Biomimicry, the practice of observing then mimicking nature’s strategies to solve business challenges, offers a path to healthy profit while working in partnership, and even reciprocity, with the natural world. Other books have described biomimicry, its uses, and its benefits. This book is the first to show readers how they can successfully bring biomimicry and bioinspired design into their companies based on what other businesses have already achieved.
Fashioned through storytelling, this book blends snapshots of five successful companies – Nike, Interface, Inc., PAX Scientific, Sharklet Technologies, and Encycle – which decided to partner with nature by deploying biomimicry. The book details how they discovered the practices, introduced them to staff, engaged in the process, and measured outcomes. The book concludes with challenges for readers to determine their own next steps in business and offers practical and useful resources to get there.
By revealing the stories of each professional’s journey with lessons they learned, then providing resources and issuing a challenge and pathway to do business better, this book serves as a tool for entrepreneurs, seasoned professionals, and students to emulate nature’s brilliance, apply it at work, and contribute to a healthier, more prosperous world.
Table of Contents
1. Making a Living
2. On Mountain Goats and Citizenship – The Nike Story of Biomimicry
3. What is Biomimicry and Why Use It?
4. Business from the Wild - Interface, Inc.
5 Spiraling Into Success - PAX Scientific
6. Nurse Sharks in Your Hospital - Sharklet Technologies
7. The Blackout and the Bee - Encycle
8. So What?
9. Now What?
10. One More Thing
Margo Farnsworth is a writer and biomimicry educator. She has served as faculty and visiting faculty, and advises students internationally as a Fellow for the Biomimicry Institute. Margo has also worked as a naturalist, Executive Director, and Senior Fellow for a Southeastern watershed organization advising two Federal administrations.
"Biomimicry in Business is exactly what the movement needs right now--examples of people successfully practicing biomimicry to help heal their part of the world. This book represents the next step and will be important in the annals of this emerging discipline." – Janine Benyus, author of 'Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature' and co-founder of Biomimicry 3.8 and the Biomimicry Institute
"Normally, people refer to four types of ecosystem services: provisioning, regulating, cultural and supporting. Farnsworth reminds us of an often-overlooked fifth service: mentoring. Mother Nature can be a coach on product design, business model design, the circular economy, operational efficiencies and strategic planning. Smart businesses learn from Mother Nature. This books shows how we all can." - Bob Willard, Chief Sustainability Champion, Sustainability Advantage
"Margo Farnsworth’s Biomimicry and Business elegantly shows how innovative firms are embracing a new business approach to solve complex design challenges. This book provides a great introduction to the world of biomimicry through the lens of business and entrepreneurship and gives readers practical tools and resources for integrating the biomimicry methodology in their corporate organizations. The author’s detailed business case studies provide more color on how the biomimicry process is used and implemented successfully across of variety of companies. There are many lessons to be discovered here and I believe that everyone interested in regenerative design should read this book." - Jacques Chirazi, Director of Student Entrepreneurship and Blackstone LaunchPad, University of California San Diego and Managing Partner + Founder, Biomimicry Switzerland
"The book contains a nice mix of conceptual spadework and real stories, with the "bonus" of straightforward yet gentle guidance from the author in taking up the challenges of risk and change. It will be a source of inspiration." - Gavin Van Horn, Creative Director and Executive Editor, Center for Humans and Nature
"This is an important book. Our planet is in crisis, and a great deal of environmentalist discourse has been pointing out that we may have to choose between capitalism and the planet. No matter its truth, this rhetoric can be paralyzing. Focused on the enormous picture and on what we need to stop doing, it can make action seem pointless or just too difficult and painful. People turn off and put their heads back in the sand or, even worse, decide they better squeeze out what’s left from the planet while they can because we’re all doomed anyway. Biomimicry and Business imagines another way forward. Using an appealingly positive and pragmatic approach, Farnsworth demonstrates that business can do good by being good. By learning and utilizing the principles of biomimicry, entrepreneurs can be kinder to the environment and more innovative and profitable. Yet, Farnsworth doesn’t just make this claim, she shows her readers how to do it—with jargon-free prose, entertaining case studies (from her own interviews), and concise and clear guidelines." - Sara Crosby, Associate Professor of English, The Ohio State University at Marion