Locally-Powered: how communities benefit when solutions come from within
In a recent poll, we asked our audience, “In your community’s work toward meaningful change and lasting progress, which statement feels more accurate?” 87% of respondents selected the statement indicating community voices as the drivers of solutions. 13% believed external players primarily influenced change.
Our survey results reveal the strength of community voices in social decision-making. This revelation holds for a regenerative economy, as well.
What are some essential principles of a regenerative economy?
Net Impact’s mission aligns well with a regenerative economic approach because both seek to create a positive impact for an improved world. Our Reimagining Capitalism virtual event series educates entities to prompt awareness and action to stimulate a just, sustainable economy.
Certain principles guide a regenerative economic system. First, a regenerative approach encourages moderation. Individuals must cherish all things and employ efficient use.
Second, a regenerative economy encourages dedicated resource stewardship to support a less polluted environment and healthier people.
Third, a regenerative and circular economy champions individual, community, and business collaboration rather than rivalry. Teamwork builds knowledge and experience within the group to advance the collective organization and each person within it independently.
How Does the Walton Family Foundation Incorporate Regenerative Economy Principles?
Our partner, the Walton Family Foundation, models a great dedication to regenerative and circular economy principles. The foundation works in three focus areas: strengthening the connections between K–12 education and lifelong opportunity; protecting rivers, oceans, and the communities they support; and advancing the foundation’s home region of Northwest Arkansas and the Arkansas-Mississippi Delta.
The Walton Family Foundation uses its strong familial roots as the foundation for fostering growth and creating opportunities by proudly collaborating with grantees and the communities they serve. They aim to tackle some of our world’s most pressing issues through meaningful collaboration and bringing diverse perspectives to every challenge.
The National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC) envisions a future where farming promotes societal greatness without damaging the environment. To reach its goals, the organization redistributes power and enhances policy by equitably providing a new generation of farmers and ranchers the tools to advocate for change.
The Walton Family Foundation and National Young Farmers Coalition have partnered on a water-focused fellowship program for farmers and ranchers, which spurred training for other agricultural workers and the election of three fellows to local water boards.
Another organization working to promote a circular economy is the Vela Education Fund, a nonprofit fund that will support families, educators, and innovators who are reimagining and improving access to learning. The Vela Education Fund will be a way to invest with impact in the education sector. They will provide grants to education entrepreneurs (students, parents, educators, and community leaders) who work tirelessly to create new opportunities and approaches for children’s education.
Innovation, adaptation, and responsiveness are a few aspects you can attribute to the projects that Vela will support. These vital traits will improve societal resiliency in a regenerative system, making collective prosperity feasible.
Arkansas Home Region: Right to Start
Right to Start works nationwide to make entrepreneurialism possible for everyone, regardless of location, circumstances, or race. The organization helps entrepreneurs through programs to raise awareness, advocate for better policies, and prompt community action. The Walton Family Foundation supports Right to Start to help build a more inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem in Northwest Arkansas.
A regenerative economy places immense value on social equity and justice. Right to Start acts on those beliefs by opening entrepreneurial doors to those who may have been denied the chance to start a business due to antiquated social, economic, and racial biases.
A Brighter Future Through Community-Driven Change
Our polling shows that 87% of pollees perceive community voices as the drivers of positive change. A regenerative economy demands this type of social equity and sustained environmental viability. Transformative change takes time and will only endure through innovative, inclusive work led by the people and communities closest to the challenges faced.
Learn more about how the Walton Family Foundation is centering community-driven change in its 2025 strategic plan.