Need a Bit of Inspiration?
Climate news is devastating. The Arctic is warming at double the global average temperature rate. Globally, carbon emissions have topped 400 ppm for over a year, well above the generally-accepted 350 ppm threshold. And President-Elect Trump has nominated a cabinet full of climate deniers, while simultaneously threatening to pull out of the Paris agreement.
If you are looking for meaningful responses to one of the most pressing challenges of our time, then be sure to watch this short, excellent presentation by Janine Benyus, Biomimicry 3.8 given in 2003 at National Bioneers' annual conference. Janine is a biologist, innovation consultant, and author of six books, including Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature.
In this presentation, Janine asks "How would nature deal with climate change? Drought? Rising CO2? Pollution?". The better we understand the genius of nature, the more we will be moved to protect it and the more we will be able to take nature's principles and apply them to today's challenges. And we need to do this quickly if our species is to survive.
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.
Biomimicry ushers in an era based not on what we can extract from nature, but on what we can learn from her. This shift from learning about nature to learning from nature requires a new method of inquiry. — Janine Benyus, Biomimicry 3.8 Co-Founder
Bioneers comes from the root words "Biological" and "Pioneers". It has grown into a global salon of creative ideas of how we remake the human presence in the world patterned on the way nature already does things. This is the leading edge for the kind of world we need to create.
National Bioneers founder Kenny Ausubel coined the term Bioneers in 1990 to describe an emerging culture:
Bioneers are social and scientific innovators from all walks of life and disciplines who have peered deep into the heart of living systems to understand how nature operates, and to mimic "nature's operating instructions" to serve human ends without harming the web of life. Nature's principles—kinship, cooperation, diversity, symbiosis and cycles of continuous creation absent of waste—can also serve as metaphoric guideposts for organizing an equitable, compassionate and democratic society.
Work with Us?
Eco-Justice Collaborative organized two Bioneers events in Chicago, and is interested in bringing the movement to Champaign Illinois, where we now are located. If you are interested in building community resilience and in solutions that heal and restore life, contact us here.