ReRooting Together is a master’s thesis project exploring regenerative land practices and material potential for collective futures, situated in the Scottish region of Moray.
Throughout this year I continued to wonder why some people engage in climate positive practices while others are afforded the privilege of ambivalence or disassociation? What can be done to foster greater social engagement within our individualist society? By leveraging the individual for collective strength, a bottom up approach to community development poses an interesting speculation: what does a future look like where collective action and mutual benefit bring people into cooperative co-existence?
This project looks to alternative economic models for community co-creation and equity investment. This project answers the question of “how?” by establishing a network for community action that creates a slow, citizen led and self actualizing community system that re-frames positive behavioural change in regards to land, material surplus, and resource allocation. By empowering people’s autonomous participation as interdependent contributions, framed through mutual benefit, we find infinite potential for human innovation.
Outcome: Service Model
The key facets of my research insights.
1. Providing a network of resources and opportunity
2. Facilitate funding for community led projects
3. Enhance the local system with new people and practices
The Green Pages is a digital network empowering people to connect in their local economic and creative area and directly invest in their communities for a sustainable, citizen and community led future.
The app prototype shown here is merely one facet of what the green pages can be. The essence of this network is that it acts as the conduit, facilitating collective action and regenerative practices with ease, while enhancing feelings of individual autonomy– thus finding a balance between the need for the collective and the individual. You help yourself while helping those around you!
It is a self sustaining and autonomous service, striking the right balance of nurturing the individual to easily participate, but with the strength of the collective to stabilize the system through mutual benefit.
Fostering Material Recirculation
Regenerative material potential was an important part of my inquiry and yet I could not reconcile it as a primary function in the service. I wanted to work with people’s practices and not enforce my own. However one facet of the Green Pages is it gives a formal space for people to take their waste and re-frame it as surplus and gain a financial kickback on it. The directory/database allows people to list their resources in a marketable way for purchase, which in turn retrains the psychological relationship we have to material waste. The new surplus is seen as a value asset that can be leveraged for purchase or utilization, making what you have work harder for you and yield greater results. This brings greater opportunity for material innovation as resources move more fluidly through the community and ideas can be generated by opportunity/accessibility and not by force.
The service is a catalyst for investing profits back into practice and fostering a more innovative producer driven market.
A great strength of this solution is its ability to scale per individual at an exponential rate. A classic yellow pages is a static printed book which takes years and time to update, relying on a single entity to be responsible. The Green Pages places the power into the hands of everyday people who can select their own parameters for their ’community’. With every individual setting their own economic radius, the potential for overlap and inter-area investment and development is enormous; all while remaining at a human scale that cares for the long term implications of change.
Self Actualized Empowerment
Change is hard when it is new and sudden, but once it passes we forget that the world was ever different. The slow build of self actualizing reform enabled through autonomous and citizen led systems is about building new habits for longterm-ism and regenerative futures.