Natural Communicator

Being involved with the development of this first-of-its-kind Biomimicry PhD program and having co-founded two startups, I’ve experienced how challenging communication can be in these fast-paced, quickly evolving environments. Luckily we can learn a lot from the world around us! Although not many other organisms use “verbal” communication like we do, they have developed very intricate and successful strategies to collaborate and co-exist.

Since every Biomimicry endeavour is by essence one that is collaborative, I thought it would be useful (and collaborative) to share my learnings. For this, I’ve decided to use Medium’s platform, and created a publication called “How Nature says it”. I will write an article every two weeks that is based on existing readings about how a Biomimicry lens can help us innovate in terms of the way we do business and especially the way we communicate with each other.

Just last week Dayna Baumeister and Toby Herzlich published an article “What Bees and Forests Can Teach You About Successful Leadership” on Inc.com. The article describes how Biomimicry can inform successful leadership and lead to social innovation. They share their stories learned from holding the first workshop focused exclusively on applying Biomimicry to social challenges. Another great article “Biomimicry challenge: IDEO taps octopi and flamingos to reorganize the USGBC” in FastCo which was published a while back also illustrates how Biomimicry’s application is not limited to technical challenges. Examples of organisms they took inspiration from include the beaver, the flamingo, and the Cleaner shrimp. They identified beavers to be a “keystone” species that is crucial to maintain structure in the ecosystem, and in accordance they have specified important characteristics for keystones at USGBC.

I’m excited to learn more about which intricate strategies nature uses, and how they can be abstracted and implemented in our human organizations. I’m also very open to collaboration and learning from others, so please contact me or share your knowledge about this topic. Let’s hope a Biomimicry approach is used more and more not only for technical challenges, but also social challenges like organizational development.

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