Registration for the 2021 Biomimicry Global Design Challenge Now Open

October 5, 2020 — Ready to create a nature-inspired solution aligned with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals? The Biomimicry Institute has now opened registration for the 2021 Biomimicry Global Design Challenge. With an updated Design Brief and greatly expanded Resources section, this year’s Challenge aspires to spark creativity and action, and asks participants: how many #degreesofchange can you make with nature as a guide and mentor?

The 2021 Design Brief challenges participants to create a nature-inspired innovation (a product, service, or system) that aligns with one or more of the Sustainable Development Goals, while incorporating all three elements of biomimicry into their proposed solution. The explicit inclusion of these three essential and interconnected elements is new for this year’s Challenge, and we’re looking for submissions that apply them together to create sustainable designs. These elements are:

  • Emulate: The most familiar element. Refers to the forms, processes and systems found in nature that have been“mimicked” in a given product or technology.
  • Ethos: The underlying ethics of biomimicry. Any innovation can copy nature, whether or not it’s sustainable. The ethos of biomimicry, however, is based on all life, and asks how compatible an innovation is with all surrounding living systems. Is it safe? Is it more sustainable than the alternatives? It’s this explicit commitment to creating designs that are well-adapted to our ecosystems that sets biomimicry apart.
  • (Re)connect: By encouraging interdisciplinary teams, and by looking to nature for inspiration, the practice of biomimicry can lead to deeper connection with other people, and with the natural world. (Re)connect as a practice reminds us to observe and spend time in nature to understand how life works and encourages innovators to think about how their personal connection to nature informs their work.

We know that university students and young professionals are already becoming the global leaders of today. As they begin their careers, they are facing a rapidly changing world filled with pressing environmental and social challenges. We believe that to solve those challenges and enable a regenerative and resilient future, they need a new toolkit. The 2021 Biomimicry Global Design Challenge introduces biomimicry’s design methodology and sustainability mindset to future leaders, provides them with a framework to practice biomimicry, and offers a hands-on experience with biomimicry—to do design, not just study it.

Review the Institute’s free resources, like the Biomimicry Toolbox and AskNature database, to learn more about biomimicry; and read more about the 2021 Challenge here. There you gain access to a curated collection of resources and mentorship opportunities, including two introductory webinars coming up in October. Then you’ll be ready to rally your interdisciplinary team to create a material, product, process, or system that could revolutionize industries and communities locally or worldwide!

Every single person can make a difference, even by 1°. Confirm your commitment to furthering nature-inspired innovation by registering for the 2021 Challenge today.

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of Nature-Inspired Innovators

Imagine a world where everything we make is inspired by the natural world. By supporting the Biomimicry Institute you:

  • Help bring biomimicry education to more students and educators
  • Accelerate the growth of more nature-inspired startups and entrepreneurs
  • Increase the number of biological strategies and resources on and across our entire organization.

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