News and Ideas from the Biomimicry Institute
The biomimicry movement is highly practical in orientation. And yet, underlying and motivating the practices of biomimicry, there lies a distinctive philosophy–a profound way of understanding and relating to nature that challenges many of the core assumptions of contemporary thought. In this blog post, Dr. Henry Dicks discusses the relationship between biomimicry and philosophy.
The countdown to the biggest celebration of generosity has begun. On Tuesday, November 29, communities worldwide are joining together to support a cause, issue area, culture, or identity. Giving Tuesday is a day that encourages people to do good, and this simple idea kickstarts the holiday season with a tone of selfless kindness.
“From nature’s blueprints, these companies are commercializing what our world so urgently needs—products that solve problems without creating new ones… ” Learn more about this year’s Ray of Hope Prize® First Place Recipient GreenPod Labs, an India-based agricultural biotechnology startup focused on tackling food loss problems in developing countries, and Second Place Runner-Up Fusion Bionic, a company that has engineered a nature-inspired solution for surface textures to eliminate the need for harmful chemicals.
It’s easy to focus on the salient features of any living being: the color of a bird’s plumage, an elephant’s immensity, the musculature of the human leg. However, when you look deeper, the incredible durability and structure of bones is an engineering marvel. It turns out bones and teeth are capable of inspiring innovation in a variety of fields, including aeronautics, architecture, and automotive engineering.
The ultimate freak show is an understatement: Armed worms, sex-crazed fish, poison-hungry butterflies, polka-dotted flying good luck charms, and the most despicable creature born with a grin whose blood fights gravity. No one knows all the secrets they hold, but what’s clear is that the strangest amongst us are showing us a better way to live. The catch? They are teaching us their survival skills as they disappear.
What does it mean when a shrimp shapes the future of aircraft, dolphins predict tsunamis, and invisible organisms help solve the plastic crisis? It means in a world dominated by market-driven solutions and rushed progress, it’s our billion-year-old planet that’s shaping the future of technology and commanding the attention of obsessed innovators, conservationists, and hardcore business folks. Just by being. Makes you think: Who are the real masters of technology?
As both a teacher in a public school for over 20 years, and a nonfiction writer, the question of how to deeply engage my learners and readers is always on my mind. What is their entry point? How do they connect? I’ve discovered there are so many ways.
A decade ago I felt lost, confused, and anxious. I had just learned about climate change and was shocked the state of our planet wasn’t introduced to me sooner. Once my privilege bubble popped and I realized I was actively contributing to the problem, I immediately began changing my habits. But the more I learned, the more wicked the global quandary became. I marched for climate action, was trained by Al Gore and his team through the Climate Reality Leadership Corps, and joined a full-service public relations firm focused on sustainability. Still, I found myself paralyzed and distraught to find my place in the agency of change.
Bring biomimicry education into your community, further your own learning through professional development, and hear from practitioners in the new biographies series.
The movement to be more sustainable and to ‘go green’ has finally become a priority in many areas of the world. It has encouraged thousands of people to reevaluate the choices they are making and the many rippling impacts that those choices have. Many are demanding changes to the economy and industries that they purchase from to help them achieve sustainability goals.
We know what’s at stake. It’s an active decision to pursue innovations and strategies that honor life for the long-haul versus choosing quickies that lead to our next extinction. And if fact-based efforts and “last chance” climate emergency conferences have hardly moved the needle (COP26 summit agreements resulted in 0.1 degree C from future climate breakdown) then maybe fear, or the very real fear of losing what we love, will.
We are proud of the major accomplishments we’ve achieved over the past year. Here is a snapshot of what we’ve been up to—made possible by the generous support of our global community. To read the full impact in our 2021 Year in Review report, visit biomimicry.org/impact.
The Design for Decomposition is a bold initiative to realign the underlying principles of both the fashion and waste management industries with the laws of physics and biology to create cascading benefits for climate, biodiversity, and social equity. Such an ambitious aim requires partners who are courageous and have vision.
Taken as a whole, you will make it possible for us to meet, and hopefully exceed, our goals. You’ll be helping to solve humanity’s biggest challenges with nature’s proven solutions. And you’ll get us all one step closer to securing a sustainable future for the next generation.
For every dollar you give today through the end of the year, the Kendeda Fund has generously offered to match your donation. Thank you for supporting our shared mission.