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.
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.
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
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.
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.