Sustainability is a journey and we have to start where we are today. How might we create real change within an industry? Embrace waste and all of its potential. This is an inside look into how our team is working to change industry from within a large manufacturing corporation by turning what we normally think of as waste into something better.
Biomimicry in Business
As an evolutionary biologist, a businessperson, and a biomimic, I’m always looking for the deep patterns in life, trying to find out what lasts. And here’s one thing I know is true:
Organizations can’t keep growing the way we structure them today.
A recurring theme in the biomimicry track of this year’s SXSW Eco conference was the increasing multidimensionality of ways biomimicry is being applied not just to products, but also to processes and systems. Chemistry, investing, leadership, branding: all can be bioinspired. I’m enthusiastic about applying biomimicry to financial architecture, or the architectures of exchange. Biomimicry offers a new language, longer timeframe, wider lens, and better-rooted framework overall for thinking about system design. It allows us to finally step “outside” (literally and figuratively) the narrow conceptual models of finance that are currently sinking our collective ship. How would nature design a financial system? This blog post is adapted from a short presentation I gave at SXSW Eco on this question.
Tapping Our Ultimate Creative Commons: How Diversity Catalyzes Innovation and Unlocks Regenerative Value
Life’s genome is a vast repository of ancient knowledge. After 3.8 billion years of scrambling, shifting, and selecting ideas that work, the diversity is staggering. Today, we’ve named 1.6 million species, and every year, scientists report 15,000 more. New species turn up in forgotten museum drawers – it’s hard to keep pace. Just a spoonful of soil contains 10,000 different bacteria – many new to science – and each one contains a unique toolkit of adaptations honed by billions of years of trial and error.
Biomimicry offers a strategic advantage in sustainable product design, research, and development. Organizations that study nature as a source of innovation have already transformed a wide array of industries. Leveraging biomimicry’s unique approach to research and design can ultimately lead to sustainable, profitable technologies that increase revenues, mitigate risk, and reduce costs.