The planetary crisis, often used to refer to a range of interconnected environmental and ecological challenges, including climate change, biodiversity loss, deforestation, pollution, and more, can have significant impacts on the health of people.

Some companies are already now leading by introducing the concept of Regeneration as a response to the planetary crisis. They also do it from a business perspective: They want to secure the long-time survival of the company.

How the planetary crisis will impact human health
Let’s start by looking at the elements which can make life on earth unhealthy:

Extreme Weather Events: Climate change is causing more frequent and severe extreme weather events, such as hurricanes, heatwaves, and floods. These events can result in injuries, deaths, and displacement, which have immediate health implications.

Heat-related Illnesses: Rising global temperatures can lead to more heat-related illnesses, including heatstroke and dehydration, particularly in vulnerable populations like the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions.

Air Pollution: Increased pollution from burning fossil fuels and industrial processes can lead to respiratory diseases like asthma, bronchitis, and lung cancer. Poor air quality can also worsen pre-existing conditions like cardiovascular disease.

Waterborne Diseases: Changes in precipitation patterns can affect water availability and quality, leading to an increased risk of waterborne diseases like cholera and dysentery.

Food Insecurity: Climate change and environmental degradation can disrupt food production and distribution systems, leading to food shortages and malnutrition. Lack of access to nutritious food can have long-term health consequences, particularly for children.

Vector-borne Diseases: Altered environmental conditions can expand the geographic range of disease vectors like mosquitoes, increasing the spread of diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, and Zika virus.

Loss of Biodiversity: The loss of biodiversity can reduce the availability of natural resources and disrupt ecosystems, affecting the availability of medicines, nutrition, and potential disease vectors.

How can leaders respond to the planetary crisis?
Leaders that have decided to go on the transformative journey are often curious to how they can turn their business models and systems into more regenerative ones. Here are some examples of how to work with your business models and systems:

Systems Thinking: Leaders should adopt a system thinking approach, recognizing the interconnectedness of all elements within an organization or ecosystem. They understand that actions in one part of the system can have ripple effects throughout the entire system.

Minimizing negative impacts: While sustainability aims to maintain the status quo and minimize harm, regenerative systems and business models seeks to actively restore and improve the health of the system. It looks beyond merely minimizing negative impacts to create positive contributions.

Holistic Perspective: leaders should consider not only the financial bottom line but also social, environmental, and ethical dimensions when making decisions. They should strive for balance and harmony among these aspects.

Resilience: Leaders should focus on building resilience within organizations and systems. This means preparing for and adapting to change, disruptions, and uncertainty.

Collaboration with the wider ecosystem: Leaders should emphasize inclusivity and collaboration, valuing diverse perspectives and fostering cooperation amongst stakeholders to achieve shared goals.

Long-Term Vision: leaders should take a long-term view, aiming to leave a positive legacy for future generations. Leaders should be willing to invest in sustainable practices even if the benefits are not immediately evident.

Ethical and Values-Driven: Leaders should be guided by a strong ethical foundation and values. Leaders should make decisions that align with their organization’s or community’s values and principles.

Radical Innovation: leaders should encourage innovation and creativity to find new solutions that benefit both the organization and the larger system.

Transforming the current system using a regenerative approach
In our book: “Re-imagining the Value Chain from a regenerative approach” we have built a 6-stage framework that can support you on your transformative journey. A journey where you provide a response to the planetary crisis and create a world where humans can thrive:

Stage 1: Put regeneration at the heart of the Value Chain
Map the current Value Chain and identify the healing that is needed. It is the basis for developing a plan for change and understanding how the Value Chain will deliver regenerative value and practices in the future.

Stage 2: Change the game internally
Changing the culture and changing the game internally requires new mental models.

Stage 3: Build regenerative practices
This is where we get tangible: how is it that we want to work with the products and processes in a regenerative strategy?

Stage 4: Make technology your anchor
A transformation often leverages new digital technologies to drive innovation, improve operational performance and efficiency, and enhance customer experiences.

Stage 5: Co-create with new ecosystem relationships
Engaging the business ecosystem is key in order to solve the problems. This includes employees, customers, suppliers, partners, and investors.

Stage 6: Build a governance structure
Work with KPI’s which can make the transformation come alive. Make sure that the KPI’s deliver on more levels than just profit.

Summing up we can say, that a response to today’s planetary crisis will require a systems change. To get there it would require that leaders embrace the transformation with good leadership.