Apr14

The Billion Dollar Potential of Biomimicry

IMG_0043

On Monday, April 13th, the BiomimicryNYC network helped Terrapin Bright Green launch their most recent white paper, “Tapping into Nature: The Future of Energy, Innovation and Business“.

The launch was held at the beautiful Loft Space at Pier A Harbor House overlooking the Hudson River and with views that included our Lady of Liberty.

Over 100 guests including sustainability professionals, business executives, architects, engineers, students and designers joined the festivities, which was also attended by sustainability pioneer Amory Lovins.

1

Jonce Walker of Terrapin Bright Green with Benita Hussain of Bloomberg Philanthropies and Jonathan Simkins of American Express.

 

Attendees had the privilege of hearing from Bryony Schwan, founder of the Biomimicry Institute who lauded Terrapin’s stalwart effort in bringing the breadth and depth of biomimicry innovations in the marketplace to light. Noting how in the early 90’s biomimicry was focused more on mimicking shape or form, she emphasized the importance of the report’s in-depth analysis of market impact biomimicry is making across all industries including chemistry, materials and energy.

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The forecasted impact of bioinspired innovation in 2030.

 

According to the white paper, the forecasted impact by the Fermanian Business and Economic Institute of bioinspired innovation could account for $425 billion of US GDP by 2030. Building construction, chemical manufacturing and power generation and distribution hold the predominant share.

Congruent with GDP, bioinspired innovation could also contribute approximately 2 million jobs by 2030.

IMG_0038

Bioinspired innovations forecasted impact on employment: 2 million jobs.

 

The paper also notes that biomimicry has a long way to go as the vast majority of, “…company leaders and government policymakers are not yet familiar with the idea of looking to nature to solve human challenges.”

 

Chris Garvin, managing partner of Terrapin Bright Green and BiomimicryNYC board member then took the stage to walk attendees through the report’s unique interactive graphic entitled, “Market Readiness of Bioinspired Innovations” which “showcases over 100 examples of bioinspired technologies, ranging from early concepts to profitable commercial products.”

Market Readiness of Bioinspired Innovations

“Market Readiness of Bioinspired Innovations” which showcases 101 examples of bioinspired technologies, ranging from early concepts to profitable commercial products.

 

“What we’re really trying to show is the vast opportunity that exists for biomimicry to transform the world to be a better, healthier, more sustainable and resilient place,” Chris concluded. His remarks and Terrapin’s leadership in bringing further biomimicry awareness to industry, academia and the general public were met with an enthusiastic round of applause.

 

Download the report by visiting Terrapin Bright Green.

Photo credit: Randall Anway
Mar26

Tapping into Nature: Launch Event

TAPPING INTO NATURE: THE FUTURE OF ENERGY, INNOVATION AND BUSINESS

Bio-Beers Event BiomimicryNYC + Terrapin Bright Green

TAPPING INTO NATURE: THE FUTURE OF ENERGY, INNOVATION AND BUSINESS

Join us for a special Bio-Beers event celebrating the release of Terrapin Bright Green’s newest white paper on bioinspired innovation.

Monday, April 13th, 2015
6:30 to 8:30 pm
Pier A Harbor House, the Loft Space

22 Battery Place
New York, NY 10280

Enjoy gorgeous views of the Hudson River from the Loft Space of the Harbor House while mingling with like-minded professionals and enjoying light hors d’oeuvres.

The evening will feature a brief introduction to the paper by the coauthors. Terrapin will also provide a limited number of printed copies of Tapping into Nature  for attendees.

This event continues BiomimicryNYC’s BioBeers network building series and is co-sponsored with Terrapin Bright Green and the Open Space Institute.

Eventbrite - Tapping Into Nature: Launch Event

Mar23

Biomimicry Track at SXSW Eco 2015

Nature Innovates

Mark your calendars for October 5-7, 2015 in Austin, Texas!

The Biomimicry Institute and members of the Biomimicry Global Network are joining forces with SXSW Eco to curate a brand-new biomimicry track at the SXSW Eco conference in October 2015.

This track, called Nature, Innovation, and the Future of Design, will explore the intersections of science, technology and design that are inspired, mentored, and measured by the standards of our natural world.

In addition to the biomimicry track, the Biomimicry Institute will offer a series of pre-conference workshops for educators, and networking opportunities for biomimicry practitioners and enthusiasts. More info to follow soon!

Find more information about the SXSW Eco conference here.

Re-posted via the Biomimicry Institute.
Mar13

Biomimicry in Your Pajamas! 7 Free Webinars for Social Innovators

Food Challenge webinars

The Biomimicry Institute is offering a series of 7 webinars, free and open to the public, focusing on how to apply biomimicry and nature’s regenerative patterns to solve global food system challenges.

The webinars are being offered as support for social innovators, entrepreneurs and those passionate about changing the world, who are participating in the annual Biomimicry Global Design Challenge, a competition sponsored by the Ray C. Anderson Foundation which will award $100,000 to the Challenge winners through their “Ray of Hope” prize.

March 17 and 18 webinar_Johnson

So if you’ve ever wanted to learn about nature’s strategies for not only sustainable, but regenerative design, in the comfort of your own pajamas, now is your chance! The Institute is not only taking participants through nature’s strategies themselves, but through the process of ideation to application, and how exactly to find inspiration in nature.

Their last webinar will focus on building a business plan, in order to help bring innovations to market, the ultimate goal for the Global Design Challenge.

BGDC_packaging

The full lineup can be viewed here on their Challenge site or below.

Visit biomimicryinstitute.webex.com to join at any of the dates and times listed herein:

FOOD SYSTEM CHALLENGES & OPPORTUNITIES

March 17 & 18*, 2015

Session A: March 17 at 10am MDT (4pm GMT)
Session B: March 18 at 8pm MDT (*March 19, 10am China Standard Time)

The food system is large and incredibly complex. Where will you focus your efforts? This webinar will feature Nathanael Johnson, author and food writer at Grist, who will provide an introduction to some of the most pressing needs and opportunities for innovation in the food system.

FINDING INSPIRATION IN NATURE

April 7 & 8*, 2015

Session A: April 7 at 10am MDT (5pm British Summer Time)
Session B: April 8 at 8pm MDT (*April 9, 10am China Standard Time)
Note: the same content will be presented in each session.

Nature’s genius surrounds us. This webinar will equip you to find natural models that fit the design challenge you are working on. Learn the most effective ways to use our award-winning resource for biological inspiration, AskNature, as well as other strategies for finding inspiration in nature.

APPLYING NATURE’S UNIFYING PATTERNS

May 5 & 6*, 2015

Session A: May 5 at 10am MDT (5pm British Summer Time)
Session B: May 6 at 8pm MDT (*May 7, 10am China Standard Time)

FROM INSPIRATION TO APPLICATION

May 27 & 28, 2015

Session A: May 27 at 10am MDT (5pm British Summer Time)
Session B: May 28 at 8pm MDT (*May 29, 10am China Standard Time)
Note: the same content will be presented in each session.

One of the most challenging and important steps in biomimicry is the translation of biological strategies into design strategies that can be applied to your design. In this webinar we’ll provide guidance for effectively and accurately doing so.

APPLYING THE SYSTEMS VIEW

June 16 & 17*, 2015

Session A: June 16 at 10am MDT (5pm British Summer Time)
Session B: June 17 at 8pm MDT (*June 18, 10am China Standard Time)

Note: the same content will be presented in each session.

BIOMIMICRY & BUSINESS PLANNING

Date and Time TBA

More info:

In order to join, you will need to download and install the Cisco WebEx software (free). Please plan ahead and do this in advance of the webinar so that you will not be delayed in joining. Audio for the webinars will be broadcast over VoIP. For the best experience, use the speakers and mic on your computer or device and ensure that you have enough internet bandwidth to accommodate both audio and video.

Each webinar will be offered twice to accommodate diverse time zones.

 

Images courtesy of the Biomimicry Institute.

 

Mar03

Biomimicry Global Design Challenge Webinars

How can we make the biggest difference?

Join the Biomimicry Institute for the second in a series of FREE webinars!

The food system is large and incredibly complex. Where will you focus your efforts for the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge?

Nathanael Johnson, author and food writer at Grist will join us for webinars on March 17 and 18 to provide an overview of the most pressing challenges for our food system. Afterward, experts from the Biomimicry Institute will discuss some important factors to consider as you zero in on a specific project for the 2015 Challenge, and share tips for starting your biomimicry design process.

Webinar #2: Food System Challenges and Opportunities

Session A: March 17 at 10am MDT (4pm GMT)
Session B: March 18 at 8pm MDT (*March 19, 10am China Standard Time)

Visit biomimicryinstitute.webex.com to join at either of the times listed above. Note: the same content will be presented in both sessions.

Jan29

It’s a Biomimicry Bonanza at Living Future 2015

living futures un-conference

So … how many biomimics can we fit into one conference?

FOURTEEN of our colleagues and friends are speaking at the Living Future Institute 2015 un-conference April 1 – 3 in Seattle, with Janine Benyus keynoting.

Some of the hi-lights (there’s too many to list!) include a “Walking Exploration” in which participants will “learn how to interpret nature’s lessons with three leading biomimicry experts and apply them to design challenges in your own community”, as well as a discussion which will examine the value of and approach to incorporating deep ecological intelligence into a project.

We’re also excited about Cities that Function Like Forests: An Innovative Approach to Urban Resiliency with two Biomimicry Network founders.

Here’s the complete list of Biomimicry speakers:

 

Joe Zazzera

Green Plants for Green Buildings

Biomimicry Specialist

 

Tamsin Woolley-Barker

Biomimicry 3.8

Research Consultant

 

Christopher Lee Allen

Chris Allen + Associates

Owner

 

Jennifer Barnes

55-5 Consulting

Architect

 

Denise DeLuca

BCI: Biomimicry for Creative Innovation

Director

 

Eric Corey Freed

International Living Future Institute

VP of Global Outreach

 

Alexandra Ramsden

RUSHING

Associate Principal

 

Bill Reed

Regenesis

Principal

 

Josh Stack

Northeast Green Building Consulting, LLC

Attorney and Counselor at Law

 

Janus Welton

Eco Architecture Design Works, PC

Architect

 

Jane Toner

Melbourne Living Building Collaborative

Biomimicry Specialist

 

Kris Callori

EDI

CEO

 

Juan Rovalo

In Site

Founding Principal

Jan27

Revealing Nature’s Life-Friendly Chemistry at GreenBiz 2015

Learning from Nature

We’re excited to share that Mark Dorfman, a Biomimicry Chemist with Biomimicry 3.8, and board member of the BiomimicryNYC network will be presenting during the upcoming GreenBiz Forum 2015 to be held Feb. 17-19 in Phoenix, Arizona. Learn more about his session, One Great Idea: Leapfrogging the Missteps of the First Industrial Revolution. Mark will explore how to apply nature’s principles to the world of modern manufacturing.

Spider web: nature's green chemistry and patterns

“Biomimicry reveals the principles and patterns behind nature’s materials to inspire breakthrough products and processes,” Mr. Dorfman has explained in previous lectures.

“There is a misconception that chemicals are man-made entities that contaminate an otherwise chemical-free natural world. The truth is, nature is alive with chemistry. For example, scent is a language written in chemical sentences, punctuated with electrical impulses, and spoken with simple meaning or complex communication.”

There is so  much we can learn from nature-made materials, patterns and structures. For example, nature’s materials are hierarchically ordered chemical ecosystems of:
• Proteins
• Sugars
• Minerals

And with these parameters, our natural world creates materials that are high performing, multifunctional, beautiful and sustainable. An elegant and regenerative design brief for future products.

Nature is alive with chemistry

We look forward to hearing Mark speak and hope you will join the conversation in Arizona!

Also, feel free to use the Biomimicry Institute’s partner code for 10% off registration: GBF15BIOM

 

Photos courtesy of Shutterstock.com

 

Jan20

Global Biomimicry Design Challenge Launches Today!

Biomimicry Design Challenge

A chance to re-invent the way we nourish ourselves & our planet. https://t.co/v29CZSDXG3 #Biomimicry #DesignChallenge #BGDC2015

How can nature inspire us to design a better, healthier food system? The Biomimicry Institute and the Ray C. Anderson Foundation are inviting professionals and students from across the world to participate in a Biomimicry Global Design Challenge. Using biomimicry as a tool, participants are invited to tap into nature-inspired solutions to help solve key food and agriculture issues like food waste, food packaging, agricultural pest management, food distribution, energy use, and more.

Participants may be featured in high profile media and will have access to biomimicry experts, mentors, and valuable resources. Teams will be competing for cash prizes totaling $160,000, including the Ray C. Anderson Foundation $100,000 “Ray of Hope” Prize.

Many thanks to Louie Schwartzberg and his team at Moving Art, who generously donated their time and gorgeous cinematography for this video.

 

Info and video courtesy of The Biomimicry Institute.
Jan08

Crafting the Ultimate Post-Industrial Design Brief Using Biomimicry

Janine Benyus Paul Hawken at VERGE 2014

By Adiel Gavish

“What the industrial age has done is take life away from the planet and turn it into goods and services,” Paul Hawken stated at the 2014 VERGE Conference in San Francisco this past December. The annual event put on by Joel Makower, a former Biomimicry 3.8 Board Member and GreenBiz.com brings corporations and entrepreneurs together around the convergence of energy, buildings and transportation technologies which will “…enable radical efficiencies and huge opportunities.”

Mr. Makower interviewed both Janine Benyus and Paul Hawken around the idea of “running the industrial age backwards” and how nature can teach us how to undo the damage caused by unraveling the fabric of Earth’s balanced resources.

According to Paul Hawken the Industrial Age essentially takes “…concentrated materials, primarily from the lithosphere and from the biosphere and disperses them everywhere on the planet: in the oceans, in our atmosphere, in our air, lungs and everywhere else.”

He continued, “What we know from biomimicry, and looking at how life works is that, what nature does is, concentrate … What we’re talking about is technologies that imitate nature in the sense that they re-concentrate what the industrial age dispersed into our water, our soil, etc.,” and in a way that is beneficial to the planet, as opposed to degrading.

Janine explained, “In the natural world, what’s abundant is golden … life is really good at concentrating photons, grabbing fog and humidity out of the air, or collecting phosphor,” for example. Benyus then outlined the ultimate nature-inspired design brief for essentially any product in a post industrial era, in order to undo the damage already caused.

“It has to be made out of local, abundant, non-toxic, raw material,” she said, “cheap, and available everywhere. You’ve got to be able to recruit those materials at the end of their life. It has to be able to be repaired or self-healing, or so ubiquitous that it can be replaced easily … I think it’s very important that it’s built to shape – it can be made on a printing press. And that’s another reason why I’m excited about additive manufacturing and 3-D printing. If we get it right and use truly local, raw materials, we build them to shape. We add structure that we find from the natural world – because that’s what life does with fairly simple, raw materials.

(more…)

Dec04

Is Nature the Coolest #Startup in the World?

Girl and Mountains

In Silicon Valley, where startups are born just as quickly as they perish, the predominant saying is, “Innovate or Die.” In the natural world, that saying holds true in an even more literal sense, and applies to not only entire species, but the ecosystems of which they are an integral part.

From a systems perspective, mother nature is a design expert and stellar model of ubiquitous innovation.

Unlike Silicon Valley, the “enterprises” that comprise nature’s business of “creating conditions conducive to life” are billions of years old, with standard operating procedures and innovation strategies connected to the very beginning of life on the planet. A quick Google search for “the world’s oldest companies” will tell you that ConEd was born in 1823, Lloyd’s insurance in 1688 and Kongo Gumi construction in 578. There is no decimal missing there, it was actually founded in 578.

Nature’s “valuation” is priceless and shareholder return, infinite.

Nature is an entrepreneurial system that has been conducting research and development not for tens, hundreds or even thousands, but billions of years. From a systems perspective, mother nature is a design expert and stellar model of ubiquitous innovation.

Photo Credit: Chris Moore

“Nature can’t put its factory on the outskirts of town. It has to work where it lives.” Janine Benyus

Our natural world is not only the guru of green design, but a startup whiz who’s had billions of years to perfect her craft. And not only does she make cool “apps” like spring and summer, but she does so in tandem with all other species so that her “valuation” is priceless and shareholder return, infinite.

Take a closer look at the way in which the natural world makes and does things, and you may find the equation for sustainable innovation. If business were to look at the natural world “as our mentor, rather than a warehouse of goods” as Janine Benyus, co-founder of Biomimicry 3.8 has stated, they may be able to find the secrets to long term success.

“Life creates conditions conducive to life”.

Studying these principles of good, regenerative design is a science and movement called biomimicry. Some also consider it an art form, in which nature’s sustainability strategies and principles are applied to man-made challenges. This goes beyond “net zero” impact. Nature never strives for zero. Not only is it boring, but it makes no sense. In order to create conditions that are optimal for life on the planet, you must constantly innovate, because life is always changing. If it didn’t, well, then life would be dead.

Janine Benyus, the biologist and philosopher, with Dr. Dayna Baumeister distilled our natural world’s best practices into a set of standards called “Life’s Principles” urges us to remember that “life creates conditions conducive to life.” It is not a “goal”, but rather a universal charge. Every single product (flora and fauna) and service (carbon cycle, water cycle, biomes and ecosystems) creates value, so that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

This underlying framework keeps everything working together, in balance, in sync and in harmony, at an optimal level. The application of “Life’s Principles” to global challenges is an emerging science, philosophy, discipline and art. Rather than ask, what can we take from the natural world, biomimicry encourages us to ask, “What can we learn?”

And not only is biomimicry on the rise, but the principles by which nature operates are popping up in man-made innovations in our universal quest to do “more good” and not just “less bad”. This focus beyond “sustain”ability has organically evolved into regenerative design – something our planet has been doing for billions of years.

Nature’s strategies are echoed in the relatively recent development of the sharing economy, the circular economy, social enterprise, big data applications, “smart” products, resilient cities, and so on. It’s all trending towards “regenerative”.

When you look outside today, you see what has survived. These innovations are built to last. And they do so by giving back to the (eco)systems of which they are an integral part.

Nature’s wisdom, as the world’s longest standing “startup social enterprise” is the most powerful natural resource we have yet to explore.

 

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