1.5 Taking action

In development - more ideas coming!

The following project suggestions can be taken up by students alone or with the help of teachers and mentors. These suggestions promote understanding of Regenerative Economics through creativity, collaboration, communication, research, and service. The suggestions can also inspire other engagement ideas from students. 


For graded projects, teachers and students should agree on the assessment criteria based on the type of project and school or programme guidelines.


Suggestions are tagged by relevant section to help students match ideas to their interests.

Connecting with nature

Use all your senses to observe the complex ecosystems around you and consider your place in them. Record your thoughts, sketch, photograph or make a video of what you find, record the ecosystem’s sounds, and share your observations with others.

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Citizen science involves people like you gathering data to help professional scientists understand the world. Citizen scientists projects include activities like counting insects, identifying tree species, monitoring local water bodies, and many more. Find out what citizen science projects are available in your local area and join one.

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Organise a group of students to go on a deep time walk together and discuss the experience afterwards. This mobile app takes listeners on a 4.6 billion year journey through Earth’s history to help people understand deep time, put human existence into perspective, and encourage regenerative action. The app creators suggest that listeners walk 4.6 kilometres while listening, so this is an activity that takes time and a walking opportunity.

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Plogging is jogging and trash picking. You can combine getting exercise with doing something good for nature and your local community by picking up trash as you run. This is most fun together in a group, so you could organise a group to meet regularly. Make sure to wear a glove and avoid picking up anything that could hurt you.

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Regeneration in the local community

Spend an afternoon in your community randomly, unexpectedly helping people as you see they need it. Keep an audio journal about the experience, noting your own feelings and others’ reactions to these random acts of kindness.

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Beyond caring for your own family, look around your commuity to see if there is a care role you can take on. Does an elderly neighbor need help with grocery shopping? Does a family need help with babysitting? Do the public spaces in your neighbourhood need tidying and greenery? 

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You can raise awareness of the different types of care in your community by creating a care walk and offering to host the walk, once or regularly, in your community. By doing this, you are helping to carry out the 5Rs, specifically to recognise care work and make it visible.

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Start or support a repair cafe: A repair cafe is an organisation that meets regularly to help people with repairing everyday objects, such as bicycles, electronics, clothing, kitchen appliances, etc.

Start or support a library of things: A library of things is a community organised supply of things that people need only rarely, that they can borrow instead of buy. Examples include drills, saw, home projector, extendable ladder, carpet cleaner, etc.

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Local communities around the world are working to support ecosystems and social systems. Find out what is already going on in your local area and join with others to support thriving social and ecological systems.

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Documentary - camera study, short film, audio or other format

Using a medium that you like to work with, document your daily activities to capture your various roles in the economy. If you do a camera study, adding short explanations with photographs can help viewers understand your point. With video, you can narrate. You can make an exhibit with the photos, video or autio material, as in this example.

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Using a medium that you like to work with, document evidence of degenerative economic activity in your life or in your community. You could photograph what you see, sketch it, paint it, do recorded interviews with neighbours, record sounds, create a podcast - anything goes! Share what you have done with others in an exhibit or other format.

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Using a medium that you like to work with, document evidence of regenerative economic activity in your life or in your community. You could photograph what you see, sketch it, paint it, do recorded interviews with neighbours, record sounds, create a podcast - anything goes! Share what you have done with others in an exhibit or other way.

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You can conduct short interviews with people to get their perspectives on human nature. This could be done, for example, in the form of having people tell stories that they think reveal some aspect of human nature.

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You can create a biography of care in your life, and those of other generations in your family.

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Raise awareness of circular economy resources in your area like second-hand clothing (book, bike, toy) stores, places where clothing can be repaired, apps and organisations that help distribute left-over food

Art

You can create an artwork that represents the economy embedded in society and in ecological systems.

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You can create an artwork that informs people about the energy and material resources used to make the things we use everyday.

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Exhibits (Art, Information, Profiles)

Using any of the art project suggestions, create an exhibit of student work to inform and inspire an audience.

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To raise awareness of our connection to nature, make a school exhibit using everyday objects and a card that describes the objects’ links to nature, such as listing the natural materials used. The exhibit can use the actual items, or you could photograph the items.

Try to select objects that are not obviously natural to make the exhibit more interesting. You may need to research the materials used in the object; discuss with family and friends and look online for information.

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With other students create an exhibit of caregivers in your lives. Get photos of them and describe the care work they do and what it means to you and others.

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Games / card sorts

Create a set of cards with the elements of the embedded economy model and use them to start conversations with people about the relationship between the economy and society and Earth’s systems. You can ask others to order the cards as they imagine them and to explain the connections they see between the elements. This is a way to understand the mental models that people have and to talk through a better understanding of how the economy is related to society and Earth’s systems.

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Experiments are a great way to see human nature in action. One famous experiment is the ultimatum game. Work with your student peers and a teacher or mentor to try it out. As with any experiment, however, be sure to get consent from all the participants.

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Research

There are many primary research techniques you can use to find out about your community:

Using one or more of the primary research strategies listed above, investigate the values of people your community and/or how they view ‘the good life’.

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Learn how happiness researchers use the Cantril ladder and other techniques to find out about the happiness of a group of people. In your home, school, neighbourhood or wider town or city, use their primary research techniques to find out about the happiness of those around you.

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Visioning a better world

Rewrite the stories to have a regenerative angle. You can do this by hand on a large piece of paper, or you can build the new cover digitally with appropriate images found online or your own art. This longer project could build on work you may have started in Activity 1.1.4. This can help you and others visualise positive futures.

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Work opportunities

Find out what care jobs there are in your local community. Take an internship or apprenticeship to do care work.

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