In the dynamic realm of regenerative design, products, and organizations, the Living Future 2024 Conference (LF24) emerges as a paramount gathering for experienced and emerging leaders. Themed “Change Starts Here,” LF24 serves as an immersive exploration into the interconnected principles of the regenerative movement—climate, health, and equity. In this article, we delve into the profound significance of these principles, examining regenerative practices at various levels, scrutinizing the conference tracks aligned with regenerative ideals, and offering a sneak peek into the remarkable speakers and talks that will shape the discourse.

Climate, Health, and Equity: The Interconnected Pillars of Regenerative Principles

At the heart of the regenerative movement lie three interconnected pillars: climate resilience, human health, and social equity. At the International Living Future Institute, we believe this holistic approach is critical to achieving a regenerative future.

Climate Resilience

Regenerative design recognizes the urgency of climate action goes beyond mere sustainability, aiming to actively regenerate ecosystems and mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Human and Ecological Health

Regenerative practices extend beyond minimizing harm; they actively promote well-being, not just for building occupants but also for the local ecology.

Social Equity

True sustainability cannot exist without social equity. The regenerative movement emphasizes inclusivity, justice, and community resilience.

We will explore the intersection of these pillars of regenerative development at LF24 as the programming seeks to intertwine these principles with its overarching theme, acknowledging that true sustainability transcends environmental considerations alone.

Exploring the Vanguard Issues of the Regenerative Principles through LF24 Conference Tracks

LF24 boasts a diverse range of conference tracks, each aligned with the three core regenerative principles. These tracks provide a structured framework for attendees to explore specialized areas within the regenerative movement:

LF24 Track: Revolutionizing Climate Action

Explore game-changing net positive strategies, groundbreaking technologies, and bold policies aimed at tackling climate change within the realm of regenerative development. Gain insights into how zero carbon buildings, renewable energy integration, climate resilience solutions, and circular economy practices are actively shaping a regenerative future.

Featured Session
Mass Timber: The Southeast’s Homegrown Sustainability Solution
Sam Culpepper, Southface Energy Institute, Inc.

Nick DiLuzio, Georgia Forestry Foundation

Troy Harris, Jamestown LP

Steve Willobee, Harbor Bay Adventures
Georgia is the third-largest lumber producing state in the US, and increasing interest in reducing carbon footprints and using local materials is helping to drive a surge in mass timber projects in the Southeast. Together, we’ll explore unique embodied carbon and biophilic advantages from America’s leading mass timber developer, Harbor Bay Ventures. Learn about inspiring real-world examples of projects across the region, including Jamestown LP’s 619 Ponce project in Atlanta, and the Georgia Forestry Foundation’s new Mass Timber Accelerator program that’s supported by the USDA Forest Service. With sustainable building solutions growing in our neck of the woods, why go anywhere else?

LF24 Track: The Nexus of Human and Ecological Health

Discover the transformative potential of designing spaces that support human health and enhance the vitality of ecosystems. Delve into the profound connections between regenerative development and the well-being of both people and the planet. 

Featured Session
Leveraging Nature-Based Solutions for Resilient and Thriving Cities
Charles Ormsby, Arup

Nicholas Swedberg, Arup

Linda Toth, Arup 
An interplay of built infrastructure, resource flows, natural elements, and people, cities must harmonize with nature to flourish in the face of increasing threats from climate change. Consequently, planners, designers, and policy makers must learn to deploy nature-based solutions that bring benefits beyond conventional-engineering solutions. In this session, Arup will present its Sponge Cities and UHeat Snapshots, including its latest assessment for Atlanta. Attendees will then partake in a charrette with Arup specialists to apply nature-based solutions to an urban case study to increase “sponginess,” mitigate urban heat risks, restore ecosystems, and sustain green, thriving neighborhoods.

LF24 Track: Illuminating an Equitable Future

Prepare to challenge the status quo and redefine what it means to build inclusive, just, and equitable communities. Engage in dynamic sessions spotlighting affordable housing breakthroughs, community-driven engagement models, visionary approaches to equitable access and empowerment, and economic opportunities arising from regenerative development.

Featured Session
Rebuilding Haiti Sustainably: Lessons from a Living Building in Port-Au-Prince
Luis Huertas, Sustainable Design Consulting

David Pierre-Louis, Kay Tita

Herve Sabin, Studio Drum Collaborative
Join us for an engaging panel discussion that delves deep into the heart of sustainable reconstruction in Haiti. We’ll explore a groundbreaking building project in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, which is pursuing Living Building Certification. This project serves as a beacon of hope and inspiration for the entire region, showcasing how a single structure can ignite broader transformation in the face of adversity.

LF24 Track: Change Starts Here

This conference track delves deep into the core theme of the conference, offering a focused exploration of central ideas, concepts, and challenges related to the event. Get immersed in stories of success that become beacons, radiating positive influence and inspiring transformative action beyond boundaries.

Featured Session
LBC & Making the Case: A Replicable Process for Certification Pursuit
Caroline VanHarmelen, King County Metro

Emily Reese, Jacobs

Jamie Strausz-Clark, 3Si
How can we help Owners decide the best paths for their projects while remaining objective? For King County Metro’s South Annex Base project, team members worked side-by-side in planning and predesign phases to identify systematic, replicable approaches to navigating numerous complex certifications while balancing equity needs with other policies and goals. This session will share highlights and review detailed investigative processes that resulted in paths to maximized sustainable outcomes. The results? Data-driven tools that provided quantifiable ways for the project to choose the certification most aligned with all sustainability needs, wants, and must-haves: The Living Building Challenge.

Discovering Living Future Programs & Projects

Discover ILFI programs and how they catalyze the regenerative design movement and offer key tools, as well as hear from project case studies. This track provides an opportunity to connect with ILFI leadership and gain key updates and information on Living Future programs. 

Featured Session
Declare and the Living Product Challenge: Pushing the Movement for Market Transformation Forward
Mike Johnson, ILFI

Annie Bevan, Mindful MATERIALS

Hannah Ray, ILFI 
Delve into the dynamic landscape of sustainable building materials and transparency programs. Over the last two decades, substantial strides have been made in fostering safe, eco-friendly, and socially responsible material production. The International Living Future Institute (ILFI) has been at the forefront of this revolution with pioneering initiatives like the Red List, Living Product Challenge, and Declare label program. While significant progress has been achieved, we’re still far from the ultimate goal. Join us in this session to learn how to get involved and uncover ILFI’s ongoing evolution of these programs, as we collaborate with industry partners to drive greater alignment and spur the sustainable building revolution forward.

A Call to Leadership in Regenerative Practices to Come Together at LF24

As experienced and emerging leaders within regenerative design, products, and organizations, LF24 provides the community for the critical exploration of climate, health, and equity that aligns seamlessly with the interconnected principles of the regenerative movement. It offers a multifaceted examination of regenerative practices at various levels and provides a structured framework through its diverse conference tracks.

The speakers and talks at LF24 promise to be a source of inspiration, offering valuable insights and practical knowledge to fuel our journey toward regenerative futures. As we collectively engage in this deep dive into regenerative principles, let us seize the opportunity to shape the discourse, share our experiences, and contribute to the regenerative movement’s momentum. “Change Starts Here,” and within the immersive landscape of LF24, leaders in regenerative practices are poised to be architects of that change.

Written By

Erin Rovalo PhD

As Vice President of ILFI's Community Team, Erin Rovalo leads the team in their mission to empower an international and diverse community of practice with the skills, values, and knowledge necessary to take bold action towards a living future. Erin has 15 years of experience in sustainable innovation consulting and adult education and is a recognized expert in biomimicry and nature inspired design methods. She is an experienced scholar and researcher holding a PhD in Design Practice and has published academic research as well as editorial articles in Fast Company, Greenbiz, and Metropolis among others. Her goal is to leverage ILFI’s education platform to connect research to practice and accelerate positive, data-driven change at the frontier of regenerative design. In addition to her role at ILFI, Erin is Faculty Associate in the MSc Biomimicry program jointly offered by Arizona State University and Biomimicry 3.8 where she teaches Biomimicry & Design and iSites: Nature Journaling for Biomimicry. She serves on the Board of Directors for The Biomimicry Institute whose mission is to empower people to create nature-inspired solutions for a healthy planet. Erin lives in Roseville, CA and is an aspiring encaustic artist.