Oct31

Mimicking the Salt Marsh for #ResilientCities

Dr. Anamarija Frankic
By Dr. Anamarija Frankic

In response to growing coastal challenges, including habitat degradation, loss of biodiversity, and climate change, efforts around the country and the world are increasingly embracing strategies and initiatives focused on promoting environmental sustainability and social responsibility.

The most significant impediment to sustaining our coastal natural and human built systems, and the goods and services they provide, is not a lack of technical knowledge but the need for all stakeholders to understand whole systems-level intricacies that true conservation, restoration and adaptation work requires.

Eastern oysters cleaning up to 50 gallons of water per day.

Eastern oysters clean up to 50 gallons of water per day.

 

My work is based on a biomimicry approach in addressing coastal issues. Natural coastal systems and local keystone species like oysters, and habitats such as shellfish beds, salt marshes and eelgrasses work together to stabilize our coasts, sediments, filter water of nutrients and pollutants, providing conditions conducive to life, which are resilient and adaptive to environmental changes.

Observing and learning from coastal systems leads naturally into a discussion on how to apply this wisdom in our human built environment.

The Design Charette I am teaching in November with BiomimicryNYC will explore ideas such as,

How can urban harbors accrete sediment and stop erosion like the salt marsh;

while improving water quality like the oyster reef;

and creating a habitat for other species like eel grass beds?

I’m looking forward to teaching and working with designers, engineers, architects and social entrepreneurs in this region, and excited to see what innovative ideas our teams produce.

If you’re interested in joining our Design Charette on November 17, 2014, please visit this page for more information.

(Frankic et al. 2011).

Oct28

Biomimicry + Urban Green Harbors Workshop

Urban Green Harbors and LivingLabs Logo

Urban Green Harbors Design Charette

How can urban harbors accrete sediment and stop erosion like the salt marsh;

while improving water quality like the oyster reef

and creating a habitat for other species like eel grass beds?

Two years since Superstorm Sandy, the world is a different place. Everyone is talking about “resilient coastal cities”, but what does that really mean? What can we learn from inherently sustainable and resilient natural systems? And how can we apply nature’s adaptive strategies to our urban harbors?

THE CHALLENGE 
How would nature design resilient breakwaters, supporting human and ecological services and functions?

OBJECTIVES 
Introduction to the science, philosophy and practice of Biomimicry and the 6 Biomimicry Principles.

PRACTICAL EXERCISE 
Design charrette of a local breakwater on Governor’s Island. Work with an interdisciplinary team of designers, biologists, architects, engineers and planners. Final designs will be presented to the NY Harbor School

WHEN     Monday, November 17th from 10AM to 5PM

WHERE   Pershing Hall, Governor’s Island – the Ferry leaves from the Battery Maritime Building (the historic green building to the left of the glass Staten Island Ferry bldg) promptly at 10 AM. Address: 10 South St, New York, NY 10004

COST      $60 per person, $40 for first 10 registrants, 2 student scholarships currently available

RSVP

LEAD INSTRUCTOR : DR. ANAMARIJA FRANKIC

Dr. Anamarija FrankicDr. Frankic is founder and director of the Green Harbors Project®. She is a Biomimicry Educational Fellow, and a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Zadar. Her background in biology, ecology, limnology and marine science guide her interdisciplinary work in coastal and watershed ecosystem stewardship and restoration. Anamarija founded the LivingLabs® program where students and local communities can ‘learn and teach by doing’ biomimicry, applying nature’s wisdom to be healthy, wealthy and resilient.

ABOUT THE DESIGN CHARETTE 
Each participant will be assigned to a diverse 5 person team, based on your background and experience. Volunteers from BiomimicryNYC and Biomimicry New England will be assigned to each team in order to provide guidance through the research phase and biomimicry design process.

WORKSHOP PARTNER : THE NY HARBOR SCHOOL 
Located in the heart of New York Harbor, Harbor School’s mission is to provide a college-preparatory education built upon New York City’s maritime experience that instills in students the ethics of environmental stewardship and the skills associated with careers on the water.

Inquiries

Student scholarship applicants, please contact adiel@biomimicrynyc.com 

If you are interested in being a Community Partner or Event Sponsor, please contact Adiel Gavish adiel@biomimicrynyc.com.

Community Partner and Sponsor Packet_BiomimicryNYC_Urban Green Harbors

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Oct27

The Wisdom of Ancient Grains

Our most popular Tweet from the Omega Institute conference this weekend was a quote from Winona LaDuke, an American Indian activist, environmentalist and writer, “The corn they are making now isn’t intelligent. They’ve stripped away it’s innate wisdom, cultivated over hundreds of years. Corn made with chemicals is dumb. My corn is intelligent, it has spirit.”

She and Vandana Shiva both discussed the embedded wisdom found in the soil and seeds of corn and rice and how that wisdom is lost through genetic manipulation. Seeds that have undergone genetic engineering are deprived the ability to evolve, and therefore become resilent in conjunction with the ecosystem of which it is an integral part.

Vandana

Vandana explained that “seed freedom is the freedom of seeds to evolve.” That without evolution, no seed can become resilient to changing environmental conditions. And that when you work with evolution, you protect diversity. She encouraged farmers to work towards embedding health per acre, as opposed to other shorter term economic goals.

“The world is a brilliant flow of evolutionary potential.” ~ Vandana Shiva

Both speakers were awe inspiring, as they shared their stories of perseverance and grassroots advocacy. We encourage you to visit the Omega website and listen to their stories (video link to come).

Oct18

Visionary Story Tellers Come Together

Voices of Hope Conference

WHAT Voices of Hope in a Time of Crisis

WHEN November 8, 2014, 10am to 6pm

WHERE The Great Hall, Cooper Union

DESCRIPTION BiomimicryNYC is pleased to be a partner organization, helping to promote this one-day event that will bring together visionary thinkers and activists— from the fields of economics, environmental justice, local business, farming, art, story-telling, spirituality, development, and politics—for a day of thought-provoking and constructive talks on our multiple crises and how we can solve them.

The event will also include the launch of the International Alliance for Localization (IAL), a new global network to connect the growing number of individuals and organizations dedicated to exploring localized approaches to today’s ecological, social, and economic problems.

Speakers include Chris Hedges, Laura Flanders, Charles Eisenstein, Helena Norberg-Hodge and more. For a full list of speakers and topics visit their website.

Tickets start at just $15. 

 

 

Sep30

$100,000 Biomimicry Design Challenge Prize 2015

Ray C. Anderson 2015 biomimicry design challenge

The new $100,000 “Ray of Hope” Prize will be awarded annually to the prototype round winner, beginning in 2016.

Today, one in seven people does not have enough to eat. How will we feed nine billion in 2050?

Nature has the answers.

The Biomimicry Institute is partnering with the Ray C. Anderson Foundation and food and conservation experts to solicit nature-inspired solutions toward ending world hunger.

From 2015-2017, our Global Biomimicry Design Challenge will mobilize thousands of students and professionals around the world to tackle the problem of food security.

Our goal: show how modeling nature can provide viable solutions to reduce hunger, while creating conditions conducive to all life.

READ MORE

 

Sources: Image and copy courtesy of Biomimicry 3.8
Sep05

Workshop: Women’s Leadership Lessons from Nature

Women’s Leadership Lessons From the Living Earth

Women leading change in these dynamic times are tuning into new sources of inspiration—personally, socially, and globally. They are seeking guidance in how to be more adaptive, resilient, networked, and systemic—all things we can learn from the natural world around us.

During the weekend, participants will learn to integrate biomimicry methods with leadership practices. What might we learn about cooperation from a forest ecosystem? How can nature’s feedback loops inspire us in cultivating our networks? How can bee colonies mentor us for self-organizing within a community? 

WHAT: Women’s Leadership Lessons From the Living Earth

WHEN: October 10, 2014 – October 12, 2014

WHERE: The Omega Institute, Rhinebeck, New York

REGISTER HERE

Lead by:

Toby Herzlich, founder of Biomimicry for Social Innovation, is a Senior Trainer with the Rockwood Leadership Institute and cofounder of Cultivating Women’s Leadership. She’s taught women to be effective, heartfelt, nature-inspired leaders in Israel, Bosnia, the US and Canada. bio-sis.net

Dayna Baumeister, PhDdevoted biologist and educator, is cofounder of the Biomimicry Institute and Biomimicry 3.8. She guides leaders globally to learn from nature as mentor in solving the world’s sustainability challenges. biomimicryinstitute.org 

Aug21

Biomimicry Professionals to Speak at ASID GO PRO/NYC

ASID GO PRO NY Event

BiomimicryNYC board member and Biomimicry Chemist Mark Dorfman, as well as Founding Member and architect Janus Welton will speak to emerging design professionals at the ASID (American Association of Interior Designers) event this September.

Mark and Janus will share their experience as biomimicry practitioners in the fields of materials and design and architecture. As a biomimicry chemist, Mark has worked with companies looking to improve material performance and increase sustainability by taking cues from nature’s life-friendly chemistry. He will give an overview of biomimicry, describe the methodology he uses to find nature-inspired solutions to real-life challenges, provide some case examples, and paint a picture of where the field is heading.

Janus, a LEED certified architect, interior designer and educator will discuss nature’s time-tested designs that inspire innovation in the design process. She will share biomimicry products, case studies of biomimicry applied to the built environment and challenge you with a new design paradigm based on Nature’s forms, processes and systems.

RSVP here

 

Aug08

Expedition in Costa Rica w Dr. Dayna Baumeister

Discovering Nature’s Genius

December 9 – 14, 2014 | La Cusinga Lodge, Uvita, Costa Rica with Biomimicry 3.8

More Info / Register

This program held by Biomimicry 3.8 will empower you in the practice of biomimicry by strengthening your ability to use the biomimicry process for discovering nature’s amazing adaptations developed over 3.8 billion years of evolution. Your program leaders will guide your discovery into how life’s strategies can help humanity solve its own challenges in design, business, engineering, and beyond.

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Jul30

Aligning Business & Nature Through Biomimicry

The Regenerative Economy

By Adiel Gavish

The room of homosapiens was buzzing like bees, as a diverse tribe of over 100 eco geeks, science nerds and finance dweebs met and exchanged ideas and shared interests. An enthusiastic crowd of architects, engineers, students, designers, business and finance professionals came together at Impact Hub NYC to learn more about the promise of “The #Regenerative Economy” at our seasonal BioBeers network event held Tuesday, July 22nd. In fact, more than one Impact Hub employee came up to me and exclaimed, “Wow! This is a fun crowd!”And it wasn’t just the rosé .

Attendees networking at our BioBeers event

Attendees connect at our BioBeers event.

Can we fit the square peg of “natural capital” valuation into the round (w)hole of iterative ecosystems?

Can we really align business and nature? What exactly is a regenerative economy? And how do we know when we’ve succeeded? And finally, can we actually fit the square peg of “natural capital” valuation into the round (w)hole of iterative ecosystems?

The search for sustainable, equitable answers to our most pressing global challenges is a quest that unites us all. Once you’ve searched for so long, and realize that nature can act as a guide, you see the world in a new and thrilling light.

Biomimicry is a science which not only studies nature’s best practices in sustainable innovation and design, but delivers implementation strategies that have been time-tested and nature-approved. When we look outside, biomimics not only see a forest or the trees, we see billions of years of lessons embedded in a vertically integrated system which upycycles all of its resources. I know, crazy, right? But true!

Thank goodness we can’t commodify gravity.

The natural world has developed sustainable methodologies that can be found in every type of biome and ecosystem the world over. Janine Benyus, co-founder of Biomimicry 3.8, describes this universal foundation as “ubiquitous”. When we look to nature for answers, we find solutions that are grounded in physics, which our current economic system is designed to oppose. I mean, thank goodness we can’t commodify gravity.

The path of “business as usual” is no longer an option. There are signs of this shift in our culture today with the emergence of the “Sharing Economy” the “Circular Economy”, and the exponentially growing number of Social Enterprises which seek to do “more good” through business. Companies, especially multinationals, now think of their “stakeholders” along with their “shareholders”.

We have collectively come to this conclusion as a society – business must change in order for us to survive. Sustainability is crucial, but to be regenerative and give back from whence we take will set us on a course of meaningful contribution – in business, and in our lives. And we can do it through innovation and fun! Who knew?!

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Jul11

Biomimicry + the Regenerative Economy

Authors_The Regenerative Economy at Impact Hub NYC on Tuesday July 22 from 7 pm to 9 pm

The #RegenerativeEconomy: Aligning Business and Nature at Impact Hub NYC July 22 from 7 - 9 pm

Everyone’s talking about New Metrics for the sharing and circular economy, but what do we measure, and how? How do we get business standards and economic metrics aligned with nature’s laws and principles of regenerative design? And how does nature make more with the same (resources and energy)?

With 3.8 billion years of R&D experience our natural world is a master innovator and stellar model of ubiquitous design. How can our cities, businesses, products and services help “create conditions conducive to life” like the natural world?

Focusing on economic metrics, business and investment standards, authors Amy Larkin and Katherine Collins will discuss their recently published books that describe solutions to create a regenerative economy – an economy that helps create conditions conducive to life on this planet.

As Janine Benyus (the scientist philosopher who coined the term biomimicry) stated, “We are nature, but we’re really young. Our biological elders are wise … I’d like us to become a species that not only fits in, but contributes.”

“A regenerative economy is one that aligns the rules of business with the laws and principles of nature,” Adiel Gavish, founder of BiomimicryNYC. Join the BNYC network to learn more about this emerging discipline and how we can contribute “more good”, and not just “less bad”.

Drinks, hors d’oeuvres and networking starting at 7 pm, plus two 10 minute talks starting at 7:30 pm with plenty of time for Q&A.

WHEN

Tuesday, July 22 from 7 pm to 9 pm

WHERE

Impact Hub NYC at 394 Broadway is a coworking & events space for a global community of professionals taking action to drive positive social and environmental change.

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