AskingNature - The Biomimicry Institute Blog
A water management system for the future, brought to you by spiders, plants, bees, fungi, and our newest Ray of Hope Prize winners.

A water management system for the future, brought to you by spiders, plants, bees, fungi, and our newest Ray of Hope Prize winners.

When the members of Team NexLoop set out to design a water management system for urban food producers, they wanted to make it locally attuned, adaptable, and self-sufficient. With those design specs in mind, they searched for the best examples of how to develop a...

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Meet a Biomimic: Nicole Isle

Our next guest on the Meet a Biomimic series is Nicole Isle. Nicole has a strong connection to nature and seeks to guide our communities to live and build sustainably. With a solid foundation in ecology and urban planning, she leads sustainability work at Glumac, a full-service engineering consulting firm. Nicole is also well-versed in biophilia, touching upon the human-nature connection that plays a major role in (re)thinking our space. Read on to learn more about her journey and words of advice.

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How Would Nature Elect a President?

Superorganisms and networked creatures collaborate on complex tasks just as we do. The secret to their success is flexible intelligence—they work in flat, bottom-up networks, sensing and responding to real-time conditions on the frontlines. They don’t filter out diverse signals—they actively seek them out.

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Earth is (already) great

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.

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Re-Aligning with Nature: A Q&A with author Denise DeLuca

By Erin Connelly What if business as usual didn’t have to be so...usual? In Denise DeLuca’s new book, “Re-Aligning With Nature: Ecological Thinking for Radical Transformation,” she explores how true change - on personal, company-wide, and societal levels - can’t...

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Learning from nature and designing as nature: Regenerative cultures create conditions conducive to life

Most of humanity has lost a vital connection with the natural world – a connection that, from our species’ origins until recently, informed and sustained our participation in nature. The scientific and industrial revolutions brought us almost miraculous technological progress and solved many problems, but they also propagated a mindset where progress meant substituting the old with the new. We came to favor widely-applicable technological solutions over place-based bio-cultural wisdom, and to value short-term gratification over the art of the long view. Eventually we came to think of ourselves and of culture as being somehow separate from or even independent of nature.

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Nature’s Hidden Lessons and How my Favorite Teacher Taught Me How to Find Them

In a world filled with not even 15 minutes, but perhaps the elusive promise of 15-seconds-of-fame, coupled with ever shortening attention spans, it’s more important now than ever to slow our minds down for a moment, pause, and appreciate not how information is provided, but that wisdom is imparted in many beautifully diverse and fantastical ways.

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The secret to engaging employees could be right outside your window

According to Gallup (the global research and polling organization), “engaged” employees feel they have an opportunity to do what they do best each day, have someone at work who encourages their development, believe their opinions count, and are involved in, enthusiastic about, and committed to their work. Engaged employees drive company innovation, growth, and revenue. In June 2016, Gallup announced that more than two-thirds of all employees in the U.S. are “not engaged” or “actively disengaged” at work. That’s bad news for business, but it’s even worse news for employees. What it means is that most people are mostly checked-out most of the time

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Meet a Biomimic: Alessandro Bianciardi

Our next guest on the Meet a Biomimic series is Alessandro Bianciardi. As an environmental engineer with a wealth of experience, Alessandro works towards solving complex human problems in a more sustainable way. He co-founded Planet, a company dedicated to leading biomimicry education and innovation, and serves as the education and product innovation advisor. He is also the co-founder of Biomimicry Italy, and the team leader for Team Planet, a finalist team currently participating in the first-ever food system Biomimicry Accelerator in the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge. Read on to learn more about his journey.

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Don’t call it snail mail – this improved mail delivery system was inspired by ants

Tharalelo Mokgokong is way more than your average recently-graduated master’s degree student. In addition to being an avid runner of half marathons, a mentor to underprivileged children, and an advocate for sustainable business development in rural areas, Tharalelo has essentially redesigned the South African Post Office’s delivery system by looking to nature for inspiration.

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Meet the new food system game-changers

We are thrilled to announce the winners of the 2016 Challenge, culled from 86 entries from 18 countries. The winners range from high schoolers to professionals, from all kinds of professional backgrounds and geographic locations, but they all share the same drive to reinvent our food system, using blueprints from the living organisms that surround us. We’re so proud of these teams and can’t wait to be a part of their next steps as they work to make their designs a reality.

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The power of the Biomimicry Design Spiral

Spirals are everywhere in nature because they perform so many functions. It is no wonder, then, that when Carl Hastrich set out to create a design process for biomimicry, he turned to the spiral. That is very fortunate for all of us, because the spiral design process not only allows us to tap into the power of nature, it allows us to tap into the power of our own creativity and imagination — exactly what we need to tackle the tremendous challenges that we face today.

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