Except Integrated Sustainability
Except Integrated sustainability.
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Multi-disciplinary consulting, innovation and development organization working on advanced sustainability projects around the globe.

Regen Festivals

Project > Traveling festivals regenerate nature and communities

Around the world energetic and capable young people are done with talking and want to do something to support the overall health of this planet. The regeneration festival provides visitors with an alternative to the increasing growth of hands-on festivals, offering learning, active regeneration, music, culture, relaxation, and a chance to nourish the earth, the community, and themselves. For the planet and disadvantaged communities the regeneration festival provides a consistent format and business model to finance and operate nature and community regeneration.

The Regen Festival is an initiative for a self-sustaining mobile festival that connects conscious travelers to local regeneration projects. The goal is to drive active regeneration of natural areas and communities, and provide a lasting, sustainable and truly beneficial form of sustainable tourism.

Side by side visitors execute concrete work to revive nature and social environments for the long-term. Regeneration activities are for example tree planting, invasive species removal, and landscaping. Work is done in teams and led by local community members, supported with music, great food, and entertainment. After work, a rounded program of music and art, workshops, and other creative festival activities, as well as sharing and learning about local culture and the biosphere. While the festival caravan moves, it leaves a track of regenerated earth, planted forests, community, and inspired contributors.

The Regeneration Festival commits itself to the following values:

  • The natural areas and local communities come first, above all else. The festival’s main aim is to make a true positive difference to the natural, social, and cultural habitat of a place. If this cannot be achieved, or once this positive effect has disappeared over time, the project will be end.
  • To prevent unwanted pressure on natural resources such as water, waste processing, and the peace of local communities.
  • To create a lasting, lifetime experience for the visitors.
  • To ensure a viable business model for the continuation of the festival, as well as finances to support the regeneration efforts even after the festival has ceased as much as possible.

You can endorse the project as part of the One Trillion Trees Challenge here.

CONTEXT

Around the world the festival industry is booming. Besides the well known concept of a music festival other formats are expanding and gripping audiences. For example, the Nowhere festival in Spain offers a more rounded experience with hands-on construction, art, sharing, environmental consciousness, and social interaction. Nowhere draws around 700 people each year. This is trumped by the similar, originating festival, Burning Man, capped at 70.000 attendees, sprouting siblings and clones in Europe, Africa, and Asia.

The mantra of these festivals is ‘leave nothing behind’. They excel at bringing like minded people together in a constructive positive atmosphere, connecting people, learning and providing a once in a lifetime experience. We see a desire in audiences that want to do more. To truly contribute. To become part of a movement that doesn’t just leave nothing behind, but works to actively help make it better.

The mantra of the regeneration festival is therefore ‘leave something better behind’, a place where holidays are spent in a meaningful, lasting way, that does not sacrifice fun and excitement. A place that makes hard work part of the excitement. At the same time, the format contributes to the substantial and increasing efforts needed to regenerate and protect our most valuable biosphere reserves around the world, source their funding, and get more people knowledgeable and engaged on the subject.

Location and Impact

The exact impact, format, programming and target audience of each festival depends on location and the needs of the local ecosystem regeneration program. We aim to find a model that consistently draws a regeneration force of 150-200 people at a time in week-long cycles, operating year round where climate and circumstance permits.

Festivals run from a few months up to a few years, ending when the work is done. After completion, the format includes considerations on continued community support and monitoring of both the community and the environmental conditions.

The exact audience for the festival program differs depending on the exact location and format of the local festival and retreat programs. A good starting point for a sense of understanding of the people interested in such festivals is the 2017 Black Rock City census report, an analysis of the Burning Man festival. These show a median age of 34, with over 77% having a university degree, 72% of higher income levels above US$ 25.000/year, and a 40%/58% male/female gender distribution, and 1.7% fluid/both/neither gender identification.

MEASURES OF SUCCESS

  • Realization of a Regen Festival with a true positive impact to the natural, social, and cultural habitat of a place. Impact assessment will be carried out to measure positive impact.
  • A viable business model for the continuation of the festival, as well as finances to support the regeneration efforts even after the festival has ceased as much as possible.
  • Local Communities leading the work performed by the regeneration festival. Community members are trained by professionals to sustain and maintain their grounds and carry out the daily tasks. They learn and integrate ways to keep their land and evolving community healthy for a lasting long-term positive impact.
  • Continued community support and monitoring of both the community and the environmental conditions.

KEY MILESTONES

Prephase (2020)

  • Funding for phase 1

Phase 1 (6-8 months - 2021)

  • Area Selection and planning
    • Scouting, evaluation and selection of a suitable area
    • Location visits and community involvement
    • Co-creation sessions for concept generation
    • Development of activity program and impact assessment
    • Developing festival structure, format and business model
    • Writing specified execution plans for the pilot in phase 2
  • Sourcing funding for phase 2

Phase 2 - (2 years - 2021 - 2022)

  • Execution of pilot festival
    • Managing follow-up care after festival activities are finished
    • Steering, monitoring and documentation of impacts
    • Developing final development plans for further festivals
  • Sourcing funding partners for phase 3

Phase 3 - (2023)

  • Festival execution

Operation of festivals that sustain themselves, supported by long-term investments and resulting in self-supporting communities and regenerated biospheres.

 

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Except Integrated Sustainability

Tom Bosschaert
Director

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