Inspirators Interview with Regenerative Business Facilitator Minou Schillings

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The Who? 

I am a regenerative business facilitator who spends most of her time imagining, exploring and realizing the regenerative transition with business owners, intrapreneurs, leaders and other impact-driven individuals. I am a deeply curious, non-tradition-accepting, people person who is trying out different pathways and mediums to accelerate the transition to a regenerative future. There is no clear-cut plan for a regenerative future and that’s why I see myself mostly as an experimenter, storyteller, connecter and facilitator.

My Dutch background makes me direct, no-nonsense and down-to-Gaia. I am also a self-thought artist, experimental (vegan) home chef, book lover (I sometimes read whilst walking), sister, daughter, friend, stranger who smiles at you, partner and friend.

The How?

Facilitation of workshops, sprints and transition processes.

I facilitate workshops, sprints and transition processes for businesses focusing on; letting go of business-as-usual, imagining a regenerative future and realizing the regenerative transition. My academic background in lateral thinking and the development of thinking has so far been extremely helpful in facilitating deep imagination and transition processes.


In 2022 I designed The Regenerative Pathways Exploration program which will kick off in February 2023. The Regenerative Pathways Exploration Program is created to enable entrepreneurs, leaders and intrapreneurs to explore and take action on regeneration.

“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read or write, but those who cannot unlearn the many lies that they have been conditioned to believe, and not seek out the hidden knowledge that they have been conditioned to reject.”

(Gavin Nascimento)

Talks & Webinars

I try to get as many people as possible excited about the regenerative movement by making regeneration as accessible as possible. By sharing stories of regeneration happening already around us, alternative futures and the power of imagination, I hope to inspire people to skip doom and gloom and choose hope and action.


I am constantly designing and co-creating new resources or projects which can help people in the regenerative transition.


We are not only lacking imagination, we are also lacking art in this transition. Statistics, books, podcasts and reports aren’t the only way we can share knowledge and insights. If we want more people to join the regenerative transition we need to make it accessible and inclusive. Art is a great medium to do so. Art breaks down boundaries, tells stories, and tackles assumptions.

Right now, I am in the process of painting the sounds, ideas, feelings and images that emerged from a “Imagine a regenerative 2052” exercise I facilitated earlier this year during a workshop.

The Where?

I am born in the Netherlands and live partly there and partly nomadic. I absolutely love slow travelling and I spend quite a lot of time in trains and Bla Bla cars. My slowest trip this year was walking 1100 km on the Camino de Santiago. Normally, I bring my office in a bag with me and this always works perfectly, but during the Camino I finally had to admit that you can’t combine all kinds of trips with your work.

I am thinking though about getting a group of people together, to walk the Camino using this time to explore regeneration on a deeper level.

The Why?

I simply love humans. Most of them are kind, caring, odd, and creative and they can create the most beautiful things. Wouldn’t be a pity if we went into extinction simply because we are too stubborn to change our minds? I know for sure that I will do everything in my power to ensure that humans and other life forms can thrive for many generations to come. We are worth it!

Your personal definition of Sustainability

Sustainability is the ability to sustain something for a longer period of time. This worries me in the 21st century because a lot of the systems we have designed shouldn’t be sustained in the first place. They are causing stress in all systems and are destructive not only for nature but also for society and our mental health. For me, sustainability is a core element of regeneration but it is not enough.

Regeneration can be explained in many different ways but I would explain it as enabling societal and nature’s ability to heal, restore and thrive once again. This means that we can no longer design destructive, extractive and linear products and systems. But need to start living, being and collaborating with multi-generations in mind, circular systems in place and nature in our hearts and at the core of every decision we make.

Main business challenge you face

Operating with a Business-As-Usual system that most people see as a “set-in-stone reality” and I see as a world that can be reimagined and redesigned. The most frustrating sentence I often hear is “But that is just how the world works”. Yes, it does. Right now. But it doesn’t have to be like this! Our current capitalist extractive individual competitive system isn’t a set reality, it is a story that we are buying into and we can rewrite it collectively. We have that power!

Main driver that keeps you going

I truly believe that most people are good and kind! They are just stuck in a destructive system that is also harmful to them. Right now, we are stuck here mostly because of a lack of imagination. We simply seem not able to envision other futures. You might be familiar with the quote “it is easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism”. Luckily, we can unleash our imagination, we can be once again more compassionate, curious and creative. Unleashing our imagination and realizing a better future won’t be easy but it will be worth it! And if even people who truly believe it is possible to accelerate the transition aren’t willing to do the hard work. Who will?

The trait you are most proud of in yourself

I am very positive. And honestly, I couldn’t be more grateful to be naturally positive in times like this. Because it can be hard to be part of a society that isn’t sure it is going to save or destruct itself.

The trait you most value in others

Authenticity! Dishonesty and masks make me very uncomfortable. This is also one of the reasons I am so keen on leaving the business-as-usual-behind. People shouldn’t be worried about fitting into a box to fit in society.

Every time you leave a bit of yourself behind you are also becoming less creative and imaginative. It is dangerous for your mental health and overall well-being. Humans are a super interesting, surprising species, so why squander them? Be authentic!

Passions & little things that bring you joy

You got a minute?! I love abstract, impressionist and modern art, jazz, opera, rock and 80s music. I love to paint, cook, experiment, walk, travel, talk to strangers, board games, time in forests, to swim in lakes, be surrounded by mountains, read (fairytales), the list goes on.

The #inspirators who determined you to take the sustainability path:

  • Katharine Hayhoe tells a story of hope
  • Edward De Bono amplified the power of lateral thinking and thought me how to break out of our current thinking patterns and systems.
  • My parents, family, friends and every kind person I ever met and deserves better.
  • Pippi Longstockings showed me at a young age that you don’t have to accept the world as it is.
  • Peter Wohlleben who UNlearned my understanding that trees and plants as mostly non-communicative.

A hint or starting point for companies or professionals that are taking the first steps in the sustainability journey:

When you embark on your sustainability journey you often do this with a sense of urgency or maybe even frustration. You can clearly see in my business name “The Green Sprint” that this was the case for me. Only later I realized that this is not a sprint. Yes, we are in an urgent crisis. Yes, we need to accelerate action. But deep meaningful systems and culture change takes time. I would like to go back to the Minou of a couple of years ago and tell her that sometimes the best way to speed up is by slowing down. And that it is important to put things in perspective. Otherwise, you might end up either burned down, disappointed in your impact or both.

A great way to put things in perspective is going on the Deep Time Walk! All you need is a phone, your headphones and a nice area to walk in.

An honest piece of advice for young people who lose hope:

This is going to sound cliché, but I want to advise you to not underestimate the power of kindness and the ripple effect. If you are a kind human being, who tries as best as possible to make the right decisions, care for the planet and show up with compassion, this will ripple out in society.

We live in a society where many people feel like they are alone in their worries and fight. But they are not, we are all in this together and once you start talking, choosing and acting in a way that you believe will lead us to a better future, like-minded people will be drawn to you.

And remember to be kind to yourself as well. Give yourself space, silence, hobbies, passions and boredom. Not everything has to move the needle.

Books that had a major impact on you:

  • Zen and the art of saving the world – Thich Nhat Hanh
  • Theory U: Leading from the future as it Emerges – Otto Scharme
  • Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants – Robin Wall Kimmerer
  • From what is to what if – Rob Hopkins
  • Lateral Thinking – Edward De Bono
  • Good Ancestors – Roman Krznaric

Must-reads for any Sustainability professional:

  • Green Swans: The coming boom in regenerative capitalism – John Elkington
  • Doughnut Economics – Kate Raworth
  • Ministry for the Future – Kim Stanley Robinson
  • Designing Regenerative Cultures – Daniel Christian Wahl
  • Regeneration – Paul Hawken

Music that makes you (and your heart) sing:

What if music can lead us to a better future? This is exactly the question Adam Millet, Wim De Geus and I asked ourselves before we went and co-created two playlists together with our LinkedIn communities.

Anthropotunes – Songs about a world in transition.

WHAT IF – Songs that bring hope for a better future

Any songs in mind that should be added to the list? DM me and they will be added to the list!

Global Sustainability Voices you recommend us to follow:

  • Erin Remblance
  • Lubomila jordanova
  • Laxmi Adrianna Haigh
  • Michelle Holliday
  • Kristy Drutman
  • Leyla Acaroglu
  • Paul Hawken
  • Paul Polman
  • John Elkington
  • Christiana Figueres

Trends in Sustainability we should keep an eye on:

  • Sharing Economy – Sharing is caring.
  • Nature Rights – Granting rivers, mountains, and forests the same rights as humans.
  • More time & space for the development of soft skills which are crucial for the transition to a better future. E.g the Inner Development Goals.
  • Opting out – Consumers who are consciously opting out of certain brands, foods, banks, investments, retirement funds, destructive activities and so on.

Events we should attend:

Associations, business clubs, tribes you belong to – and why:

  • Creatives4Climate – a great community of creatives who are connecting globally to accelerate change.
  • The Sustainable Pathways Collective – an interesting group of “scurvy elephants” who are helping businesses to take action on sustainability.
  • B Leaders Community – people who believe in the power of business and want to use it as a force for good.

Sustainable Development courses / trainings / certifications that really teach us how to have an impact:

The acumen course on systems thinking is very helpful in getting a grip on systems change and connecting the dots between ecology, economy and society.

Earlier this year, I released Regeneration 101 for anyone who wants a rapid and accessible to regeneration. It is a quick 60-minute flight over the world of sustainability and regeneration, the pathways to explore and the tools to use in the transition to a just and resilient world.

In February 2023 the first cohort of the Regenerative Pathways Exploration Program is starting. The program is created for impact-driven entrepreneurs who want to explore and realize the transition to a regenerative future but don’t know how or where to get started.

The Regenerative Pathway Exploration Program Information Banner

Reasons to feel optimistic about our future in 2030:

Societies and people are getting smacked in the face at an unprecedented rate. This also means that more and more people are realizing that things truly have to change! 2023 could be the year in which we reach the critical mass needed for deep transformation. You are already seeing regeneration happening all around you. Maybe not everyone knows that this is called regeneration, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that people are increasingly understanding and feeling that nature should be at the core of our decisions.

Reasons to feel pessimistic about our future in 2030:

Plenty, but let’s not get into that. Pessimism, doom and gloom and dystopian stories are narratives that I love to leave behind. I don’t believe that fear, shame and blame are sustainable drivers for change. They might work for a while, but at one point people get used to a crisis situation and fall back into old patterns. Hope, optimism, utopians, solarpunk and imagination on the hand are unlimited sources of energy because they really give you a better future to work towards.

Regenerative Leadership qualities much needed today:

  • Compassion
  • Curiosity
  • Love
  • Understanding
  • Deep listening
  • Systems thinking
  • Courage
  • Imagination

Quote, that inspires you:

“If you never change your mind way have one?”

Edward De Bono

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”


Your own quote that will inspire us:

"Nobody is an imposter in the regenerative transition. Because nobody is an expert, knows all the right answers or has a step-by-step guide to a better future. This transition is everyone's moment to imagine, experiment, connect and explore ways to a better future".


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