As you probably know by now, I’ve been hard at work writing a book. It is called SuperOrganizations: Nature’s Game-Changing Guide To Faster, Smarter, More Valuable Companies, and it asks the question, “How would nature design a company?” (or a community, or a collaborative endeavor of any kind). I’m crowd-funding publication using Kickstarter, and I have been beyond thrilled and delighted at the level of support from so many of you! Thank you SO much, each and every one of you (and don’t worry, this is my last email on the subject)!
For those of you who don’t know, I’m an evolutionary biologist and primatologist. I’ve spent 25 years studying the evolution of social systems. I know the simple rules used by ants, honeybees and other animal collaborators, and also how apes and monkeys (and people) think. My experiences have coalesced into a set of principles that living creatures use to accelerate adaptation and create collaboration. These principles apply nicely to our own societies: not just metaphorically, but in tangible, applicable, powerful ways.
Success is tantalizingly within reach for this book! As of today, I am 85% funded ($13k), with a little over $2,000 to go before November 25. If I meet my goal ($15K), I produce the book now. If I don’t, I get nothing, and the book stays on my desktop until I regroup.
If you haven’t yet, would you consider contributing, or pre-ordering the book, or sharing this with your network? Your support in this final week means a tremendous amount to me.
I have a second announcement as well! This effort has attracted a lot of interest from a variety of change-makers, and many exciting collaborative projects are underway. Among the most exciting is this:
John McDonald, CEO at Partners for Innovative Community, Inc., a community-based non-profit, has agreed that he will join me as co-editor (and a co-author) of this book, with the full backing and blessing of the Partners.
This collaboration is extremely exciting to me, because it means this book will be much richer and deeper than originally conceived. My principles of collaboration from super-organisms will be complemented by John and the Partners’ ability and commitment to actually implement them! The result will be a book that delivers theory, a technology platform, bio-inspired GatheringPlacesTM, and a tangible set of actionable tools to create the kinds of powerful and sustainable collaborative ecosystems that take hundreds of millions of years to evolve genetically.
John’s commitment to and success in enabling innovative communities is deep and proven. He has 50 years experience working with for-profit and not-for-profit companies and communities organizing, creating, and managing successful large-scale private-public collaborative infrastructures. He is a true visionary and a tireless advocate for social justice and innovation.
I hope you find these announcements as exciting as I do! If you find our project compelling, please consider supporting us on Kickstarter, or send out a quick email or post to your social network to spread the word.
I believe the human revolution starts from hundreds of tiny local actions like this one, and I hope you will join in! Thanks for all your amazing support!
Dr. Tamsin Woolley-Barker
PS. If you would like to know more about my work, please visit my blog at http://www.BioInspiredInk.com, read any of my articles at http://www.Inhabitat.com/authors/tamsin, or watch these videos I recently recorded for the Ellen MacArthur Foundation: http://thinkdif.co/emf-stages/biomimicry-unveiled. For more on John McDonald and the Partners for Innovative Community, Inc. please visit http://www.linkedin.com/in/proadvisors/
Over the past thirty years, a new systemic conception of life has emerged at the forefront of science. New emphasis has been given to complexity, networks, and patterns of organisation leading to a novel kind of ‘systemic’ thinking. This volume integrates the ideas, models, and theories underlying the systems view of life into a single coherent framework. Taking a broad sweep through history and across scientific disciplines, the authors examine the appearance of key concepts such as autopoiesis, dissipative structures, social networks, and a systemic understanding of evolution.
More innovation by my fellow Australians!
DISCOVERY Networks Asia-Pacific recently announced that it has greenlit a new kids’ edutainment series titled Wild But True, which will feature Robert Irwin, 9-year-old son of the original crocodile hunter Steve Irwin, in his first international television premiere.
The 13-part series is a DNAP co-production with Toronto-based CCI Entertainment Ltd. It is scheduled to premiere in the third quarter of 2014 on Discovery Kids across Asia.
Targeting school-age kids between 6 and 12, Wild But True explores the fun of biomimicry — an exciting branch of science that studies nature’s most clever inventions and then imitates these designs and processes to solve human problems.
Greenbiz Editor Joel Makower writes about two recent examples of biomimicry principles going a little more mainstream:
The Genius of Biome is a recent report designed to give designers, architects and planners the tools to integrate nature’s innovations into the design of buildings, communities and cities.
The other recent project that caught my eye was the Principles of Ethical Biomimicry Finance, “a turnkey guide for investors in vetting companies based on the biological truth that the human species is interdependent with all other life forms on Planet Earth.”
Biomimicry is the practice of drawing inspiration from nature to solve human problems and inspire innovation. A small but growing number of products now imitate natural plants and animals, with untapped opportunity for manufacturers to acknowledge the potential application of biomimetic techniques in their processes and products.
– Consider emerging opportunities and threats in the CPG market and gain insight into potential future consumer behavior.
– Identify interesting new and emerging concepts, products, and ideas on offer in retail, foodservice, online spaces, and beyond.
– Understand how new concepts and ideas fit into – or challenge – current consumer trends.
– Gain insight and inspiration for innovation programs and new product development.
Consumption is outstripping bio-capacity. As the pressure on the planet’s limited resources increases, interest in sustainability will only heighten. Therefore, bio-utilization – using biological ingredients in product formulations – is being increasingly replaced with more sustainable ways of obtaining natural ingredients.
It’s time for the fourth annual Tommies, my list of notable bio-inspired ideas of 2012. As always, I have organized the list by the organisms that inspired the inventions or discoveries. Let me know if you have a favorite I might have missed. You can find the Tommies from 2011 here, the 2010 list here, and the 2009 awards here.
Continued at http://www.greenbiz.com
A great post that moves the biomimicry conversation on from ‘looking like nature’ to ‘functioning like nature’. Read on!
As neighborhoods devastated by Hurricane Sandy begin drafting plans for reconstruction, some progressive architects and urban planners are arguing that the emerging science of biomimicryoffers a way forward. The notion is that the next generation of waterfront designs could draw inspiration from the intricate ways that plants and animals have adapted to their situations over hundreds of millions of years. Continued at http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/
via Julie Sammons:
Here’s what’s blooming — scroll down for details, attachments, and contact info:
1. (Jan 7th) 2013 Biomimicry Education Summit: Save the Date + Call for Proposals (K-University + Adult Education)
2. (Jan 9th) Biomimicry Professional Certification: Potential Applicant Webinar (Adult Training)
3. (Jan 17th) Helios School: “Biomimicry Intelligence Agency” Program Showcase (K-8 Education)
4. (Jan 22nd) MIT/VLAB Forum: Programming Nature (Local Event)
5. (Feb 7th) Autodesk Design Night: Biomimicry Theme (Local / Partner Event)
6. (no deadline) 2013 Biomimicry Youth Challenge: Call for Submissions (Youth Education)