Biomimicry Thinking

Biomimicry, simply stated, is innovation inspired by nature. According to the Biomimicry Institute, for which Daily Brand’s Colin Mangham served as Chief Marketing Officer, “Biomimicry is an innovation method that seeks sustainable solutions by emulating nature’s time-tested patterns and strategies, e.g., a solar cell inspired by a leaf. 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.”

This emerging discipline, which leverages 3.8 billion years of R&D insights and utilizes rigorous methodologies including Biomimicry Thinking (similar to Design Thinking, and often integrated), is one of Colin’s most distinct interests, passions, and applicable skills, and he infuses the discipline into client services and Accelerations.

Some paths forward for your business? Here’s some organic food for thought:

– Biomimicry, innovation inspired by nature.
– Bio-inspired engineering, design, architecture, industrial design.
– Biophilia, as popularized by E.O. Wilson and as relevant as ever.
– Cleantech. Solar, wind, biofuels, desalination, the gamut.
– And let’s not forget the nature closest to home … human nature.

There’s a lot of talk of making an “impact” these days. Looking to make one yourself? How about start something that… 

– Benefits nature
– Functions like nature
– Collaborates with nature

We can help. Let’s get started, and by first asking nature, hey, how would you do this (given your 3.8 billion years of R&D).

For more on Colin’s background and expertise specific to biomimicry, click here.

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What is biomimicry?
Biomimicry is an innovation method that seeks sustainable solutions by emulating nature’s time-tested patterns and strategies, e.g., a solar cell inspired by a leaf. 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. Read “A Biomimicry Primer” by Janine Benyus. Biomimicry thinking helps create products and processes that:

Are sustainable | Biomimicry follows Life’s Principles. Life’s Principles instruct us to build from the bottom up, self-assemble, optimize rather than maximize, use free energy, cross-pollinate, embrace diversity, adapt and evolve, and use life-friendly materials and processes, engage in symbiotic relationships, and enhance the bio-sphere. By following the principles life uses, you can create products and processes that are well adapted to life on earth.

Perform well | In nature, if a design strategy is not effective, its carrier dies. Nature has been vetting strategies for 3.8 billion years. Biomimicry helps you study the successful strategies of the survivors, so you can thrive in your marketplace, just as these strategies have thrived in their habitat.

Save energy | Energy in the natural world is even more expensive than in the human world. Plants have to trap and convert it from sunlight and predators have to hunt and catch it. As a result of the scarcity of energy, life tends to organize extremely energy efficient designs and systems, optimizing energy use at every turn. Emulating these efficiency strategies can dramatically reduce the energy use of your company. Greater efficiency translates to energy cost savings and greater profitability.

Cut material costs | Nature builds to shape, because shape is cheap and material is expensive. By studying the shapes of nature’s strategies and how they are built, biomimicry can help you minimize the amount your company spends on materials while maximizing the effectiveness of your products patterns and forms to achieve their desired functions.

Redefine and eliminate “waste” | By mimicking how nature transitions materials and nutrients within a habitat, your company can set up its various units and systems to optimally use resources and eliminate unnecessary redundancies. Organizing your company’s habitat flows more similarly to nature’s, will drive profitability through cost savings and/or the creation of new profit centers focused on selling your waste to companies who desire your “waste” as a feedstock.

Heighten existing product categories | Biomimicry helps you see stale product categories in a radically different light. This new sight creates an opportunity for innovation.

Define new product categories and industries | Biomimicry can help you create disruptive technologies, that transform your industry or help you build entirely new industries.

Drive revenue | Biomimicry can help you create whole new growth areas, reignite stale product categories and attract both customers who care about innovation and sustainability.

Build your brand | Creating biomimetic products and processes will help your company become known as both innovative and proactive about the environment.

(The above overview of biomimicry and its applications excerpted from materials provided by the Biomimicry Institute.)