Leigh Baker | November 21, 2023

Quotes are like lanterns on a hillside – they’re also guiding lights. They also remind me that this is a journey that millions of humans are already on.

I’ve started a collection of the ones that I keep coming back to for inspiration:

(There’s a sister-post on innovation delivery inspirations here)

On today’s challenges

And so this is feedback and it’s feedback to inspire us to reimagine what it means to be a human being…. at this point in time in civilization.

…to reimagine what it means to be an architect, an engineer, a student, a farmer, a forester, a wife, a child. To be all the things that we are.

Paul Hawken, Drawdown Lecture at UQ

“Business creates wealth when it meets needs at a profit” 

Professor Michael Porter, Harvard

On opportunity

We literally have to reinvent our energy systems, our food systems, our manufacturing, our cities.  Everything!
You can look at that as ‘”rap, that’s a really big problem” …
OR “Wow, what a great opportunity!”

Dr Jonathan Foley, CEO Project Drawdown.

“We’ve got to pony up a little bit of money – about $20 to $30 trillion. If we do this, and we do it over about two to three decades, we actually make between $90 and $150 trillion back.

This is incredible, because we’re going to save a lot of money, we’ll make new revenues. And in fact, this is probably the biggest business opportunity in human history.“

Dr Jonathan Foley, Chief Executive of Project Drawdown Drawdown 101

“We’re in the early stages of a Sustainability Revolution with the scale of the Industrial Revolution and the speed of the Digital Revolution.”

Al Gore

On regenerative design

Inequality… is not an economic necessity: it is a design failure

.Kate Raworth, in Doughnut Economics

“Regeneration is not only about bringing the world back to life; it is about bringing each one of us back to life.

It has meaning and scope; it expresses faith and kindness; it involves imagination and creativity. It is inclusive, engaging, and generous. And everyone can do it.

It restores forests, lands, farms and oceans. It transforms cities, builds green affordable housing, reverses soil erosion, rejuvenates degraded lands, and powers rural communities.

Planetary regeneration creates livelihoods – occupations that bring life to people and people to life, work that links us to one-anothers’ well-being. It offers paths out of poverty that provide people with meaning, worthy involvement with their community, a living wage, and a future of dignity and respect.”


“Regeneration goes beyond resilience or sustainability. Whatever is resilient, restored, robust, or sustainable resists or recovers from shocks and stays the same. Shocks make a regenerative business better. It rebounds by building the capacity to do and be more than it was before.”

Carol Sanford, The Regenerative Business: Redesign Work, Cultivate Human Potential, Achieve Extraordinary Outcomes

“Regenerative development asks us to break our habit of over-simplifying the world. The series of global crises that we now face cannot be managed with a widget. We cannot simply upgrade, swap out, or switch over.

The current state of our world requires us to work hard to fully understand the complexity of living systems and to design elegant approaches that honor and appreciate that complexity.”

Regenesis Group: Manifesto

“Because a regenerative approach is animated by caring, our connection to an endeavour or to a place that has meaning for us, is critical. To care for a place, to hold an aspiration to see its potential express itself, you first need to ‘belong’.

…The regenerative approach causes us first to pause. It is seeking the source of life that needs to keep on coming, like a spring from the ground, and from all sides, if it is to maintain itself. While the intention of both approaches is the same: to generate urgency and a sense of agency plus the confidence that collective action can shape a different future, regeneration drops us down a level.”

Doughnut Economics Stories

On motivation and action

“If I tell you what you ‘should’ do, you should RUN!
Do what lights you up! Do what turns you on!”

Paul Hawken, founder of Project Drawdown and PROJECT REGENERATION

The IPCC has 2.5 billion data points behind the last assessment – the fifth assessment… Extraordinary!

But you don’t solve a problem by repeating the problem over and over again to each other. You solve a problem by looking at the possibilities that are inherent in that problem. That’s what Drawdown is about.

.Paul Hawken, University of Queensland 2018

On circular economy and biomimicry

[What about] “a delightfully diverse, safe, healthy, and just world with clean air, soil, water and power – economically, equitably, ecologically, and elegantly enjoyed?”

William McDonough, Design as Optimism

“The Circular Economy is NOT just about new businesses, new infrastructure, or new capital equipment. The Circular Economy IS all about new thinking, utilising existing assets and collaboration.”

Steve Morriss, founder of Close the Loop®

“Unlike the Industrial Revolution, the Biomimicry Revolution introduces an era based not on what we can extract from nature, but on what we can learn from her.” 

Janine Benyus, co-founder of Biomimicry

On opportunity and innovation

We are in the early stages of a global Sustainability Revolution that has the magnitude of the Industrial Revolution and the speed of the Digital Revolution.

Al Gore, Generation Investment Management