Each human community consists of a mosaic of peoples, traditions, beliefs, and institutions uniquely shaped by long-term pressures of geography, human history, culture, local environment, and changing human needs. Honoring this fact, a Regenerative Economy nurtures healthy and resilient communities and regions, each one uniquely informed by the essence of its individual history and place.
In Mexico's Sierra Gorda, Grupo Ecologico workers and volunteers mitigate climate change and strengthen regional resilience through forest preservation, practicing holistic livestock management and permaculture, and undertaking clean up campaigns and water treatment plant construction. They have also activated a vibrant ecotourism industry and a region-wide program that educates children and adults in land stewardship. It's all rooted in, and catalyzed by, a strong bond between a human community and a place of extraordinary beauty and biodiversity.
The people and the cultural economy of The Driftless — extending from the southwest corner of Wisconsin, to southeast Minnesota, northeast Iowa and northeast Illinois—cannot be properly understood apart from the region's unusually rugged topography, a consequence of its geological history. Out of the Driftless terroir has emerged a unique community of small, hardscrabble farmers, gifted creatives, and an assortment of doggedly independent alternative lifestylers. Its sometimes challenging terrain has also nurtured one of the most diverse co-operative economies in the country.