A Bioregional Learning Journey

We all need healthy local food, reliable sources of renewable energy, efficient and affordable low-carbon transportation, clean water, and access to health care. A Bioregional Learning Journey is about asking new types of questions, and learning how to craft a way of life by seeing remarkable innovations, breakthroughs as well as barriers and roadblocks.

Joins us and learn how to see together to connect and accelerate positive change.

What is a Bioregional Learning Journey?

For more than 10 years, the COBALT network has been curating and partnering on several bioregional learning journeys

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Exploring Interrelationships

We will examine areas of innovation and interconnection including amplification processes and actions of speeding up, scaling up, and scaling deep as well as the challenges of achieving broader systemic change from a range of initiatives in wider Casco Bay Bioregion.

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Learning By Doing

 In order to better “see” transformative change, we need to have hands-on experiences with experimental and innovative initiatives which we can then better understand dimensions of agency and social networks, windows of opportunity, power of diversity, nested systems, and high quality collaboration.

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Seeing with Fresh Eyes with our Cobalt Fellows

Our COBALT Fellows are a diverse group of people with expertise in law, policy, public health, GIS, data visualization, philosophy, art, bioregionalism, marine ecosystems/seagrass meadows, waste water treatment, and governance.

Everyone Lives in a Bioregion

These are unique life places across the globe that have distinct and unique natural characteristics such as soils and climates, native plants and animals as well as unique social and cultural patterns. Indigenous peoples have inhabited particular places for thousands of years, evolving a way of life remarkably well adapted to the local conditions and cultural identities, languages, and diets all are interrelated to their bioregion.

Local Collective Action

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed an interconnected and tightly coupled globalized world in rapid change and RESPONSE must be both local and global. Learning Journeys are a form of local collective action, as an exploration into what is possible locally, within a distinct bioregion, that could be more beneficial for human life and well-being.

Navigating the Future

We are convinced that humanity has the collective wisdom to navigate the times ahead and to adapt by creating a more liveable bioregion for people as well as for the rest of life with which we share. This is perhaps the most formidable challenge facing humanity and Bioregional Learning Journeys are a major collective step towards that goal. Regenerative design expert Daniel Christian Wahl – the author of Designing Regenerative Cultures had a wonderful conversation with Glenn Page about the design of this Learning Journey, here’s a link to the video.

Transformations

This Learning Journey will explore the transformations needed for food systems at a bioregional scale including diversification and specifically the linkages between agriculture and aquaculture biodiversity that is linked to biodiversity knowledge. The diversification of food systems could be one of our greatest allies in the challenges we collectively face with a rapidly changing climate.

Learning

We will also explore advances in wastewater treatment engineering and some remarkable progress being made from at the Portland Water District. We will become fluent with the term “biological nutrient removal” which again underscores the power of biodiversity at a micro-organism scale. This is just one example of learning with fresh eyes, seeing different perspectives.

Embracing Indigenous Wisdom

Finally, we will embrace the wisdom that has been documented and shared by our Indigenous colleagues who have been living in this land for time immemorial. For example, we will learn more about a typical “Wabanaki Food Year” a living knowledge of what what was gathered, in what months and in what amounts. See below for examples and if you are interested in some further reading and viewing, check out “Notes on a Lost Flute: A Field Guide to the Wabanaki and the below conversation between Dwayne Tomah and Glenn Page.

Wabanaki Food Year, a true bioregional approach to food systems from “Notes on a Lost Flute: A Field Guide to the Wabanaki