A Regenerative Renaissance Man

A conversation with the one and only Albert Bates

On December 23rd I caught up with a long time friend from the Global Ecovillage Network, the living legend Albert Bates.

Albert Bates

[I hope Kosmos Journal will help me with a transcript of this rich conversation to share. For now a rich summary of the topics we covered below.]

A Bio:

“Albert Kealiinui Bates (born January 1, 1947) is an influential figure in the intentional community and ecovillage movements. A lawyer, author and teacher, he has been director of the Global Village Institute for Appropriate Technology since 1984 and of the Ecovillage Training Center at The Farm in Summertown, Tennessee, since 1994.

Bates has been a resident of The Farm since 1972. A former attorney, he argued environmental and civil rights cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and drafted a number of legislative Acts during a 26-year legal career. The holder of a number of design patents, Bates invented the concentrating photovoltaic arrays and solar-powered automobile displayed at the 1982 World’s Fair. He served on the steering committee of Plenty International for 18 years, focussing on relief and development work with indigenous peoples, human rights and the environment. An emergency medical technician (EMT), he was a founding member of The Farm Ambulance Service. He was also a licensed Amateur Radio operator.” … author of 18 books … biochar pioneer … one of the most knowledgable people about the UN Climate Change conference negotiations during the last 26 years … The story continues!

Albert and I talked about bioregional development, ecovillages, biochar, climate change, the importance of protecting and regenerating ocean health, the need for a shift in narrative & worldview, the short-coming of tech solutions, Albert’s work in the anti-nuclear movement, consciousness at the level of Gaia and beyond, interbeing & fundamental interconnectedness, Jung’s four ways of knowing, the paradox of being in and through relationships, access to relational information in the everything through our animate intelligence, the limits of big data and knowing through analysis, Albert’s work as a lawyer and mushroom farmer, The Farm and Albert’s Right Livelihood Award, the early days of the Global Ecovillage Network, creating working bio-refinery and biochar based village scale cooperatives (the Belize Cool Lab as a prototype), the history of biochar use around the world, cascading positive impact, temporal & spatial scale linking and fitting human patterns back into life’s health generating patterns, circular economies at what scale?, bioregions as the locus of focus in ‘glocal’ development, the importance of re-regionalisation as a Deep Adaptation strategy, carbon pricing as an instrument to support carbon drawdown and regenerative development, “the life cycle of civilisation” and our’s being in its “terminal stage”, Tom Goreau’s work on geotherapy from soil to corals and seagrass, the short-coming of searching for a vaccine based “solution” to the pandemic, doughnut economics at the bioregional or nation scale, the Regenerative Communities Network, the potential for restoring the soils of Spain and Mallorca through integrated use of activated biochar and other techniques, doing regeneration glocally!

Here is the recording:

Resources mentioned:

‘A basic call to consciousness’


The Global Ecovillage Network:

Gaia Education:

The Farm

The Regenerative Communities Network

Albert’s Blog:

Albert’s Webpage:

More of Albert’s Books:

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Daniel Christian Wahl — Catalyzing transformative innovation in the face of converging crises, advising on regenerative whole systems design, regenerative leadership, and education for regenerative development and bioregional regeneration.

Author of the internationally acclaimed book Designing Regenerative Cultures

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Catalysing transformative innovation, cultural co-creation, whole systems design, and bioregional regeneration. Author of Designing Regenerative Cultures

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Daniel Christian Wahl

Daniel Christian Wahl

Catalysing transformative innovation, cultural co-creation, whole systems design, and bioregional regeneration. Author of Designing Regenerative Cultures

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