The (Hopeful) Path to a Regenerative Future: A New Day 1

by Lex Amore | Apr 22, 2020 | Originally published on the Biomimicry Blog |

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After 30 Days of Reconnection filled with meaningful, nature-inspired activities, we have arrived at Earth Day. We know that our society’s way of functioning has changed in major ways, but we’ve also started to understand how connected everything, and everyone, is here on planet Earth.

Earth Day is symbolic, because it serves as a reminder of the strength that emerges when people join together to demand action in moving toward a more just and equitable society. When the first image of the Blue Marble was shared by the Apollo 17 crew in 1972, we saw our home from a new perspective and the environmental movement was born. A call to action was raised to shift human behavior and inspire policy changes that demanded a more sustainable way forward. “The Earth is what we all have in common,” said Wendell Berry. As a species, we have finally begun to recognize that our planet’s wellbeing affects all of its inhabitants — including us.

Peering through a biomimicry lens, we can see that a regenerative system looks at the whole picture. Each element is interconnected and relevant.

For us at the Biomimicry Institute, these last 30 Days of Reconnection have not only offered inspiration for biomimicry’s promise of a regenerative future, they gave us a container to hold our grief. Each day, we have all experienced loss. We’ve lost the touch and affection that comes from physical connection. We’ve lost the freedom to gather, to sit in a park, to travel and adventure. Most of us are afraid and uncertain of what will come during these unprecedented times.

But despite the unknown, we have gained certainty in at least five things:

  • Our Earth is resilient, and the successful systems that have evolved work in balance.
  • Nature holds the keys to our biggest design challenges. There are millions of years of research and development to learn from, offered by the species alive today.
  • We are a clever, intelligent, and determined species.
  • We are all interconnected and in this together.
  • Tomorrow will come.

It’s not always easy choosing the path of optimism, but if I’ve learned anything in the past month, it’s that we humans can come together when we need to — and even if our current system crumbles, there is still soil beneath our feet, and we can rebuild together.

As a society, this is our opportunity to define a new ‘normal’. Let’s endeavor to make it one that is collaborative, just, and rooted in compassion.

Peering through a biomimicry lens, we can see that a regenerative system looks at the whole picture. Each element is interconnected and relevant. How can we use this time of forced pause to set an intention of regeneration? How can we adapt to this new moment calling for courage, empathy, and creative positive change? What can we Ask Nature to better inform our approach to solving this challenge and the others that we collectively face?

Now It’s Time to Act

As a society, this is our opportunity to define a new ‘normal’. Let’s endeavor to make it one that is collaborative, just, and rooted in compassion. When we care for our environment — and all that makes it thrive — we support our own survival. The earth needs biodiversity. It needs the abundant, interconnected interactions that contribute to healthy air, water, and soil.

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Biomimicry is not only a strategic process for solving problems by emulating nature’s strategies within the context of our natural environment, it is a framework for living in a way that regenerates. What can we learn from the lotus plant and how its surface self-cleans? Or how wetlands store carbon? And what about the peacock worm’s ability to filter water? We are working on some exciting fresh content to inspire innovative solutions — stay tuned for 10 new AskNature collections coming soon on how we can learn from biological strategies to solve for a changing climate, create resilient food systems, stay clean, and more!

Today we choose to act, to rebuild, to innovate for a regenerative future. And to build the future, we must realize that the future is now.

When we (re)connect to nature, we are reminded of our origins, aligned with our ecological ancestors, and we are brought to the present moment, finding that we are indeed deeply connected to nature. Our ethos tells us it is our responsibility to act in a way that promotes the wellbeing of all species, ecosystems, and our planet as a whole. It says: today we choose to act, to rebuild, to innovate for a regenerative future. And to build the future, we must realize that the future is now.

Whether you are a student, educator, engineer, designer, biologist, entrepreneur, investor, or a lifetime learner, there are a myriad of ways to join or support the biomimicry movement. The stakes are high and every individual has a role. Join us in looking to nature’s wisdom to reconnect with our place, our purpose, and our drive to survive.

As we navigate these challenging times together, we would like to offer you and your family more tools and resources to find hope and connection through nature-inspired activities. Beyond our programs, and those of our Global Network, here are 5 ways to continue your biomimicry journey during this forced pause.

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Each day we will offer a reflection, an activity, or a resource tailored to further your reconnection with nature and boost your brain! They will come in the form of quotes, videos, podcasts, educational resources, iSites, AskNature.org strategy pages, and more. For each day’s offering, you’ll be able to participate in (or complete) an activity or reflect on the material provided in your Biomimicry Nature Journal. You’ll be able to find fresh, new entries at biomimicry.org/brainboost, or you can sign up for a daily email to come directly to your inbox.

Remember to sketch, create storylines, take pictures, and get creative with your journal entries. The resources shared daily will not be as structured as our 30 Days of Reconnection campaign, so it’s up to you to use what you learned there and let your creativity run wild. Continue to send us your journal entries on social media using the hashtag #mybiomimicryjournal and over email at hello@biomimicry.org so we can share your inspiration with the community.

*We will continue these daily prompts for as long as we can sustain them during mandates for social distancing.

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Janine Benyus with Azita Ardakani

Each month for the remainder of 2020, we will host a 1-hour digital meetup with a special guest to talk about topics relevant to biomimicry. Our first meetup will be on May 21 at 11a PT / 12p MT / 1p CT featuring our co-founder Janine Benyus with our special guest host, Azita Ardakani! We’ll announce the topic a week in advance to ensure its timely relevance, and we invite you to bring your questions to participate in the conversation.

For each meetup, we’ll begin with a topic overview and hear about the speaker’s work. Then we’ll open the floor to questions with our moderator to facilitate an engaging conversation for all who participate. In some meetups, we’ll also complete an interactive group activity together. Spots will be limited for the virtual event, but recordings will be made available after each meetup for any that aren’t able to join live.

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With the tremendous response we’ve received from the community, we’re creating two physical Biomimicry Nature Journals to help you continue your biomimicry journey. One will contain blank pages for you to create the storyline, and the other will be a first-ever guided journal that contains prompts for activities similar to our 30 Days of Reconnection campaign.

Stay tuned for more announcements on its release coming July 15!

You are part of this community, and we are so grateful for you! By becoming a member, you receive different insider benefits, sneak peaks on new initiatives and ways to get involved, and help us to continue to reach more people, support more kids learning this all-important nature lens, and create a new species of biomimicry innovators.

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Do you remember when you first learned about biomimicry? Maybe you heard Janine speak, or saw a video about it, and something clicked inside saying, “This is the right way to design. It just makes sense!” Those moments are transformative, and they only happen because of people like you!

All donations help us continue our mission in making nature’s genius accessible to all innovators, students, educators, parents, and entrepreneurs. With your help, we can continue to bring hope, connection, and actionable ways for people to redesign our world with nature as inspiration.

To heal our minds, our hearts, and our planet, we can follow nature’s example and adapt. We hope to stand in solidarity with you as these developments unfold and to co-create a regenerative future for all life on Earth! We look ahead to a future that is connected, flexible, interdependent, and generous: one in which we are all inspired to act.

Thank you to all the first responders, healthcare workers, and generous humans lending their support to all affected by the novel coronavirus. And thank you to our loyal followers, advocates, and innovators furthering nature-inspired design. We could not do this without you.

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Lex Amore is the Communications Director for the Biomimicry Institute. She achieved her Master of Science degree in Biomimicry from Arizona State University and has advocated for sustainability thought leaders for the past decade. Lex’s ultimate mission is to inspire others with actionable, positive movement forward using nature-inspired innovation and community collaboration.

The Biomimicry Institute empowers people to create nature-inspired solutions for a healthy planet. www.biomimicry.org

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