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Biomimicry
Nature inspired innovation
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The Biological Basis of Resilient Cities

The Biological Basis of Resilient Cities | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Biological systems offer design strategies for successfully adapting to an age of climate change and resource depletion. Insights from nature will be essential in creating a green and sustainable future for humankind.
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Sustainability as an Emergent Property: What Can We Learn from the Super-Organisms?

Sustainability as an Emergent Property: What Can We Learn from the Super-Organisms? | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"In the ongoing drive to create and communicate about sustainability in the emerging economy, it can be useful to conceive of sustainability not as a quantifiable end goal, but as an emergent property.  [...] We could learn a thing or two from the collective creatures, the super-organisms, for whom emergence is no big deal —or whom sustainability is given, understood and inevitable."

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Companies that Mimic Nature Out-perform Those That Do Not

Companies that Mimic Nature Out-perform Those That Do Not | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

Companies that mimic living systems have been gaining market share over more traditionally managed firms, which generally model themselves on mechanical systems. Firms that mimic living systems have an existential awareness that they are living communities of people, committed to serving other people, and that they all depend on Nature for their sustenance. This fundamental recognition creates spontaneous demands within the firm to live harmoniously and respectfully with the larger living systems on which we all depend (biosphere, society, markets).

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Beauty Inspired By Nature

Beauty Inspired By Nature | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

People often ask me for examples of ‘businesses inspired by nature’. While there are many examples of organisations with aspects of applied nature’s inspiration, for example: InterfaceFLOR taking inspiration from nature for product design, Marks & Spencer taking inspiration from nature for process design (industrial ecology), and HOK taking inspiration from nature for place/structural design (architecture); the current reality is that there are few examples of organisations working in harmony with nature and applying nature’s inspiration to all aspects of the organisation (purpose, people, process, product & place). Fortunately, the appetite in businesses (corporate and non-corporate) for embracing nature’s inspiration at all levels is growing as organisations increasingly realise the benefits of transforming to models and mind-sets more in harmony with life on Earth.

 

Photo details: Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta. Copyright © 2009, Alan D. Wilson. http://www.naturespicsonline.com

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Emulating Ecosystems: A Story About Beer

Emulating Ecosystems: A Story About Beer | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"In nature, there are communities of organisms that interact with each other and the nonliving parts of their environment. That’s what an ecosystem is. Living organisms include plants, animals, bacteria, fungi, and more. We humans are part of the ecosystems we live in, but we don’t always contribute as much to the community as we could. Let’s look at ways some businesses have learned to start behaving more like cooperative members of nature. This story is about beer but can be applied to any business because it’s about how emulating an ecosystem can lead to less waste while supporting various industries."

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Newlight Technologies Produces AirCarbon Plastic From CO2

Newlight Technologies Produces AirCarbon Plastic From CO2 | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"In recent years, the desire to emulate botanical processes for environmental benefit has inspired "design similes," such as cities that behave like forests, buildings that act as trees, or products that operate like plants. Although such comparisons serve to promote ideal goals, they are difficult to put into actual practice. Irvine, Calif.-based Newlight Technologies has found a way to achieve the latter objective, with a plastic that is made by mimicking the material production method of plants. AirCarbon is a type of polyester that is made from air rather than oil. Like plants, Newlight's "GHG-to-Plastic" process captures CO2 from the air, and isolates the carbon and oxygen elements. The company then polymerizes C and O and reassembles them into a long-chain thermopolymer. The resulting plastic is biodegradable, recyclable in multiple stages, and has programmable compostability."

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Green Building in Zimbabwe Modelled on Termites: Eastegate Centre

Green Building in Zimbabwe Modelled on Termites: Eastegate Centre | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

The Eastgate Centre in Harare, Zimbabwe, typifies the best of green architecture and ecologically sensitive adaptation. The country’s largest office and shopping complex is an architectural marvel in its use of biomimicry principles. The mid-rise building, designed by architect Mick Pearce in conjunction with engineers at Arup Associates, has no conventional air-conditioning or heating, yet stays regulated year round with dramatically less energy consumption using design methods inspired by indigenous Zimbabwean masonry and the self-cooling mounds of African termites!

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A New Economic Paradigm: The Next Big Challenge

A New Economic Paradigm: The Next Big Challenge | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

For sustainable development, the next big private stakeholder challenge is one everyone has seen coming, but we have not yet had the courage to face. At present, sustainable development is maturing as an idea and practice within a world economy that uses its resources to continually escalate its demands on the planet. At present, sustainable development helps sustain this scenario. We need the economy to become self-regulating as a whole, not just to grow some self-regulating parts. A natural model for solution would be for those that care about sustainable development to choose not to do business with those that grow their enterprises like cancers and choose to endlessly use profits to multiply investments as they continue to harm society and the Earth.

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