Regeneration: a strategic view

How to go beyond good intentions and become a global decentralized moonshot

Rafael Kaufmann


Solarpunk, a large, busy, NASA-like control center, in the middle of the room is a hologram of the Earth, people are planning global ecosystem regeneration operations. Source: Midjourney

This article was originally posted on the ReFi DAO Blog.

Hello everyone! I’m Rafael, CTO of Digital Gaia. We’re on a mission to ignite a regenerative agricultural revolution from the bottom-up, using open science and AI to empower the world’s 1 billion farmers and land stewards with decentralized tools to measure and monetize their regenerative performance.

Before embarking on this journey, I worked at the intersection of business strategy and software development computational modeling for over 16 years (6 of those at Google). In my career I’ve had a lot of mentors and seen a lot of useful patterns and primitives that help collectives achieve their goals — coming from various disciplines such as systems investment, corporate strategy, ecosystem development, computer science, and game theory. Importantly, I’ve also seen a lot of stuff attempted in practice which fell by the wayside, despite best intentions, thanks to the Law of Unintended Consequences!

So how am I taking the lessons learned here and apply them to thinking around the problem of effectively financing planetary regeneration? In a nutshell, this problem is the ultimate instantiation of some classic strategy problems:

  • Planetary regeneration is obviously a good thing, yet we never seem to get enough of it.
  • Investors are willing to spend tons of money, yet results fail to materialize.
  • The entrepreneurs and leaders trying to make it happen on the ground are frustrated and starved of resources.

It treads similar ground to a previous article of mine from 2019, but ReFi has come a long way since then, and I’ve also learned some new lessons! Still — take it as a conversation starter, as I definitely don’t claim to have all the answers.

Why do we need a strategic view on regeneration?

In the last few years, we’ve succeeded at making most world leaders aware of the risks posed by climate change and the loss of biodiversity and the need to mobilize resources towards solutions. We’ve obtained major commitments out of them. All the big…