Frequently Asked Questions – Biomimicry Institute

Frequently Asked Questions

Thank you for your interest in learning more about the Biomimicry Institute, what we do, and how you can get involved. Here is a list of frequently-asked questions to help you with your next steps:

ABOUT

What is the Biomimicry Institute?

The Biomimicry Institute is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that empowers people to create nature-inspired solutions for a healthy planet. The Institute focuses on developing sustainability innovators, both current and future, via biomimicry design challenges (the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge and the Youth Design Challenge), the Biomimicry Launchpad, and resources like AskNature.org, an online database of nature’s design solutions and the products and ideas they’ve inspired.

What is the Biomimicry Institute’s mission statement?

The purpose of the Biomimicry Institute is to naturalize biomimicry in the culture by promoting the transfer of ideas, designs, and strategies from biology to sustainable human systems design. Through our platforms – design challenges, the Biomimicry Launchpad, and AskNature.org – we’re creating a critical mass of big thinkers, confident in how to translate nature’s design principles to create a better world.

CONNECT

I’m interested in having a representative from the Biomimicry Institute speak at my event.

Visit our Speakers page and/or submit the following information to info(at)biomimicry.org:

  • Who is the organizing body putting on the event or hosting the speaker?
  • What is the date of the event?
  • What is the location of event?
  • Who is the primary audience?
  • Compensation available? – speaker fees, travel, lodging, etc.
  • Are you interested in just a speaker or a speaker and a workshop?

Can you help me with my biomimicry project?

There are so many fascinating biomimicry projects out there in the world today and while we would love to help out with all of them, we are a small team and do not have the resources to partner on individual projects.  We have a number of free resources available for your use. A good place to start is to check out the Resources section of AskNature for a comprehensive list of books, videos, and webinars on biomimicry.

To look for specific biological inspiration, solve a particular problem, or look at what biologically inspired inventions exist already, visit our AskNature website and use the strategy pages or the search bar to explore what’s out there.

Another great way to practice biomimicry is to learn by doing. Consider taking part in one of our Challenges.  

* The Biomimicry Global Design Challenge is an international design competition that provides a platform for students and professionals to apply biomimicry solutions to big sustainability challenges like climate change.

* The Biomimicry Launchpad provides design challenge finalists and program applicants resources and mentorship to help them achieve technological and market feasibility.

* The Biomimicry Youth Challenge provides middle school and high school teams an avenue to practice the biomimicry design process under the guidance of a teacher.

How can I contact Janine Benyus?

Janine Benyus is unable to respond to individual emails or requests. If you would like to contact her regarding an interview or a speaking engagement, please email media@biomimicry.org. We will not be able to respond to requests for Janine outside these parameters.

How can I meet other people who are interested in and practice biomimicry?

Our Global Network is made up of people from around the world who are interested in creating more opportunities to practice, share, and learn about biomimicry regionally. Visit our Global Network page to see if there is a network near you. If you don’t see a network near you, learn how to start your own.

If you’re an educator, consider joining the Biomimicry Education Network group hosted on AskNature.

How do I create a regional network?

Visit our Start a Network page to read more about what steps to take to start a new network.

LEARNING AND RESOURCES

I’m interested in practicing biomimicry – what should I study or what major should I choose?

There is no one way to begin a career in biomimicry. Since biomimicry is a multidisciplinary field, people that do biomimicry come from many different backgrounds. We recommend that students study topics that are most of interest to them, from engineering, biology, architecture, design, green chemistry, and business. The best thing you can do as an undergraduate is to pick a course of study that you truly enjoy, like engineering or industrial design or architecture or biology, where you can then apply biomimicry in practice. Then, continue to read about, discuss, and learn all you can about biomimicry.

What university-based biomimicry programs exist?

Check out our Academic Partners for a running list of universities that we have worked with.The Biomimicry Institute doesn’t maintain a comprehensive list of training programs (because they change so quickly), but there are a number of universities worldwide incorporating biomimicry into design, engineering, and innovation programs. Some also offer non-degree certificates.

I’m looking for resources on biomimicry / I’m interested in learning more about biomimicry.

The resources section on AskNature has a wide range of biomimicry videos, books, articles, curricula, and introductory courses. From there, you can select a resource type and the audience you’re aiming to serve to narrow down your search.

You may also want to check out our Biomimicry Toolbox, which will walk you through an introduction to biomimicry and how it is practiced.

How do you recommend introducing biomimicry to young people?

AskNature has a number of great resources to introduce biomimicry to young minds, including free curricula, lesson plans, videos, books, and more. Ask the Planet is the Biomimicry Institute’s award-winning album of children’s music that can be used in both formal and informal learning environments. Free teaching guides for grades 3-5 are available to accompany each song. Additionally, Sharing Biomimicry with Young People is an educator training publication aimed at helping educators establish a general foundation in biomimicry and provide ideas for introducing this way of thinking to students.

CAREERS/VOLUNTEERING

Are there any internship opportunities / job openings / can I submit my resume?

To see open positions and internships, please visit our Careers page. We will only be accepting resumes for available positions posted on this page.

Does the Biomimicry Institute offer volunteer opportunities?

Volunteer opportunities coming soon!

SUPPORT

Why should I donate or join the membership program?

Our donors and members are creative solution-seekers from all over the globe. They are students, teachers, designers, scientists, and nature-lovers who practice, teach, and share biomimicry to help create a better world. Your support helps connect people of all ages back to the natural world and make nature-inspired solutions a reality. Join us today!


What levels of membership are available?

We have three levels of membership:  Foundation Species ($10/month), Pioneer Species ($20/month), and Keystone Species ($50/month). In addition to joining a powerful community of systems thinkers, membership benefits include biomimicry course and shop discounts, a free biomimicry 101 presentation template, and more!


Is my donation and/or membership tax deductible?

Yes. The Biomimicry Institute is an independent, tax-exempt nonprofit organization with 501(c)(3)status, so your donation and membership is tax deductible.


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We believe that the widespread adoption of nature-inspired solutions will catalyze a new era in design and business that benefits both people and the planet. Let’s make the act of asking nature’s advice a normal part of everyday inventing. We hope you will join us.

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