At the vanguard of transformative change, architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) professionals, regenerative enterprise leaders, and product manufacturers find themselves positioned at the intersection of innovation and sustainability. The Living Future 2024 Conference (LF24), themed “Change Starts Here,” stands as the International Living Future Institute’s annual flagship event and a platform to explore the leading issues facing the regenerative community today.

Serving as a dynamic platform that transcends conventional business boundaries, LF24 is uniquely poised to offer a critical space for exploration and dialogue on the key priorities of the regenerative movement. This annual event is more than a conference—it is a catalyst, fostering conversations that delve into the profound significance of both individual and collective actions in propelling positive change within the built environment and beyond. Now more than ever, exploring the outsize impact that one project, one product, or one organization can have on the greater industry is critical to scaling the adoption of regenerative practices and addressing the converging issues of climate, health, and equity.

The theme, “Change Starts Here,” encapsulates a vision that transcends passive sustainability and aims for regenerative practices that actively contribute to ecological restoration. We have seen Living Buildings used as teaching tools, mechanisms for advocacy, and paradigm-shifting design experiences. These buildings, products, and organizations signify a departure from the status quo and beckons professionals to be architects of positive change within their respective spheres.

As the community celebrates wins, we also continue to grapple with key challenges and opportunities such as materials vetting, carbon accounting, occupant health, nature-positive solutions, and more. The conference promises an immersive experience for exploring these questions in community—featuring an array of sessions, workshops, and discussions that delve into regenerative design, sustainable business practices, and innovative product solutions. It is an opportunity for AEC professionals, regenerative enterprise leaders, and innovative product manufacturers to converge, collaborate, and chart the course toward a regenerative future.

Experiencing the Kendeda Building as a Living Example

One of the stars of LF24 exemplifying the theme of “Change Starts Here” will be the Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design, the first Living Building in Georgia and the 28th Living Building worldwide. The twin goals of The Kendeda Foundation and Georgia Tech, when creating the Kendeda Building, were to lead by example through demonstrating that a building can foster regenerative systems in a mixed climate and to amplify the impact by inspiring change on the Georgia Tech campus, across the Southeast building industry, and the world. Individuals involved in the construction of the Kendeda Building made deliberate choices in materials sourcing, energy systems, and water management. These choices, when aligned with a collective vision, resulted in a structure that not only minimizes its environmental impact but actively contributes to ecosystem regeneration.

Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design. Photo by Justin Chan Photography.

The Kendeda Building stands as an inspiration for professionals attending LF24, demonstrating the tangible outcomes of integrating regenerative principles into the built environment. LF24 attendees will spend time at the Kendeda Building, and the partners that participated in this project will be at LF24 to talk about their experiences and the lessons learned during the design and construction of the Kendeda Building.

The theme “Change Starts Here” underscores the profound impact of both individual and collective actions on driving positive change. The Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design serves as an exemplary case and is a living testament to the transformative power of conscious decision-making and collaborative efforts.

Acting Like a Movement to Scale Change

At LF23, ILFI’s CEO Lindsay Baker called on the community to start acting like a movement as a way to organize, advocate, and scale up impact on the industry. At LF24, this regenerative movement continues to emerge and gain momentum as a critical force propelling sustainable transformation beyond conventional practices. Unlike traditional sustainability, which often focuses on reducing harm, regenerative approaches seek to restore, rejuvenate, and revitalize ecosystems affected by human activities. This movement calls for a paradigm shift in how we conceive and execute projects, emphasizing holistic, interconnected solutions that consider environmental, social, and economic dimensions.

AEC professionals, regenerative enterprise leaders, and innovative product manufacturers have a unique role to play in advancing the regenerative movement. By adopting regenerative principles, they contribute not only to the resilience of ecosystems but also to the well-being of communities and the longevity of their enterprises. The Living Future 2024 Conference serves as a platform to deepen understanding and explore practical applications of regenerative thinking.

At LF24 we will gather together to brainstorm new ideas, learn from one another and to be inspired.  We will discuss the hard things and share the great ideas that will move us all forward – new ideas in materials and reuse, design strategies and project management methods.  It is a time to build your personal community and your professional network. Attendees will have the opportunity to dive into the details of the Living Building Challenge, the Living Future Accreditation program and the Declare & Just Transparency Labels. 

Embracing the Imperative of Change

As we approach the Living Future 2024 Conference, the theme “Change Starts Here” resounds as a call for this regenerative movement. It is an invitation to be at the vanguard of the movement, to embrace regenerative principles, and to actively contribute to the creation of a built environment that regenerates rather than depletes.

The Kendeda Building stands as a living example of what is possible when individual actions align with a collective vision. The Living Future 2024 Conference provides a platform for professionals to delve into regenerative practices, collaborate on innovative solutions, and explore cutting-edge products that pave the way toward a regenerative future.

For AEC professionals, regenerative enterprise leaders, and innovative product manufacturers, LF24 is not just a conference; it is a convergence of minds, a catalyst for change, and an opportunity to be part of a movement that redefines the relationship between humanity and the environment. “Change Starts Here,” and the journey toward a regenerative future begins with the active engagement of each professional within these influential communities.

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.