems and building resilient communities. Such capital cannot be solely profit-driven; it must encompass a broader understanding of value that encompasses environmental, social, and long-term economic factors.

Female empowerment for a regenerative future

Empowering feminine leadership is an integral aspect of this transition. Historically marginalized voices have often been more attuned to the interconnectedness of life and the necessity for holistic solutions. The feminine perspective emphasizes collaboration, empathy, and long-term focus, qualities that are essential for nurturing regenerative practices. We know by now that gender diversity in leadership positions leads to more sustainable and responsible decision-making. Embracing feminine leadership in the investment sphere can inject new perspectives that prioritize regeneration over exploitation.

Furthermore, a regenerative investment approach is uniquely poised to address gender inequities. Women, particularly in developing countries, are disproportionately affected by environmental degradation and lack of access to resources. By channeling investments towards regenerative initiatives that empower women, we can catalyze positive feedback loops of empowerment, sustainable development, and resilience. This synergy between regenerative investments and gender equality creates a balanced cycle that benefits not only individuals but also builds community-based resilience.

The opportunity that regeneration presents extends beyond environmental restoration and economic sustainability; it speaks to our collective resilience in the face of uncertainties. As the world breaks apart with the challenges posed by climate change, pandemics, technocracy, tyranny and social upheavals, embracing regenerative investments becomes not just a choice, but a survival imperative. Regeneration equips ecosystems and societies with the capacity to adapt to disturbances and recover from setbacks. This resilience is critical for ensuring the continuity of life's intricate web and safeguarding the well-being of future generations.

illuminem Voices is a democratic space presenting the thoughts and opinions of leading Sustainability & Energy writers, their opinions do not necessarily represent those of illuminem.

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About the author

Susana Gago is the founder of UNAKTI, a female-led ecosystem dedicated to cultivating high-value medicinal and aromatic plants, and transforming them into pure raw materials for the Cosmetic, Health & Wellness industries. As part of her job at UNAKTI, she collaborates with local women farmers and communities, empowering them through regenerative medicinal forest cultivation to step up into leadership roles within their families and communities. 

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