The Garrison Institute’s Pathways to Planetary Health (PPH) signature program explores and promotes a regenerative paradigm that nurtures the health of the whole, simultaneously optimizing human well-being and preserving the biosphere.

The predominant worldview and its economic system for assigning value is based on a degenerative paradigm, which values extraction and consumption, and rewards the success of the individual or corporation. PPH seeks to illuminate a different way forward.

The Garrison Institute is convening a series of conversations, bringing together ethicists, community leaders, business leaders, scientists and academics, economists, humanitarians and artists, amongst others, who share a strong interest in best positioning how humanity can navigate forward in these complex times.

Donella Meadows observed:

“The number one way to intervene in a system is to change the mindset or paradigm out of which the system— its goals, power structure, rules, its culture — arises.”

Pathways to Planetary Health Framework

During our first convening of this project in 2018, the Garrison Institute explored the following four Pathways to Planetary Health:

  • Half-Earth – to conserve half of the earth’s land and sea to safeguard its biodiversity, and the conditions for ecological regeneration.
  • Ecological Civilization – to follow an ecosystems model, implementing proven and emerging technologies, integrated with natural systems to draw down green-house gas emissions and increase biodiversity, powered with renewable energy, shifting from mining sourced to biological building and other materials, fed by regenerative agriculture, etc.
  • Regenerative Economics – to move from consumptive capitalism toward regenerative capitalism that rewards actions that increase systemic health and dis-incentivizes systemic degradation.
  • Societal Altruism – to build a shared understanding of our human cultures as cognitive ecologies, which, if imbued with pervasive altruism, an ethics of the common good, could become a generative social field from which would grow environmental, social and inter-generational justice.


In March, the Garrison Institute hosted our 2020 symposium, Pathways to Planetary Health: Ethics in the Age of the Anthropocene, to hold space for deep contemplation around the ethical underpinnings – the respect and honoring of the common good above all else – that must underlie and serve as the cornerstone for all other pathways towards a regenerative future.