The Natural Edge Project The Natural Advantage of Nations Whole System Design Factor 5 Cents and Sustainability Higher Education and Sustainable Development




"It's (The Natural Advantage of Nations) a book of affirmation when despair hits."
Janine M. Benyus

"BIOMIMICRY is one of those rare hopeful notes in the modern chorus of environmental warnings. Janine offers a radical alternative to today’s industrial model of progress – an elegant survival strategy drawn from a better understanding of those natural systems on which we are still totally dependent. Perhaps the best thing about this “quest for innovations inspired by nature” is that it is more than just a theory. It is already underway."
Jonathon Porritt, Chairman, Chair of the UK Prime Minister’s Sustainable Development Commission

"(Biomimicry) Introduces a concept worthy of wide exploration in a world dazzled by the industrial artifacts around us... Over the millions of years, nature's life forms through natural selection have had to live with the constraints of the entropy law on a solar budget."
Wes Jackson, The Land Institute

"Janine Benyus is obsessed with patterns, connections, and the beauty of life, intertwined. Biomimicry focuses on finding structures, processes, strategies, and mechanisms that nature has been using for a billion years, that we can emulate and use in modern design.”
Terry Tempest Williams, Author

"Janine Benyus is without question the world's most imaginative person in the field of environmental development and restoration. To be with her indoors is to be transported; to spend time outdoors with Janine is like walking through the looking glass of extraordinary beauty and landing in a meadow of possibilities about our world. Time spent with Janine is a transmission of hope about what we can learn from and be within nature, a species of hope that will follow you for the rest of your life. Time spent with Janine is a transmission of hope about what we can learn from and be within nature, a species of hope that will follow you for the rest of your life."
Paul Hawken, Natural Capital Institute

"Janine Benyus has been instrumental in interpreting the principles of biomimicry to the designers and product developers at Patagonia. She has been inspirational, practical, and engaging in helping us incorporate our respect for the natural world into the creation of our products."
Yvon Chouinard, co-founder, Patagonia

(Nineteen HOK leaders joined environmental pioneers Janine Benyus and Paul Hawken for a three-day workshop on biomimicry and natural capitalism to discuss how these concepts might apply in HOK's everyday work.) "It was a pivotal event for all HOK attendees," said HOK President Bill Valentine. "We were immersed in a sea of information, strategies, science and insight. We left with a strong commitment for a far wider discovery and education of these ideas across the firm."
HOK President Bill Valentine




The Next Wave of Innovation Speaker Series 

Innovation Inspired by Nature Tour (Australia)

It brings us great pleasure to report that the ‘Innovation Inspired by Nature Tour’, coordinated by The Natural Edge Project and the Biomimicry Guide, was a huge success. Touring with Janine Benyus and Catherine Bragdon was an amazing experience for the team from TNEP. Over the two weeks, Janine captivated audiences across the nation with facts, stories, case studies and visual imagery of an emerging wave of sustainable technological innovation made possible by the practice of Biomimicry. Janine presented at sessions with governments, businesses and universities in each of Brisbane, Townsville, Adelaide, Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney. Some of the many highlights include the Dinner Keynote at the 7th Annual Business Leaders Forum on Sustainable Development, the Live ABC National Press Club Address, and the delivery of public lectures in each city to introduce the concept of Biomimicry and its applications in innovating sustainable solutions.

See photos from the recent tour!

CSIRO ECOS article - Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired By Nature

Catapult Article (ABC) - Naturally Inspired Design by Rebacca Martin

We would like to extend our gratitude to the Janine, Catherine and the Biomimicry Guild for partnering with The Natural Edge Project to deliver the Innovation Inspired by Nature, Australian Tour. It was an honour and a privilege to have been able to support you to present Biomimicry at the doorstep of Australia 's leading businesses, government departments and universities. The Tour has succeeded in alerting the Australian public of the amazing opportunities arising from the application of Biomimicry, not to mention the numerous examples of Biomimicry applied that are native to our nation. The level of interest generated amongst Tour partners will surely lead to future business opportunities for the Biomimicry Guild and the Australian biomimetic community.

We would also like to extend most sincere thanks to our Tour Partners (below), whom without their support and enthusiasm this Tour would not have made the impact that it has throughout Australia.

"TNEP have once again brought a world-leading and inspirational author and practitioner to Australia - this time Janine Benyus , a truly remarkable scientist, creating biological inspirations for the "hard" sciences. Just as we now need social scientists at our side, so too it seems, biology and biologists must play a part in our engineering practice." Philip Bangerter, Global Director-Sustainability, Hatch Associates.

 

"Janine Benyus presents an intuitively seductive idea that adds an important piece to the sustainability jig saw puzzle. It is inspiring and reassuring to know that nature has already found many of the solutions. Our challenge is to develop the skills to reveal nature's secrets and adapt them to help us live in harmony with the rest of nature." Tony Kelly Managing Director Yarra Valley Water.

About Janine Benyus

Janine Benyus is a life sciences writer, innovation consultant and author of six books, including her most recent--Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature. In Biomimicry, she names an emerging discipline that seeks sustainable solutions by emulating nature's designs and processes. Since the book’s 1997 release, Janine has evolved the practice of Biomimicry, consulting with sustainable business, academic and government leaders, serving on the Eco-Dream Team at Interface, Inc. and conducting seminars on what we can learn from the genius that surrounds us.

As a biologist, the question for Janine is not whether our technology is natural, but how well adapted it is to life on earth over the long term. Janine is a graduate of Rutgers University, New Jersey, with degrees in Natural Resource Management and English Literature. Janine co-founded the education and innovation practice known as the Biomimicry Guild. Her international keynotes have introduced tens of thousands of people to Biomimicry and clients include Arup Engineers, Hewlett Packard, HOK Architects, Interface, Patagonia, NASA, Novell and Proctor and Gamble.


Janine has received several awards including the prestigious Rachel Carson Environmental Ethics award. In addition to her Biomimicry work, Janine, teaches interpretive writing, lectures at the University of Montana, and works towards restoring and protecting wild lands. An educator at heart, she believes that the better people understand the genius of the natural world, the more they will want to protect it.

The tour format provided a limited number sessions offering a valuable opportunity to interact with the world’s leading author and consultant in the area of Biomimicry. The sessions provided an opportunity to explore a range of exciting options to learn from nature and innovate for creative solutions. The tour was based on the material presented in Janine’s book, Biomimicry - Innovation Inspired by Nature, enhanced by the numerous projects Janine and her team have been working on over the last 8 years since the book was published. Following the tour from Janine and subject to interest, the Biomimicry Guild’s lead trainer, Dr Dayna Baumeister will be undertaking a limited number of training sessions in the first two weeks in August 2006 (and potentially returning in January 2007) to follow on from the keynote tour with introductory and advanced training sessions.

 

About Catherine Bragdon

Catherine Bragdon, business catalyst at the Biomimicry Guild was educated at St Lawrence University and at Rochester Institute of Technology in textile design and materials development, the architecture of how fabrics are made. Trained as a master weaver, she led the textile department at the Parsons School of Design in New York City and founded CTD, a product design studio.

Her love of systems, the environment and design brought her to the commercial interiors industry where she has held management positions at both Herman Miller, Inc. and Interface, Inc., helping them develop innovative materials and products with a focus on the development of sustainable business strategies. As co-founder of the Biomimicry Guild with Janine Benyus and Dr. Dayna Baumeister, she assists companies in the practice of Biomimicry as an innovation tool.

 

Tour Partners and Supporters

 

Public Event Sponsors

Janine was supported by a range of sponsors to deliver free public events as part of th tour in the following cities:

 

Brisbane

15th May: Higher Education Forum on Biomimicry

This event was proudly sponsored by GHD, Griffith University, Queensland University of Technology and the University of Queensland.


16th May: Biomimicry: Learning from Nature

This event was proudly sponsored by The Queensland EPA Sustainable Industries Division and delivered as part of the QPAC/QLD-EPA 'Envisioning a Sustainable Queensland' events series.

 
Townsville (See Event Webpage)

17th May: Students Visioning a Sustainable City of the Future

17th May: Innovation Inspired by Nature Public Presentation

These events were proudly presented by The Townsville City Council.


Adelaide (See Event Webpage)

18th May: Seeking Sustainable Solutions By Emulating Nature's Examples.

Janine's visit to South Australia was proudly supported by: The Sustainability and Climate Change Division, Department of the Premier and Cabinet, The Department of Trade and Economic Development, The Department of Further Education, Employment, Science and Technology, The Institute for Sustainable Systems and Technologies - UniSA, The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre - UniSA, Engineers Australia SA Division, Association of Consulting Engineers, Santos, SA Water, Palmerston Projects Pty Ltd and Origin Energy.


Melbourne

22nd May: Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature.

Janine's public lecture in Melbourne was proudly supported by: GHD, CSIRO, Victorian Association of Forest Industries, KBR, Department of Sustainability and Environment, RMIT, Nanotechnology Victoria and Victoria University.


Canberra
24th May: "Innovation Inspired by Nature: The Opportunity for Australia’s Natural Advantage". Janine presented the National Australia Bank National Press Club Address which was televised live on the ABC. [View PDF]

Sydney (Download article from Uniken)

25th May: Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature.

This event was proudly sponsored by Ove Arup and the

UNSW Kensington Group.