Mar28

Think Like an Ecosystem: Biomimicry for Social Innovation workshop in NYC

17080_2_New York Botanical Garden

Think Like an Ecosystem:
Biomimicry for Social Innovation
June 12-14, 2018 | New York City

Biomimicry for Social Innovation Design Workshop 2-day Extension
June 15-16, 2018

Discover how to Think Like an Ecosystem during our three-day training that cross pollinates the fields of biomimicry and social innovation. Through exploration of an old growth forest inside the New York Botanical Gardens and a field trip to the shorelines of the City’s largest park, you’ll explore lessons from nature and learn how to apply this ecosystem intelligence to organizations and social innovation efforts.Have a specific opportunity or challenge you’d like to address? The Design Workshop is a two-day extension for those ready to roll up their sleeves and begin applying the concepts learned during the training to a specific issue or opportunity. Through direct coaching with our expert instructors and collaborative engagement with fellow learners, you’ll work to unpack the most applicable lessons from nature, then apply them systematically to your challenge. The Think Like an Ecosystem training is a prerequisite for this extension unless you’ve previously taken a Biomimicry Social Innovation workshop with Biomimicry 3.8.

 

LEARN MORE + REGISTER

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WHAT TO EXPECT

Each day will be brimming with content—you should plan to clear your agenda and fully immerse yourself in the biomimicry experience! You will gain new insights and new ways to unpack challenges as you explore how to apply nature’s lessons through experiential play with lessons from local ecosystems. From a homebase of the New York Botanical Gardens, workshop activities will vary from lecture time to hands on activities to fields trips that explore Pelham Bay Park, New York City’s largest park. This will be an active and fully engaged workshop, so come ready to dive in!

INSTRUCTORS

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Dr. Dayna Baumeister–Biomimicry 3.8 Co-Founder

Dr. Dayna Baumeister is a world-renowned biomimicry lecturer and consultant, as well as the Director of the Biomimicry Professional Certificate Program and Co-director of The Biomimicry Center at ASU. With a background in biology, a devotion to applied natural history, and a passion for sharing the wonders of nature with others, Dayna has worked in the field of biomimicry with business partner Janine Benyus since 1998 as a business catalyst, educator, researcher, and design consultant. As a workshop leader, she will share her 18+ years of experience bringing biological intelligence to a wide range of audiences as well as her visionary leadership for the meme.

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Toby Herzlich–Biomimicry for Social Innovation Founder

Toby Herzlich is a leadership trainer, master facilitator, certified Biomimicry Specialist, and the founder of Biomimicry for Social Innovation. Toby is committed to the creation of a just, healthy, and regenerative society, and heartfully enthused about the transformative potential of applying nature’s wisdom to humanity’s sustainability aspirations. With more than 25 years of facilitation experience, she is a Senior Trainer with the Rockwood Leadership Institute, co-founder of Cultivating Women’s Leadership, and a consultant to organizations such as the Sierra Club and the AgroEcology Fund. She finds much of her purpose in catalyzing diverse networks of social change innovators, including the Young Climate Leaders, and intends to germinate a co-evolving network of leaders using nature’s intelligence as guidance and inspiration.

SPECIAL GUEST

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Lisa Dokken–Certified Biomimicry Professional

Lisa Dokken holds one of the first Masters in Science in Biomimicry from Arizona State University and is a Certified Biomimicry Professional. Lisa lectures on biomimicry and nature based solutions at The Earth Institute, Columbia University, as well as Bard College’s MBA in Sustainability program. Prior to her diving head first into biomimicry, Lisa worked in sustainable development for the United Nations Development Programme and the Clinton Climate Initiative in Asia, Latin America and Africa. She is also on the board of directors for the BiomimicryNYC regional network.

PRICING

Price for attendance at the June 12-14, 3-day training is $1,950. Designed to be highly affordable and flexible, registration covers catered lunch each day, all activities, tuition, workshop materials, and administration costs. You will need to choose your own options for breakfast, dinner, and lodging based on your preferences.

The June 15-16 Design Workshop extension is $1,500. Registration includes catered lunch each day, all activities, tuition, workshop materials, and administration costs. The Think Like an Ecosystem 3-day training is a prerequisite for this extension, unless you’ve previously taken a Biomimicry Social Innovation workshop with Biomimicry 3.8.

You’ll see an option on the registration form to select the three-day training only, or the three-day plus two-day workshop extension.

Attendees are responsible for covering the cost of transportation and lodging, as well as breakfast and evening meals. Reserve your seat for only $500. Full payment is due April 23, 2018.

Convince your boss by downloading and sharing our new PDF that outlines the professional benefits and value biomimicry immersion workshops can add to any organization. Download Convince Your Boss pdf here.

WORKSHOP LOCATION AND ACCOMMODATIONS

The workshop will be held at the New York City Botanical Gardens in the Bronx, conveniently located across the street from the Botanical Garden station on the Metro-North Harlem line, just 20 minutes from Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan.

Attendees are responsible for arranging their own accommodations. New York offers endless lodging opportunities. There are several hotels within walking distance of the workshop. The proximity to a station allows participants to easily travel from other parts of the city. Don’t forget about VRBO or Airbnb.

REGISTRATION AND DEADLINES

Online registration forms must be completed by April 15, 2018. All instructions and pricing information is included within the form. Late registration will be accepted through May 27, 2018 pending availability. Late registrants will incur a $200 late fee.

Learn more about Immersion Workshops here

Questions? Contact us at workshops@biomimicry.net or +1 406-543-4108 *233

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Nov29

A Cure for the Uncommon Cold

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By Tom McKeag

When Arthur DeVries arrived at McMurdo Station in 1961, he was fresh from Stanford University where he had signed up for a 13-month stint to study the respiratory metabolism of the endemic Notothenioid fishes found in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica. Notothenioids are Antarctic icefish, a suborder of the order of Perciformes. This order is the most numerous order of vertebrates in the world and includes perch, cichlids, and sea bass. Five families of Notothenioid fish dominate the Southern Ocean, comprising over 90 percent of the fish biomass of the region. They are a key part of an entire ecosystem, but that ecosystem would not exist in its robust form if they had not evolved a way to beat the extreme cold of these polar waters. DeVries would eventually find out how.

McMurdo station is at the southern tip of Ross Island, the largest of three U.S. science installations in Antarctica. Established in 1958, McMurdo had all the fea-tures of any work camp on the edge of raw nature, with few embellishments be-yond generators, supply pallets and Quonset huts. The research community there existed in defiance of the climate, rather than because of it: recorded tem-perature extremes are as low as minus 50 degrees Celsius and average annual temperatures reside at minus 18 degrees Celsius.

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Aug27

Summer Reading List for Biomimics!

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We asked leaders in the biomimicry community – including Biomimicry Institute staff, founders of the Biomimicry Global Networks, our friends at Biomimicry 3.8, and our co-founder, Janine Benyus – for their summer reading recommendations, and have compiled a great list of books for your trip to the beach (or lake, reservoir, bay, pond, channel, estuary, fjord, bight, canal, wetland, lagoon, marsh, tributary, or river delta) this summer. Some may be better suited for hunkering down during winter months, but all will provide a new perspective in thinking about sustainability, innovation and design, and our relationship with the natural world. Enjoy!


 

Recommended by Janine Benyus, co-founder, Biomimicry Institute & Biomimicry 3.8

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer

Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses by Robin Wall Kimmerer

The Hidden Half of Nature by Anne Biklé and David R. Montgomery

I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life by Ed Yong

Adapt: How Humans Are Tapping into Nature’s Secrets to Design and Build a Better Future by Amina Khan

Recommended by Amy Coffman-Phillips, founder, Biomimicry Chicago network

Evolution by Stephen Baxter (Sci-Fi)

Storms of my Grandchildren by James Hansen

Birthright: People and Nature in the Modern World by Stephen Kellert

 

Recommended by Katherine Collins, author, The Nature of Investing, founder, Honeybee Capital Foundation

The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative by Florence Williams

 

Recommended by Lisa Dokken, biomimicry consultant and lecturer, Columbia University

The Soil Will Save Us: How Scientists, Farmers, and Foodies Are Healing the Soil to Save the Planetby Kristin Ohlson

 

Recommended by Marjan Eggermont, associate dean, Schulich School of Engineering, and founding co-editor, Zygote Quarterly

Science of Seeing: Essays on Nature from Zygote Quarterly by Adelheid Fischer

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Nov27

Earth is (already) great

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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.

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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?

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Dec01

Message to COP21 leaders: Need solutions? Ask nature.

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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…)

Oct10

Urban mobility reloaded: Planning our future cities

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By Dr. Arndt Pechstein

Our cities are constantly growing and an ever-rising number of people live on a very small fraction of the world’s surface area. By 2050, about 70% of the world’s population is expected to live in urban areas. Half of the population of Asia alone is predicted to live in cities by 2020. Over 60% of the land projected to become urban by 2030 remains yet to be built. Mobility no longer remains an optional luxury for an elite but has transformed into a non-negotiable to participate in society. Consequently, smart mobility solutions are gaining importance. How do we tackle such a challenge of global dimension? How do we serve people’s needs for mobility while simultaneously sacrificing neither biodiversity and environmental values nor human health and well-being?

The light bulb was not invented by improving the candle.”

Urban mobility Dr. Arndt Pechstein

Reinventing the wheel

Despite our pride of having invented the wheel (which is, by the way, not entirely true given that the golden wheel spider has been using wheel motion for millions of years before us) humans are not the only species tackling mobility challenges. In fact, mobility is an inherent phenomenon shared by all living systems. Everything alive moves, from cells to organisms to entire ecosystems. Over billions of years, organisms and systems have evolved to be remarkably adaptive to their surroundings with regard to transport, mobility, and logistics.

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Aug14

Evaporation: Closing the Gap between Forest and Urban Water Flows

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By Jennifer Barnes and Alexandra Ramsden

Have you ever walked through an evergreen forest in the rain? There is a hush all around. The forest floor is spongy and soft beneath your feet, and the layers and textures all around you create a coziness, a feeling of being protected. As you take a deep breath of fresh, clean air, you know it’s raining big drops up above, but all you feel is a cool mist floating down through the canopy.

You can find expansive sections of this forest all around Puget Sound. For many people, it is a mental and spiritual health reservoir, a place that helps us reconnect and remember that we are nature. But it is also an ecosystem services powerhouse. It stores carbon, cleans the air and water, regulates temperatures, and provides shelter and food for critters big and small.

Before urban development, this forest dominated Seattle’s landscape. Dotted with bogs and meadows, with wetlands proliferating along the rich edges between forest and water, the vast majority of the region was forest. And the system operated in dynamic balance.

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May22

Top 5 reasons why you should be at SXSW Eco this October!

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The Biomimicry Institute, Biomimicry 3.8, and members of the Biomimicry Global Network are joining forces with SXSW Eco to curate a brand-new conference track, focused on nature-inspired ideas, designs and technologies.

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

Playtime at SXSW Eco Light Garden, 2014

If you are in the social innovation and regenerative design space, then this track is where you will meet other social innovators, entrepreneurs and cutting edge leaders thinking about how we can re-align our companies, cities, products, policies and business practices with those of the natural world.

“Creating that marketplace for exchange of ideas and progressive thinking is what South by Southwest Eco is all about.”
Forbes

Here are the top 5 reasons why you should be at SXSW Eco this year:

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Apr24

Call for Proposals! Biomimicry at SXSW Eco This October

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Calling all nature-inspired innovators! The Biomimicry Institute is teaming up with SXSW Eco this year to present a special biomimicry track entitled “Nature, Innovation, and the Future of Design.” And their call for proposals is now open!

SXSW Eco - a party in a conference setting.

SXSW Eco – a party in a conference setting.

 

SXSW Eco, “creates a space for business leaders, investors, innovators and designers to drive economic, environmental and social change”. Their annual conference which follows SXSW Interactive, attended by over 30,000 per year, “celebrates innovation in technology and design that positively impacts the economy, environment and society”.

“Creating that marketplace for exchange of ideas and progressive thinking is what South by Southwest Eco is all about.” – Forbes

This partnership will help to shepherd biomimicry into mainstream culture and allows for the pollination of cross-sector, cross-industry collaboration within an annual gathering focused on innovation for good.

Interactive playtime at SXSW Eco 2014.

Interactive playtime at SXSW Eco 2014.

The goal of this biomimicry track is to inspire and create bridges beyond a very close-knit biomimicry community. With 7 hours of programming, the conference track focuses on finding the most unique 60 or 90 minute sessions that are interactive, engage the audience and will leave attendees wanting to not only learn more, but take that next step in creating partnerships, collaborating, and bringing biomimicry to the world.

Special Biomimicry Track Themes

  1. Nature’s Hidden Patterns: the patterns and processes that are always there, but elude the human eye (rapid fire presentations) – also open to poster displays during lunch hour
  2. New Insights & Discoveries: learning from related fields and science visualization
  3. Business as Nature: new models of decision making tools
  4. Beyond Biophilic Cities: solutions rooted in genius of place (a series of rapid fire presentations)
  5. This slot is reserved for submissions that do not fit into the above, but are a crowd favorite.
SXSW Eco 2014 welcome party.

SXSW Eco 2014 welcome party.

How to Submit Your Proposal

Because SXSW Eco utilizes a unique crowd-sourced system, each submission must go through their Panel Picker process.

The Biomimicry Institute will post additional information and submission guidelines shortly, so keep checking their page for more info.

In the meantime, if you have questions, please contact Adiel Gavish or Kathy Zarsky.

 

Re-printed from the Biomimicry Institute. Photo credit: Aaron Rogosin