Nov27

Earth is (already) great

koala-sleeping

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

May22

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

EcoLightGarden-AaronRogosin-Bigtop

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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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.

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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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Oct03

BNYC October Newsletter

Janine Benus and Paul Hawken at Omega 2013

In this edition: Janine Benyus joins Bill Clinton at the Omega Institute for their annual “Where We go From Here” conference; HOK unveils their groundbreaking “Genius of Biome” report, helping us to design buildings that are locally attuned and responsive; and Tamsin Woolley-Barker explores, “How Would Nature Create Generous Cities?”

http://eepurl.com/GjeHj

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Jul29

Biomimicry Conference Highlights

Global Biomimicry Conference

The first ever Global Biomimicry Conference explored nature inspired 3-D printing, Generous Cities, a Regenerative Economy and how Green Chemistry can lead the way in creating sustainable products.

Biomimicry consultant, Dr. Tamsin Woolley-Barker captures these inspiring and game changing ideas from the Conference in a series of articles featured in Triple Pundit.

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Jun10

Register: Global Biomimicry Conference

Global Biomimicry Summit 2013

A global conversation on how biomimicry will shape innovation and education in the years to come.

Biomimicry thought leaders will give morning plenary presentations on the future of biomimicry in community resilience, materials and manufacturing, and economic development.

Day 1: Resilient cities with leading architecture firm, HOK
Day 2: 3D printing, informed by nature: with MIT and Warner Babcock Institute
Day 3: Companies changing the landscape of environmental debt

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Oct29

Highlights from Our Launch Party

Janine Benyus addresses the crowd

BiomimicryNYC celebrated Janine Benyus’ receipt of the Cooper Hewitt Design Mind Award as well as the official launch of our network with over 200 fellow designers, architects, engineers, students and teachers.

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Sep07

Biomimicry Week NYC

Janine Benyus speaking at Biomimicry Week NYC

Discover nature-inspired innovation at our Pop-Up Exhibit, meet Janine Benyus and the leadership of Biomimicry 3.8 at our Cocktail Reception.

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