Oct16

‘Project Drawdown Learn’ Livestream NYC

‘Drawdown Learn’ Livestream

from the Omega Institute

Teaching a Solutions-Based Approach to Climate Change
with Paul Hawken and the Project Drawdown team

At the Frying Pan in Industry City, Brooklyn
Friday, October 19
6:30 – 10 pm

RSVP here

Schedule

6:30-7pm Check-In and Networking

  • Lite refreshments while mixing and mingling
  • Connect with a network of like-minded professionals and enthusiastic individuals—from educators to architects, and community planners to policy makers—all are welcome!

7-7:30pm Welcome & Opening Remarks

  • Welcome and introduction to BiomimicryNYC and what is biomimicry
  • BiomimicryNYC introduces Project Drawdown, what it includes and how you can contribute locally in NYC

7:30-10pm Drawdown Livestream

  • Overview Presentation with Paul Hawken
  • Panel discussion with the Project Drawdown team, including updates on what’s emerged since Drawdown was published last year—the partnerships, ideas, community organizing, Drawdown hubs, and more.

Paul Hawken & Drawdown Team


Food and drinks available for purchase at the Frying Pan Helm Bar

Sep22

Intro to ‘City as a Forest’ with biomimicry pioneer Chris Garvin

CHANGE IN VENUE:

Intro to ‘City as a Forest’ will now be held at ABC Carpet and Home (not at the Interface showroom).

Thursday, September 27th, 2018 from 3-5 pm

RSVP

 

DESCRIPTION

As a partner event of the Agritecture Xchange series, “Intro to City as a Forest” will provide attendees with a basic understanding of biomimicry, ecological performance standards, and how we can apply ecosystem metrics to design more sustainable, resilient cities.

“City as a Forest” aims to reconstruct the relationship between the ecosystem and the city in a mutually beneficial manner that supports all life. This is a regenerative approach to building design and community development. The goals of this effort are to connect people to natural systems, align local ecosystems with larger regional systems, and integrate comprehensive ecosystem impacts into planning and decision-making. Using this holistic approach, we can solve challenging urban problems while strengthening the connection between the built environment and nature.

Enjoy local fare and drinks while networking with other like-minded students and professionals. Questions? Contact adiel.gavish@biomimicry.org.

To be alerted to future events, sign up for our mailing list here.


About Chris Garvin

Chris Garvin is an accomplished architect and active voice in the sustainable design community. Since moving to New York in 1998, he focused on sustainable design with both Croxton Collaborative and Cook+Fox Architects. Chris joined Bill Browning and Bob Fox in 2006 to form Terrapin Bright Green, a strategic sustainability consulting firm dedicated to the rapid transformation of our built environment to create a healthy and sustainable world. During that time, Chris developed and executed a five-year biomimicry innovation program with the State of NY to support innovation in SMEs.

In 2011 he became a founding board member of the BiomimicryNYC regional network. Furthermore, he has worked with Google and Interface to integrate bio-inspired ecological metrics into the design and operations of their facilities. Chris has served as the managing partner and project lead for many of Terrapin’s engagements until departing in 2017. Currently, he is focusing his efforts on ecologically-driven solutions to reverse climate change and improve the health and resiliency in communities.

 


Graciously hosted by

ABC Home is a NYC design destination—a portal into collective creativity, integrating healing, education, theater, art and other forms of interconnectivity. With beauty + design as tools, ABC guides a conscious participant to creatively commit to nurturing the planet and its communities while actualizing home as a sacred space. ABC Carpet & Home holds a commitment to indigenous artistry, and its protection, with global cooperatives and global partnerships. To find out more about their transformational events series, please click here.

 

Organized by

 

 

In partnership with

Since 2011, Agritecture has been researching and evaluating thousands of approaches to urban agriculture. What began as a humble blog, has evolved into a global consulting business offering clients technology-agnostic guidance. As part of their ongoing commitment to accelerate the urban agriculture industry, they continue to share knowledge through their blog, wide array of events, and their do-it-yourself +Farm.

AgTech X is a community platform for learning, collaboration, and entrepreneurship within Urban Agriculture & Sustainable Food System topics. They currently run New York City’s only co-working lab that is focused solely on sustainable food & agriculture issues.

 

 


 

What is biomimicry?

Biomimicry is an approach to innovation that seeks sustainable (and net positive) solutions to human challenges by emulating nature’s time-tested patterns and strategies. The goal is to create products, processes, and policies that are well-adapted to life on earth over the long haul, and actually give back to the ecosystems of which we are an integral part. As biomimics we ask, what can we learn from nature — not, what can we take?

The core idea is that organisms and ecosystems have already solved many of the problems we are grappling with. Animals, plants, and microbes are the original engineers, innovators, aviators, and architects. After billions of years of research and development, failures are fossils, and what surrounds us is the secret to survival.

 

Header image by Chris Barbalis on Unsplash.

Nov27

Earth is (already) great

A joint letter from the Biomimicry Institute and Biomimicry 3.8.

Let’s work together to build a just world for us all, with nature as a guide.

We’ve all spent too much time inside the last few days, looking at our computers and TV screens. In that time, birds were flying south for the winter, rain was restoring thirsty hills in California, and baby koalas were being born in Australia.

A species can only thrive if its strategies are tuned to the conditions it’s in–and if it’s in beneficial relationships with others. Humans have co-existed as a species on this planet for over 200,000 years as Homo sapiens sapiens. In that time, there have been many disturbances, challenges, and tensions between and amongst us. Somehow, we have eventually learned that we are always better together than alone.

And through it all, we always asked nature for help.

Nature adapts to changing conditions, over short and long periods of time. For that reason alone, it offers us humans millions of answers on how to build a fair world that works for all species.  

We have a vibrant planet, one full of solutions to every problem we have. As we all collectively navigate this time of great change ahead, we encourage everyone to continue to look to nature. Take long walks, have conversations with birds, spend time pondering the ants.  

Go outside – enjoy it, learn from it, and protect it.

Sincerely,

Your friends at the Biomimicry Institute and Biomimicry 3.8

Apr06

Want to build an organization that lasts? Create a superorganism.

photo-1430933964450-0aefb85717c8
By Tamsin Woolley-Barker, PhD

For the past 25 years, I’ve studied everything from baboon cooperation in Ethiopia and orca whale innovation in the Bering Sea, to the Argentine ant invasion in my kitchen, and my colleagues at work (not nearly as interesting!), all through an evolutionary lens.

Today, I use that lens to help companies evolve.

I’m a Biomimicry Professional, and a Biologist at the Design Table, and the teams I work with develop biologically-inspired solutions for a Global 500 clientele. We search for the technologies that make life—and business—go.

As an evolutionary biologist, a businessperson, and a biomimic, I’m always looking for the deep patterns in life, trying to find out what lasts. And here’s one thing I know is true:
Organizations can’t keep growing the way we structure them today.

It’s simple math. Like dinosaurs, organizations keep getting bigger, but they need huge bones to support the weight of all that complexity. The more weight, the more bones; the more bones, the more weight. It’s a catch-22. Management is the ponderous skeleton that keeps organizations from collapse. But as they grow, the costs of management rise, and the ability to adapt declines. When sudden change comes, there’s not much a company can do—it’s a sitting duck (or dinosaur) for the next cosmic collision. Hierarchies can only scale so much—we can’t grow bigger bones forever.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with hierarchies. In fact, nature uses them all the time—to stop change from happening. Scientists tell us that cells go rogue in our bodies every day, but a hierarchical system usually stops those cancers from growing. Hierarchies are important and useful. But they aren’t the right structures for adapting to change, and they inherently limit growth.

Change is coming—with shifting supply chains and customer needs, upstart competitors and technologies, resource scarcity and volatile prices, change is sudden, unexpected, and potentially calamitous. Multinationals span many divisions and fractured market segments, their teams cross cultures, languages, time zones, and governments. All of it held together by management. Between technological advances and social revolutions, climate change and peak everything, companies inhabit an unpredictable world of their own making. They are bound to topple and fall.

Meanwhile, they have a mandate to maximize shareholder return. Companies that are beholden to this short-sighted maxim require infinite growth. What happens when they hit the limit? Something has to give.

As an evolutionary biologist, I find myself asking—who inherited the Earth in the dinosaurs’ place?

(more…)

Dec01

Message to COP21 leaders: Need solutions? Ask nature.

Right now, world leaders are gathering in Paris at COP21 with nothing less than the future of our planet at stake. Their goal is to create a new international climate change agreement that limits global warming below 2℃. If temperatures rise above that magic number, the UN predicts that between 20-30 percent of plant and animal species could be wiped out. If things continue as they currently are, we will certainly hit that number (atmospheric CO2 levels recently passed the 400 ppm mark, another measure of the damage we’re doing). We know we cannot allow this to happen.

As these leaders work to hammer out plans, they’re going to need to land on solid strategies to limit greenhouse gas emissions and keep our planet’s temperature from rising. Luckily, the solutions are right outside our window.

Nature is full of clues for how we can approach our climate change problems, in ways that not only reduce our climate impact, but help us to “…become producers of ecosystem services” (Janine Benyus). Biomimicry studies and then translates nature’s architecture, design, and engineering strategies to human design. Many of these strategies can apply directly to climate change challenges such as how nature upcycles carbon, harnesses the sun’s power, and creates electricity.

COP21 is focused on developing solid action plans and solutions. In that spirit, we want to share just a few of nature’s strategies and corresponding innovations that can lead us down a more life-sustaining path.

First, here is a small sample of some ways that nature captures greenhouse gases and creates renewable energy:

 

Carbon-gobbling cacti
The Saguaro cactus uses some of the carbon dioxide it removes from the atmosphere to make compounds called oxalates.These oxalates then combine with calcium ions taken up from the soil by the plants roots. After the cactus dies, the calcium oxalate slowly transforms into solid calcium carbonate (calcite), and sequesters atmospheric carbon dioxide into the soil. (more…)