Archived Posts from this Category

Biomimetic Design Method for Innovation and Sustainability

Posted by on 02 Nov 2016 | Tagged as: biomimicry, books


A new book for those who want to delve deeply. From the authors:
Presenting a novel biomimetic design method for transferring design solutions from nature to technology, this book focuses on structure-function patterns in nature and advanced modeling tools derived from TRIZ, the theory of inventive problem-solving.
The book includes an extensive literature review on biomimicry as an engine of both innovation and sustainability, and discusses in detail the biomimetic design process, current biomimetic design methods and tools.
The structural biomimetic design method for innovation and sustainability put forward in this text encompasses (1) the research method and rationale used to develop and validate this new design method; (2) the suggested design algorithm and tools including the Find structure database, structure-function patterns and ideality patterns; and (3) analyses of four case studies describing how to use the proposed method.
This book offers an essential resource for designers who wish to use nature as a source of inspiration and knowledge, innovators and sustainability experts, and scientists and researchers, amongst others.
Available on

SuperOrganizations: Nature’s Game-Changing Guide To Faster, Smarter, More Valuable Companies

Posted by on 19 Nov 2014 | Tagged as: biomimicry, books

Please consider supporting this upcoming book by Dr. Tamsin Woolley-Barker:
Hi David,

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!

Best wishes,
Dr. Tamsin Woolley-Barker

PS. If you would like to know more about my work, please visit my blog at, read any of my articles at, or watch these videos I recently recorded for the Ellen MacArthur Foundation: For more on John McDonald and the Partners for Innovative Community, Inc. please visit


The Blossoming of Biomimicry

Posted by on 24 Sep 2008 | Tagged as: biomimicry, books


A biomimicry update from a fellow Biomimicry Institute board member, and long-time cleantech commentator Joel Makower.

Will biomimicry blossom, joining green chemistry among the burgeoning tools available to build the next generation of cleaner, greener products? It remains to be seen, of course, but biomimicry makes too much common sense to be dismissed as a niche or fringe activity. If we can marry the wisdom of millions of critters with human’s unbounded ingenuity, we’ll stand a chance of effectively addressing climate change, water and energy challenges, and the need to feed and house the global village. Continued…

And be sure to check out Joel’s recently published book: Strategies for the Green Economy:

Animal Minds

Posted by on 08 Sep 2008 | Tagged as: biomimicry, books

To the Best of Our Knowledge

Fascinating program from one of my favorite radio shows/podcasts:

In Baltimore, Maryland, there’s an octopus that likes to play with toys. In Vienna, Austria, there’s a border collie with a vocabulary of 340 words – more than many toddlers. Southeast Asia is home to dozens of elephants who like to paint. In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, re-thinking animal intelligence. Not only are they smarter than we thought – in some cases they’re smarter than us.

You can listen to the program here, but note you’ll need Real Audio player.

Human Health Depends on Biodiversity

Posted by on 13 Jul 2008 | Tagged as: books, climate change

Sustaining Life: How Human Health Depends on Biodiversity

One of the key things that attracted me to the field of biomimicry was that it showed in very clear terms the value of protecting biodiversity. I just heard the authors of “Sustaining Life: How Human Health Depends on Biodiversity” interviewed on PRI’s Living on Earth and thought it well worth sharing:

Variety isn’t just the spice of life…it’s essential for life. According to the new book “Sustaining Life, How Human Health Depends upon Biodiversity,” we need birds, bugs, and bacteria a lot more than they need us. We use them for medicines, biomedical and agricultural research, and new materials.

And from the book’s publisher: The Earth’s biodiversity-the rich variety of life on our planet-is disappearing at an alarming rate. And while many books have focused on the expected ecological consequences, or on the aesthetic, ethical, sociological, or economic dimensions of this loss, Sustaining Life is the first book to examine the full range of potential threats that diminishing biodiversity poses to human health.

Check it out now at Oxford University Press, Amazon or your favorite book seller.

Getting a Grip

Posted by on 10 Jul 2008 | Tagged as: books

Frances Moore Lappe

I’m feeling inspired after catching an interview on KPFA (starts at 96:25) with author and long-time activist Frances Moore Lappé. I recommend taking a look at her latest book “Getting a Grip: Clarity, Creativity, and Courage in a World Gone Mad

Getting a Grip: Clarity, Creativity, and Courage in a World Gone Mad Cover

“My book’s intent is to enable us to see what is happening all around us, but is still invisible to most of us. It is about people in all walks of life who are penetrating the spiral of despair and reversing it with new ideas, ingenious innovation – and courage.” Continued at

Green Books

Posted by on 08 May 2008 | Tagged as: books

DK logo

I’ve always liked the look and feel of those richly illustrated and thoughtfully produced Dorling Kindersley books, so I was pleased to read about their efforts to be a little greener:

UK book publisher Dorling Kindersley has created an imprint that aims to ‘green’ an industry whose dependence on dead trees doesn’t necessarily make it an eco frontrunner. So far, four titles have been released under the company’s Made With Care brand. All deal with eco-aware topics such, including green baby care and organic gardening. …continued at Springwise.

Green-is-Chic Books – 70 Arriving this Summer!

Posted by on 24 Mar 2008 | Tagged as: books

Joel Makower turns his attention to ‘save the earth’ books and offers his trademarked wry commentary.

It will be interesting to watch the book unfold anew. A lot has changed — but in some ways not much has. People are still looking for answers — and simple ones are pretty compelling…

….Of course, Javna’s book will have to compete with all the others — a recent issue of the book industry bible, Publishers Weekly, listed no fewer than 70 green books coming out this spring and summer, many advocating easy ways to live an eco-friendly lifestyle. They include at least one derivative title — Go Green, Live Rich: 50 Simple Ways to Save the Earth and Get Rich Trying as well as a spate of eco-fabulous titles: the Eco Chick Guide to Life; Green Chic: Saving the Earth in Style; Green, Greener, Greenest: A Practical Guide to Making Eco-Smart Choices a Part of Your Life; Green Is the New Black: How to Change the World with Style; and Gorgeously Green: 5 Simple Steps to an Earth-Friendly Life.

Oh, right: and Green Living for Dummies.

With this abundance of green-is-chic books, will it be enough to merely “save the earth”? We’ll see.

Continue reading…

Have a favorite green book? Then share it with me…

Getting Things Done

Posted by on 23 Jan 2008 | Tagged as: books, enablers

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

Making the changes necessary to avert catastrophic climate change requires us all to ‘get things done’. In 2007 I read David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” and took on many (if not all:) of his recommendations. A ‘weekly review’ is one of his key recommendations, and I get a weekly reminder with a tip to focus my attention…like this one:

Have you got any “stuff” that needs clarifying as a “project” for your Projects list? Anything that you’d call a “problem” right now that should be labeled a project, with a next action? Think about situations and circumstances in your world this week – anything emerge that still needs resolution or clarification? Make it a project – “Clarify…” “Resolve…” You don’t have to know how to clarify or resolve it to call it a “project” – just focus on the outcome, and get an action to move toward it. “It does not matter how slowly you go, so long as you do not stop.” – Confucius

What projects are you committed to, and what are the next actions you can take to move ’em along?