Biomimicry Thinking for Social Innovation

Immersion Workshop | Biomimicry Thinking for Social Innovation

April 19 – 24, 2015 | Occidental Arts and Ecology Center, Occidental California

The registration for this workshop is now closed.

The imperative of our time is to be more adaptable, resilient, cooperative, and networked. Yet life on Earth has already mastered these social practices over the past 3.8 billion years. This first-of-its-kind Immersion Workshop will focus on the social innovation applications of biomimicry. Over the course of the workshop, experienced biomimics will teach participants to:

  • Apply design lessons from nature that can help grow resilient organizations and foster a regenerative society
  • Define leadership challenges for which nature’s examples can best provide solutions
  • Re-imagine organizational design, strategy, planning, and operations with inspiration from healthy and evolving ecosystems
  • Conduct an ecosystem-audit of an organization or social-change endeavor
  • Apply the biomimicry process to model your teams and organizations after healthy and evolving ecosystems and to become skillful at adaptive change
  • Access and contribute to the Biomimicry Institute’s AskNature database, the world’s premier digital library of nature’s adaptations
  • Be part of a diverse learning network guiding the growth of biomimetic applications for organizational development and social innovation.

In addition to a life-changing experience in one of California’s most biologically rich collections of ecosystems, Immersion Workshop participants also receive access to the Foundations of Biomimicry online course and earn credit towards the Biomimicry Specialist Certificate.

Workshop Location

The workshop will be held on the 70-acre wildlands preserve of the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center (OAEC), in the heart of Sonoma, about 90 minutes north of San Francisco. This campus includes native oak and redwood forests, some of the most biodiverse grasslands in the nation, and nearby access to the wild Pacific coastland and wine country!

OAEC’s 20+ years of permaculture-based restoration practices are regenerating the healthy, self-willed ecological processes in place before European settlement brought clear-cuts and invasive plants to the area 130 years ago. Stepping into the abundance of California’s springtime beauty, we will be among the first programs hosted in OAEC’s new lodging village, and will be supported by their resident community of gardeners, teachers, and permaculturists.

Workshop Leaders

This workshop is a collaborative offering by Biomimicry 3.8 and Biomimicry for Social Innovation and is facilitated by the deeply experienced founders of each organization:

Dr. Dayna Baumeister

Biomimicry 3.8 Co-Founder

Dr. Baumeister is a world-renowned biomimicry lecturer and consultant as well as the Director of the Biomimicry Professional Certificate Program and co-director of The Biomimicry Center at ASU. With a background in biology, a devotion to applied natural history, and a passion for sharing the wonders of nature with others, Dayna has worked in the field of biomimicry with business partner Janine Benyus since 1998 as a business catalyst, educator, researcher, and design consultant. As a workshop leader, she will share her 15+ years of experience bringing biological intelligence to a wide range of audiences as well as her visionary leadership for the meme.[/two_third_last]

Toby Herzlich

Biomimicry for Social Innovation Founder

Toby Herzlich is a leadership trainer, master facilitator, certified Biomimicry Specialist, and the founder of Biomimicry for Social Innovation. Toby is committed to the creation of a just, healthy, and regenerative society, and heartfully enthused about the transformative potential of applying nature’s wisdom to humanity’s sustainability aspirations. With 25 years of facilitation and training experience, she is a Senior Trainer with the Rockwood Leadership Institute, co-founder of Cultivating Women’s Leadership, and on the faculty of several national training programs. Her organizational clients include the Sierra Club, Bioneers, the Environmental Grantmakers Association, the Federal Bureau of Land Management, and the National Hispanic Cultural Center. She finds much of her purpose in catalyzing diverse networks of social change innovators, including the Young Climate Leaders, and intends to germinate a co-evolving network of leaders using nature’s intelligence as guidance and inspiration.

Who Should Attend

This workshop is open to professional- and university-level participants from all backgrounds and levels of experience with biomimicry. The agenda is designed for:

  • Change-agents who want to deepen their commitment to sustainability as a central practice in their work as leaders in non-profit or for-profit environments
  • Sustainability leaders looking for new models, methods, and metaphors that align with the purpose of their work
  • Those who may not consider themselves “leaders,” but who want to help facilitate social transformation
  • Biomimicry enthusiasts interested in organizational and cultural applications of the field

Credit Towards Biomimicry Specialist and Biomimicry Professional Programs

Biomimicry 3.8 has restructured the Biomimicry Specialist Certification program to include self-paced, modular learning units. This Immersion Workshop counts as one of two required in-person units. Learn more about the units required for the Biomimicry Specialist Certification.

For current Biomimicry Specialists interested in achieving the Biomimicry Professional Certification, this Immersion Workshop will count towards eventual Biomimicry Professional Certification, although these details have not been finalized. For questions regarding the Biomimicry Professional track, please contact info[at]

Scholarship and Discounts – Limited Availability!

All scholarships and discounts have limited availability, are offered on a first-come, first-served basis, and may not be combined.

  • Scholarships: Courtesy of the Hidden Leaf Foundation, partial scholarships are available to qualified applicants working in the social change sector. Scholarship application included in registration form. Deadline: February 8, 2015
  • Early registration discount: Register by February 8, 2015 to save 10% off of workshop tuition
  • Biomimicry Network member discount: Members of a local Biomimicry 3.8-associated biomimicry network save $150. Must upload brief, written endorsement from local network leader upon registration.

Complete the online registration form by March 23, 2015. All instructions included within the form.

Pending availability of workshop spaces, late registration will be accepted through April 12, 2015, however late registrants will incur an additional $500 fee.

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