Good old “Cles” magazine! This magazine probably opens up more avenues for me to explore than any single other publication. There is currently a fifth anniversary special out with “5 reasons to be hopeful” forming a major section of the issue. The fourth reason is ecology taking root, and it’s here that I read about “biomimicry”.
It’s one of those concepts that when you read about it you think, why didn’t I know about this already?
From the home page at biomimicry.org here’s a short definition
Humans are clever, but without intending to, we have created massive sustainability problems for future generations. Fortunately, solutions to these global challenges are all around us.
Biomimicry is an approach to innovation that seeks sustainable solutions to human challenges by emulating nature’s time-tested patterns and strategies. The goal is to create products, processes, and policies—new ways of living—that are well-adapted to life on earth over the long haul.
The core idea is that nature has already solved many of the problems we are grappling with. Animals, plants, and microbes are the consummate engineers. After billions of years of research and development, failures are fossils, and what surrounds us is the secret to survival.
Here’s the founder, Janine Benyus, explaining it all eloquently and with fabulous imagery in a short (20 min) film.
I find this totally inspiring. What a fabulous way to look at life! To think that the solutions to all of our problems might just be there in the Natural world, just waiting for us to learn! What a different approach to technology – to develop technological solutions based on natural methods instead of much poorer, less efficient artificial ones. What a different approach to science – to apprentice ourselves to Nature in order to learn what has already been learned through adaptive processes over millions of years, instead of trying to find ways to control and battle against Nature.
And, potentially, what a fabulous research agenda, to learn how living organisms grow, defend and repair themselves – all without the use of any artificial or toxic “aids”. Now there’s the foundation of a new approach to health care.
Go on, take 20 minutes out of your busy day and watch that video. I hope you’ll be as inspired as I am!