“Biomimicry is innovation inspired by nature. In a society accustomed to dominating or ‘improving’ nature, this respectful imitation is a radically new approach, a revolution really. Unlike the Industrial Revolution, the Biomimicry Revolution introduces an era based not on what we can extract from nature, but on what we can learn from her.” —Janine Benyus
Sacred Futures views biomimicry’s guiding principles as an essential application of Nature’s sacred wisdom. Nature uses patterns and principles that work, those that don’t become obsolete. Nature designs ecosystems efficiently, and by recognizing and understanding her design principles, humans can improve our own chances of survival, as well as nurture the complex web of life. Our survival and the regeneration of our ecosystem go hand in hand.
In the previous (and still dominant) paradigm, humans regarded Nature as a resource to be exploited or conquered. Instead, we need to return to the ancient wisdom that views Nature as our greatest teacher.
Scientific materialism assumes that humans have an inalienable right to Nature’s resources. Industrialism seizes on this narrative, and uses it to justify irresponsible destruction of our shared environment. Corporatocracy continues to justify environmental degradation—clearly a pathological and self-defeating position. Such “fossilized thinking” degrades adaptability and quickly leads to obsolescence and eventual extinction. We urgently need to replace fossilized thinking with adaptive, regenerative policies, and practices.
Biomimicry does exactly that. By applying biomimicry principles, we can develop more sustainable and bio-sensitive technologies.
Our continued existence depends on awakening to, and enacting, the following principles:
Evolve to Survive
• Replicate nature’s strategies—they work.
• Integrate the unexpected—by planning for uncertainty.
• Reshuffle information—to enhance novelty and creativity.
Adapt to Changing Conditions
• Incorporate diversity—to multiply options.
• Maintain integrity—through self-renewal.
• Embody resilience—through variation, redundancy and decentralization.
Be Locally Attuned and Responsive
• Leverage cyclic processes—as nature does.
• Use readily available materials and energy—as nature does.
• Use feedback loops—as nature does.
• Cultivate cooperative relationships—as nature does.
Integrate Development with Growth
• Self-organize—as all organisms do.
• Build from the bottom up—as organisms do.
• Combine modular and nested components—for enhanced efficiency.
Be Resource Efficient
• Use low-energy processes.
• Use multi-functional design.
• Recycle all materials.
• Fit form to function.
Use Life-Friendly Chemistry
• Break down products into benign constituents.
• Build selectively with a small subset of elements.
• Do chemistry in water.