Regenerative Systemic Solutions


Effective collaboration & science-based holistic design allows us to manage complex living systems


“A sustainable human community is designed in such a manner that its ways of life, technologies, and social institutions honor, support, and cooperate with nature’s inherent ability to sustain life.” FRITJOF CAPRA

For practice to be informed by science is critical in the growing turbulence of the world we live in

Sustainable development requires R&D to better understand interrelated challenges, as well as practical innovations to co-develop integrated solutions. Hence, an interdisciplinary collaboration is needed among diverse actors such as scientists, farmers, engineers, designers, entrepreneurs and policy makers.

Edhen therefore puts a special emphasis on facilitating collaboration. Both for collaboration related to managing projects, as well as for advancing collaboration at the farm scale.


There are indeed numerous whole-system-design approaches, following land-use principles designed to mimic nature. Benefits of these practices include richer soil, healthier water systems, increased biodiversity, climate change resilience, healthier lives and communities.

Next, we describe some of the methods and principles we apply, without advocating for any particular definition. They provide the basis for our holistic framework, to co-develop locally adapted solutions.

In which category to place AGROFORESTRY?

We argue that agroforestry needs to play a greater role in addressing our current environmental and agricultural challenges. Agroforestry design is also one of our key expertise and service. Hence, it deserves a chapter for itself.


Various approaches towards Holistic Evaluation, Design & Management


“Regenerative Development: a system of technologies and strategies for generating the patterned whole system understanding of a place, and developing the strategic systemic thinking capacities, and the stakeholder engagement/commitment required to ensure regenerative design processes to achieve maximum systemic leverage and support, that is self-organizing and self-evolving.” Regenesis Group

The Regenesis Group developed a framework towards regenerative development that comprises both the biophysical and the social systems. The holistic design approach can be applied to a wide range of development, design and land-use planning projects. To facilitate the co-development of human habitats adapted to people and place.


“Regenerative Agriculture is a holistic approach to farming that encourages continuous innovation and improvement of environmental, social, and economic measures” (Rodale Institute). Beside the many possible ways to define regenerative agriculture, the number one priority is soil health. Regenerative agriculture is guided by 4 principles (Terra Genesis International):

  • Progressively improve whole agroecosystems (soil, water and biodiversity),
  • create context-specific designs and make holistic decisions that express the essence of each farm,
  • ensure and develop just and reciprocal relationships amongst all stakeholders,
  • continually grow and evolve individuals, farms, and communities to express their innate potential.


“Permaculture is the art of designing beneficial relationships”  (Patrick Whitefield)

Permaculture is a holistic design approach. It is based on three fundamental ethics: People Care, Earth Care and Fair Share. It builds on a holistic evaluation of the local context, to co-develop adapted solutions with respect to social, environmental and economic needs. With the objective to facilitate beneficial relationships, among the socio-economic system (starting with ourselves) as well as the environmental system.

Edhen promotes and delivers science-based permaculture services.

Edhen combines the latest scientific findings with the best regenerative methods and technologies, to co-develop locally adapted solutions


The application of the briefly presented methods and principles can facilitate holistic land-use planing on various dimensions:

  • Socio-cultural dimension: A project starts with a vision, followed by a variety of experts and stakeholders working towards the vision. Herby, the development and management of complex living systems can be challenging. Hence, an effective approach to facilitate the collaboration process can be vital to achieve the shared objectives.
  • Ecosystemic dimension: By adapting our practices and technologies to the local ecosystem, we can design productive and resilient living and farming systems. For example, water, energy and nutrients can be cycled in the broader build-landscape ecosystem. By using slope for water harvesting, wastewater reuse and irrigation (from high to low potential energy).