News and Ideas from the Biomimicry Institute
From tackling the issues of microplastics and urban heat islands, to addressing clean energy solutions through the use of wind turbines and underwater solar panels, the Biomimicry Institute’s 2022-23 Youth Design Challenge (YDC) winners have offered unique, nature-inspired ideas to solve local design challenges. The YDC, now in its sixth year, serves as a bridge from core concepts to advanced project-focused STEM learning for middle and high school students across the world.
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.
By understanding the overlap between the patterns of nature and our businesses, we can identify the highest leverage opportunities available to us. It can help us to define the problem we actually want to solve. By understanding the way nature organizes the world, you’ll begin to see its patterns everywhere you look. How does the power law distribution apply to your business? Need help finding inspiration? Head to AskNature.org and see if there are answers already waiting for you.
The Microfiber Innovation Challenge is a competition awarding $650,000 for solutions to plastic microfiber pollution. How can biomimicry inform the upstream innovations required for the textile industry to turn off the plastic tap and work in harmony with nature?
Humanity is increasingly affected by social issues including overpopulation and the negative effects of climate change. But biomimicry and scientific research could bring about viable solutions.
Every year on 22 April, we join millions of others in celebrating Earth Day: a global event that motivates us to design a way of living that is healthy, equitable, and thriving. From the tiniest products to the largest systems, biomimicry enables us to make this goal a reality. Why not join us this year? If you’re feeling inspired to make the leap into the world of biomimicry, a 15% discount on all Learn Biomimicry courses awaits you. Simply use the coupon code EARTHDAY-15 at checkout. (Valid until May 31, 2021).
A multitude of advancements have already taken place within the healthcare sector due to biomimicry. In fact, the study of natural processes has given rise to care solutions from antibiotics to pain-free injections and is vital in understanding the trajectory of new diseases like the novel coronavirus. By observing nature, we can better answer questions about our own bodies and how to treat them.
Meet alumni from the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge and see how their careers have evolved over the past few years.
There is hope and inspiration to be had in working to understand the ecosystem living beneath our feet. And through this process of opening our minds to the symbiotic relationships that allow Earth to function so successfully, we will discover how to live in a way that is harmonious with our environment, going beyond sustainable and into regenerative: a positive offering that gives more than it takes.
We don’t have to be living in outer space to feel inspired by the potential for biomimicry strategies here on Earth. The overview effect will humble and inspire anyone willing to take a moment to look out the window to reflect on the majesty of our planet and the world we want for ourselves and future generations. Whether you’re on the International Space Station or on a bridge surrounded by disappearing wetlands and sprawling refineries, that overview moment is an opportunity to “ask nature” how to design a better future!
Just as rainbows follow rain, nature’s disturbances bring with them a newly cleansed Earth. As we mourn the loss of life and remember the pain caused by these disasters, we can look to the future and recognize the growth that can emerge from these challenging and unprecedented times.
The three seeds of biomimicry—copying nature, adopting its ethos and reconnecting with the natural world—equip “these entrepreneurs who are doing some of the most important work” to create new businesses in harmony with nature for a better future.
To prepare for the future we need diverse teams that can look at AI from many different points of view. Everyone should get involved in shaping the future of AI—don’t leave AI to the “experts”! We need to bring our passion for the environment and compassion for all of life into the development of AI, before it’s too late. As exciting as AI is, it is important to look at the potential of AI through a skeptical lens. We must never forget that every breakthrough technology often has a dark side.
On November 3rd, the world will have all of its eyes on the United States. Though our policies and practices have global implications, only American citizens have the right to vote. We may fill out our ballots independently, but we are far from alone in our political choices. This power is not only a privilege; it’s also an awesome responsibility that we must take seriously.
Waste not, want not. That’s a motto that nature stands by. What’s waste from one part of nature serves as food for another, and so it goes in a never-ending cycle that supports, sustains, and diversifies life.