Janine Benyus at the Circular Economy 100 Annual Summit


by Janine Benyus | Ellen MacArther Foundation | August 15, 2013

Janine Benyus, author of Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature, defines her approach as ‘a new discipline that studies nature’s best ideas and then imitates these designs and processes to solve human problems’. Studying a leaf to invent a better solar cell is an example. She thinks of it as ‘innovation inspired by nature’. Biomimicry relies on three key principles:

  • Nature as model: Study nature’s models and emulate these forms, process, systems, and strategies to solve human problems.
  • Nature as measure: Use an ecological standard to judge the sustainability of our innovations.
  • Nature as mentor: View and value nature not based on what we can extract from the natural world, but what we can learn from it.

In the video above, Janine Benyus explains the concept and highlights examples of biomimetic innovation.

Through science and studying how biology works we would be able to see how the Earth already implements a circular economy organically. Most things are made to not create waste and if waste is made, it is fully functional. Biomimicry would be using how biology works and transferring this into how products are made or even altered. I think this is something that we are far from actually doing but it is a great possibility in the future for changing our current linear way of consumption around.


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