The world will be watching beginning November 30 as leaders from across the globe gather in Paris for COP21, an United Nation's International Panel on Climate Change conference of supreme importance. Talks there are meant to achieve a new international agreement—applicable to all countries—that aims to keep global warming below 2°C. But how can biomimicry help?
The immense undertaking will require cooperation, commitment, and more than a simple pledge to cut carbon emissions. In fact, the IPCC estimates surface temperatures will remain approximately constant at elevated levels for many centuries after a complete cessation of manmade CO2 emissions. The IPCC report goes on to note that in order to make a meaningful difference, we need to draw carbon down out of the atmosphere. Sequester it through a large net removal.
Enter biomimicry, and a set of solutions that looks to nature for strategies to manage carbon.
How exactly does nature manage carbon? Watch this:
Energy-wise and habitat-enhancing solutions. It’s local, it’s possible, and it’s one of those great things to contemplate: What if everyone did this?
Learn more about biomimicry and Biomimicry 3.8 here. Keep updated on all the latest Biomimicry 3.8 news by subscribing to our email list. And, connect with us on Facebook, Twitter (follow @Biomimicry38) and LinkedIn.
We can’t thank REI enough for the powerful invitation it sent to the world this fall by asking everyone to #OptOutside instead of heading for the box stores and shopping malls on Black Friday.
The company is inspiring customers to get outside by closing its 143 stores for the infamous deal-busting day-after-Thanksgiving shopping extravaganza.
Why would REI close on one of the most prolific spending days of the year? Because REI "believes being outside makes our lives better."
We couldn’t agree more.
In fact, we at Biomimicry 3.8 function on the core belief that nature can be the ultimate healer and teacher as humanity searches for solutions to make the world a more sustainable and better place. Using the conscientious emulation of nature’s genius to inspire how we design, manufacture, and live can allow humans to live graciously with the more than 30 million species that share our planet.
So, as REI asks people to #OptOutside, we’re suggesting everyone to get outside, pause, and spend a moment to really be in nature–take time to truly observe what 3.8 billion years of evolution has created.
In that spirit, Biomimicry 3.8 invites you to
download our special edition #OptOutside iSite
It's our version of a mini nature journal that'll help reveal inspiring aspects of nature you might not have noticed before.
An iSite is a guided set of questions meant to help everyone discover nature’s genius while they spend time in nature. Each iSight is an exercise that connects us to a nearby ecosystems by introducing biomimicry principles. Connecting with nature by looking deeply inside pieces of the interconnected habitats and ecosystems that surround us is a reminder that we are part of a collective ecosystem that all life on planet earth shares.
This Zooming in iSite asks specifically that you take a thoughtful, in-depth look at 1 square foot of any natural habitat. Chances are it'll inspire you to see the world through a new design lens.
So, #OPTOutside, spend some time in your favorite natural habitat, and follow the steps outlined in the iSite to take note of what you see.
You can share your iSite notes and inspirations with using #biomimicry. We can't wait to see what you find.
The U.S. Green Building Council membership officially welcomed Biomimicry 3.8 co-founder Janine Benyus to its Board of Directors on Friday, as the sustainable building entity debuted a new governance structure that will go into effect in 2016.
Benyus joins a set of "amazing leaders" including business, industry and academic innovators who will have the authority to make policy, direct staff and the ultimate fiduciary responsibility and liability for the advancement of USGBC’s business and mission.
"We are looking forward to using our collective knowledge and expertise across the industry to drive global growth, increase USGBC’s influence and advance our mission," said Fiona Cousins, USGBC 2016 Board Chair, in a press release.
Since founding Biomimicry 3.8 in 1997 with Dr. Dayna Baumeister, Benyus has helped define the practice of biomimicry and guided clients in designing resilient cities, energy-efficient buildings, cost-saving manufacturing processes, and ground-breaking products. Biomimicry 3.8's pillars include a suite of innovation services, a set of professional training programs including the world's first Master's of Science in Biomimicry (accredited through Arizona State University), and a Speaker's Bureau that sends Benyus and staff around the world to speak about the power of biomimicry.
The new board appointments come days before USBGC's Greenbuild's 2015 Conference and Expo, which will be held Nov. 18-19 in Washington, D.C. Benyus will speak on Nov. 19 during the Women in Green Power Breakfast.
Her two-year term on the Board of Directors will begin Jan. 1, 2016.
Under the new USGBC governance structure, the Board of Directors will now be complemented by a six-person Advisory Council.“By having both a Board of Directors and an Advisory Council, we increase our ability to meet the challenges of a complex business environment,” said Rick Fedrizzi, CEO and founding chair, USGBC, in a press release. “The individuals on our new board bring a unique perspective and unparalleled industry expertise that will allow us to navigate the changing global business landscape. And our Advisory Council members will provide deep market knowledge and technical expertise that will help us continue to lead the green building industry.”
It didn't take long for the architects, interior designers, writers, professors, business leaders and entrepreneurs (to name a few) gathered for the Discovering Nature's Genius workshop in South Africa in November to get an up-close look at some of the area's most famous inhabitants.
"Quite literally within the first 20 minutes of arriving we were surrounded by rhinos and zebras and gazelles and wildebeests. All within the same view shed," said Dr. Dayna Baumeister, lead instructor for the five-day immersion workshop held in the Leshiba Wilderness of the Limpopo Region of South Africa.
The workshop brought together an eclectic set of innovators to hone and develop skills to tap into nature’s genius while inspiring new innovations. Learning biomimicry in the field where a strong (re)connection with nature is inescapable makes the workshop experience a poignant one for many, including Jessica Reed.
Jessica wrote this before the workshop:
"As a young interior designer, my eyes have been opened to the complex yet simple principles that lie hidden in our natural world, I would love to create homes and spaces which like a chameleon mimic, blend and incorporate elements of their unique natural surroundings rather than being an architectural feature that bares little or no relation to it’s surroundings."
After Day 3 in Leshiba?
"Having grown up in Africa and having been exposed to Africa, I sort of thought I understood everything," she said. "Being on this course is incredible. You understand all those things from a whole new light and from a whole new perspective. Incorporating all those elements into design principles, it’s very, very inspiring."
The South African setting, Baumeister said, made it difficult for the workshop to be anything but inspiring.
"The lessons people have been sharing and the wonders we have found have made this experience absolutely incredible," she said.
Another inhabitant the group encountered? A dung beetle–which participants are examining below–a small but very important member of its ecosystem.
During the past couple months we’ve shared more than a few stories about our Biomimicry Professional Certification, or BPro, program. We’ve told you about the inspiring projects being done by our MS program’s inaugural set of graduates and how we go about creating innovative leaders in the field of biomimicry. Now, we've got a few more things to pass along.
First, we're in final countdown mode for the November 15 application deadline for the Spring of 2016 Master’s of Biomimicry program at Arizona State University. Anyone interested in applying for the BPro 2016-18 Cohort must have successfully been admitted to the MS program through ASU in Fall of 2015 or Spring of 2016.
Second, we've got all the details set for the next BPro cohort, an elite set of biomimics-in-training chosen once every two years who learn together during an inspiring journey that includes six in-person sessions. Why go BPro? The 2016-18 cohort will discover nature’s genius in:
- The inspiring cypress swamps of the Mississippi River Delta in Louisiana
- The jaw-dropping giant fir temperate rain forest of Tofino, British Columbia
- The biologically rich Sonoran Desert in southern Arizona
- The highly adaptive temperate coniferous forests of the Canadian Rockies
- The thriving, lush tropical rain forest of Costa Rica
- And lastly, the Big Island of Hawai’i, home to 10 of the world’s 13 climate zones!
Download our full program overview
Applications for BPro will be emailed in December to students admitted to the MS program at ASU. Co-enrollment is required for participation in BPro. The 2016-18 cohort will be selected in Spring of 2016 and the first in-person week will be in Louisiana in May.
Take the first step by Nov. 15.
Keep updated on all our news. Subscribe to our email list and we’ll keep you updated on the latest B3.8 happenings. And, connect with us on Facebook, Twitter (follow @Biomimicry38) and LinkedIn.
Zeynep Arhon is no stranger to finding success working in the world of biomimicry. She graduated with the first Biomimicry 3.8 Certified Biomimicry Professional program cohort in 2010. Today, along with teaching biomimicry with B3.8 as a adjunct faculty member at Arizona State University's Biomimicry Center, Zeynep runs a consultancy practice that fuses the power of marketing and biomimicry, building brands and businesses with strategies inspired by nature.
But Zeynep hit a major personal milestone in her biomimicry journey in October, when she launched "Biyomimikri: Doğadan Gelen İnovasyon" or "Biomimicry: Innovation from Nature"–the first radio show to focus exclusively on biomimicry. The show, hosted by Zeynep will air each week on “Açık Radyo” (Open Radio), one of the strongest voices of sustainability in the Turkey.
"It welcomes different perspectives and has a reputation for diverse, high-quality programming," she said of Açık Radyo.Zeynep first heard the term sustainability while listening to Açık Radyo in 2001. That led to a discovery of biomimicry."The more I learned about sustainability, the more I questioned the impact of consumption and marketing in the world, and my role as a marketing professional," she said. "This questioning led me to search for opportunities to transform my career, and ultimately to discovering biomimicry. Talking about biomimicry on Açık Radyo feels like closing the loop in that transformation."
Zeynep answered more questions about the new show, and about what kind of impact she hopes it makes:
Describe the show in 2 sentences.
"Biomimicry: Innovation from Nature" is the world’s first radio show that focuses exclusively on biomimicry. The show will inspire audiences to learn more about biomimicry by introducing its basics as a meme and a discipline.
Who is your target audience?
The bull’s eye target audience is change agents who are seeking for ways to integrate sustainability in their work. These people are in leadership positions in large corporations, small and medium-sized enterprises, municipalities, ministries and universities. The adjacent circle is made up of educators, students and anyone in search of alternative career paths. Yet another important circle includes professional chambers (e.g. architects, engineers) and non-profit organizations that tackle environmental issues.
What will the first weeks of the show focus on?
The first weeks of the show focus on the meaning of biomimicry. The very first week provided a bird’s eye overview of the whole season in addition to the definition of biomimicry. The second week’s show started to cover what biomimicry is not. It covered a few examples of biomorphism – designs that copy natural forms – and why we cannot accept them as biomimicry. Examples of products and processes inspired by nature, and success stories from the biomimicry will be an important part of the show in the coming weeks.
What's the overarching biomimicry-based message you want to send via the show?
What inspires me about biomimicry is its grounded optimism. Biomimicry envisions a future where humans will live gracefully on this planet. By learning from nature, we will manufacture, distribute, consume, teach, build and manage just like other species – by creating conditions conducive to life. It is a beautiful vision, but what makes biomimicry so inspiring is the fact that it goes beyond talking about the vision. Biomimicry provides the methodology and know-how to work towards that future; in other words to learn from nature and put our learnings into practice. It is the grounded optimism of biomimicry that I would like to convey.“We can move toward a sustainable future through biomimicry” is the key message.
The second part of the message is being humble: “We can move toward a sustainable future through biomimicry if we are humble enough.” Humbleness is a highly-praised value in Turkish culture. However, there is also a strong tendency to see humans as superior to all other life forms and the planet as a free warehouse, the type of attitude philosopher Peter Singer codified as speciesism. I’d like to challenge this tendency, explicitly and implicitly. For example, as a small detail, the show’s jingle features animal sounds. Every week the show opens with sounds of birds, cicadas, frogs, monkeys and other animals. When I start talking, I greet the audience “on behalf of 10 million species on Earth, my beloved friends”. Any other ideas? Please share.
What ripple effect do you hope this show has?
The main objective of the show is to inspire people to learn about biomimicry. Such inquiry may lead to all sorts of consequences. University students may be interested in pursuing biomimicry as a career. Educators may want to integrate biomimicry in their curricula. Working professionals can consider leveraging the power of biomimicry as an innovation discipline. Like maple seeds, some of the content I’ll disseminate will not end up in anywhere. A few of them will reach the right minds at the right time, and only then there is going to be a possibility for a new oak forest to grow. I can’t control what people will do with what they hear, but here is the long-term effect I can hope for: that sustainability journey of Turkey speeds up a bit. That when it joins the 10 largest economies of the world in 2020, it has a sustainability story to tell, not just a growth story. That it is no more among the top 10 countries in terms of manufacturing water footprint. That with a smaller environmental debt than today, Turkey no longer sees ecology and economy at odds.
Açık Radyo has 21 programmers creating 147 programs that cover a wide variety of topics including environmental issues, politics, music, culture, and world news. Programs are made by contributors on a pro bono basis. It is considered prestigious to be an Açık Radyo program creator, the station receives a large number of programming applications every season.
"The reason I was accepted is biomimicry," Zeynep said. "Biomimicry seems to act like a magnet that attracts idealistic, nature-aware people from different backgrounds. No wonder it worked with the radio station team!"
More about Biyomimikri
Name of radio show: Biyomimikri: Doğadan Gelen İnovasyon or Biomimicry: Innovation from Nature
Station name and location: Açık Radyo, 94.9 FM Turkey
Timing: Every Wednesday at 2:00-2:30 pm TR time (Pacific Time+10 hours)
Hosted by: Zeynep Arhon, Biomimicry Professional (San Francisco, CA)
Listen to the most recent episode: Here (podcasts coming soon!)
Contact the host: Zeynep.Arhon@pro.biomimicry.net