One of the highlights of Innovation Convergence 2005 was a fascinating presentation by Janine Benyus, a biologist and author of several books on biomimicry. The earth’s creatures display a surprising array of adaptations, honed over billions of years of natural selection, which make them supremely adapted to their environments. Biomimicry suggests that we can learn from nature’s innovative solutions, and design products that are more efficient, environmentally friendly and sustainable. “We’re surrounded by genius,” Janine explained.
She walked the audience through dozens of examples, most of which are being investigated by universities and start-up companies around the globe:
So how can you transfer insights about nature’s adaptations into successful products? One way Janine suggested is to ask yourself: “What in nature is being challenged by something similar to what I’m facing, and is very successful in meeting that challenge?” She also points out that “Life creates conditions that are conducive to life” – continuation of the species. How can we use this idea to create more sustainable innovations?
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I heard that a biologist would be talking to our group about this obscure topic. But Janine’s presentation blew away the entire audience! Clearly, this is an area that’s going to be growing in importance to companies and entrepreneurs worldwide!
If you want to learn more about this fascinating topic, please visit the Biomimcry Guild’s website.