What is our role in a sustainable revolution?

Finding your genius in a time when change is necessary

8月 9, 2022

Written by: Jamie Miller, Director of Biomimicry, Senior Associate

“We need to do more.”

I hear this a lot and am rarely inspired by what comes next: buy local, recycle more, drive less, tax carbon, stop sprawl. In my mind, none of this will change the system. Nor will it solve the wicked problems we face with climate change.

Meanwhile, eco-anxiety is on the rise. The word’s climate is changing in every region across the globe and hearing about the existential crisis of climate change daily can be terrifying. But I believe there’s hope and I believe it starts with changing our thinking.

A World Bank report from 2021 estimates protecting and enhancing ecosystem services could prevent global economic losses of US $2.7 trillion every year. The fact of the matter is that nature provides 3.8 billion years of dynamic research, testing, prototyping and refinement that can help us solve many of the problems we’re trying to engineer against.

We just need to listen to her.

“The Global Biomimetics Market size was estimated at USD 22.89 billion in 2021 and expected to reach USD 26.32 billion in 2022.” (Business Wire).

How can we become leaders in a sustainable revolution?

What can your “everyday professional” do to inspire change?

The first step is to change our thinking

In the 18 years that I’ve been pushing for sustainable design, the only model that seems to be the most comprehensive is nature. Biomimicry teaches us the lens and the language for how to learn from this time-tested genius to inspire new designs, new strategies, new materials, and new ways of collaborating that lead to conditions that are conducive to more life.

For hundreds of years, humans have systematically designed ourselves outside of nature. We’ve seen nature as something to take from rather than learn from, and we’ve harnessed stored energy to engineer and control nature. We now know that the system we built is energy intensive and potentially ripe for large-scale collapse.

What we do is the product of how we think. The only way we’re going to see the system shift is when enough people find a better approach for how to do things and then find their niche to practically apply this thinking.

Everyday people like you.

This is exactly why I created the Biomimicry Commons. In nature, change happens through large-scale collapse and release (e.g. forest fires) or through small-scale, bottom-up innovation. I’m not willing to accept the former and so I’ve focused on the latter – creating the fertile grounds for those “everyday people” who want to be leaders in a sustainable revolution.

How we do this is by giving you a platform to learn the tools, the mindset, and the specific ways that biomimicry could be integrated into your life in a practical way.

Whether it’s Javiera who left her job in oil and gas to start a new biomimicry future, or Eric who stayed in his engineering job and started a circular side gig, or Brooke who used her art to tell a new story of humans and nature. Through the Commons, we’re co-creating futures that align with their purpose, leverage their skills, and contribute to sustainable change.

Change won’t happen from the top-down. It happens when a community adopts a new way of thinking and finds their own niche and their own opportunities to make small changes that add up to big shifts.

What does that mean, and who’s “we”? Who’s going to stand up and make the changes necessary to adequately address the most wicked problem we face in climate change?

Change starts with us.