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Biomimicry Webinar on 2degrees

There's a biomimicry workshop coming up on the 2degrees network. Here's an indication of what it will be covering:


Biomimicry is a design science that starts with the assumption that after 3.4 years of evolution, and that there’s a good chance that some wonderful organism in nature has already solved the problems that we come across on a day to day basis.

Until now, most of the focus of biomimicry experts has been centered on products and process – looking at how nature creates structures of elegant complexity from a startlingly small resource of materials. Smart, open minded organisations are looking hard at this emerging pool of knowledge, learning how to make products at lower cost, with zero waste and with lower energy. Wonderful examples of biomimetic design can be found in projects ranging from the Sahara Greenhouse Project, which took inspiration from the perfectly designed Namibian Fog Basking Dune Beetle create liquid water from damp air, through to the creation of new materials with touchstones that range from spider silk to abalone shells.

The greatest challenges of sustainability come not from the way that we process atoms and make things, but from the way that we move thought processes in our minds, and organise ourselves for work. To make these changes work, we have stayed stuck to largely mechanistic ways, trying to motivate people using relatively crude processes and extrinsic goals – the “work harder and you’ll earn more money to buy more things” school of thought.

Biomimicry and the study of natural change processes offers one of the richest seams of knowledge and practice imaginable; nature has been building community and managing tension, complex communication and rapid change since the life first arrived on planet earth. Rather than stay obsessed with the belief that we have discovered yet another new way of making business more effective, there is real value in finding time to let go of our expertise and certainty, and look at how nature manages in the same circumstances that we are facing now. A couple of examples follow:

Example 1 – Stay Local

Old school, monkey mind thinking

Bring in things from the cheapest place. Bring in consultants from ‘exotic places’. Buy in quick ‘ready-made solutions’

Biomimicry principle

Self-assemble, from the ground up – use what is already there, on the ground and in the soil. Build strength with what is already there

Biomimicry in organisations

Use the expertise of the people who already live and work in the organisation or community – they’re usually the ones with the most relevant information – as in nature

Example 2 - Be present

Old school, monkey mind thinking

Once you’ve started, dogmatically pursue the course that was originally set, regardless of the contrary evidence around you

Biomimicry principle

Relentlessly adjust to the here & now – we call this ‘evolution’

Biomimicry in organisations

Notice what’s happening within key relationships and external factors – think what this means for you, then choose an action that’s appropriate

The 2degrees workshop Webinar will give examples of biomimicry in product and process design, and show how HR, CSR and change professionals can use the principles of biomimicry to refocus interpretation of challenging issues and opportunities. Nature has been managing on sparse resources for billions of years; we’ve got a lot to learn, and quickly.


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