At one point in time, I thought biomimicry was going to be the focus of my life’s work.
It tied together my love of the outdoors, my training in environmental science, my work in real estate, and my passion to solve big problems.
As a graduate student, I was able to bring the two global leaders in biomimicry — Janine Benyus and Dayna Baumeister — to Raleigh, North Carolina, for a week-long, intensive Biomimicry at the Design Table workshop.
While my path turned more towards entrepreneurship and finance, I remain a huge fan and promoter of biomimicry solutions and their related business opportunities.
First, what is biomimicry?
The Biomimicry Institute defines it as follows:
“An approach to innovation that seeks sustainable solutions to human challenges by emulating nature’s time-tested patterns and strategies.”
OK, let’s make this real and tangible. Here are some examples:
Wind turbine blades made to match the fins of humpback whales in order to produce more wind power at lower wind speeds
Commercial office buildings designed with no air conditioning systems by mimicking the design of termite mounds’ use of thermal massing and natural ventilation
Japanese shinkansen bullet trains reconfigured to reduce noise pollution (“thunder claps”) by following the designs of kingfisher birds' aerodynamic beaks
Tsunami warning systems created based on the efficiency of dolphin communication systems (aka, “unique frequency-modulating acoustics”)
Super strong, yet flexible, steel substitutes made like spider webs
Who’s putting biomimicry to work in the “real world”?
And dozens of others
What does this mean for Entrepreneurs for Impact?
Perhaps your next business idea could come from the natural world. And the scientists and engineers who are most expert in the opportunity might just need the help of startup, marketing, operations, and finance professionals who know how to build and run businesses.