Beating the Odds by Imitating the 6 Billion Year Old Master

Here are a few highlights from the inspiring July Education Summit put on by the Biomimicry Institute:

From Janine Benyus, the Founder:  What happens when you compare yourself to Paris Hilton versus Nelson Mandela?  Who you compare yourself to changes you.  Let’s use Nature as our Measure: It foster cooperative relationships.  It leverages interdependence. It’s resilient.  It practices benign manufacturing.  It has feedback loops.  It adapts and evolves.  It integrates cyclic processes. It creates environments conducive to life. It is locally attuned and responsive.  In any endeavor, ask “What would Nature do?  What wouldn’t Nature do?”  Instead of heat, beat and treat, how about FLOCK and AWE!  How about designing cities that are as generous as ecosystems, which have a surplus of services, such as storing carbon and filtering and storing water.  Lavasa, India is trying to do just that.

Exciting Applications of Biomimicry:

The U.S. Green Building Certifiers is using fungal connectivity as a model for communication.

The Department of Energy just granted $122 million to research artificial photosynthesis, which could produce all the energy the planet needs without pollution and very inexpensively.  This is truly revolutionary.

Slime molds are being studied to figure out the most efficient routes around cities.

Portland-based Brightworks, which develops intelligent strategies for sustainability, is envisioning a new economic system modeled on the way that fungus moves resources around to the areas that need them the most.

Students at Innovation Space (a part of Arizona State University) are solving real problems with teams made up of majors in design, biology, business and marketing.  Is that smart or what?

All this intelligent, elegant thought, rooted in the systems that have taken six billion years to evolve, gives me more hope than I’ve felt in years.  And I’ve only scratched the surface of what’s going on!  Find out more by going to, especially if you up against the odds.

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