The Biomimicry Institute was founded in 2006 by Janine Benyus and Bryony Schwan to share nature’s design lessons with the people who design and make our world. We began by working directly with educators from K-12, university, and non-formal (museums, zoos, aquariums) environments to naturalize biomimicry in the educational system, and ensure the next generation of changemakers had the tools to integrate biomimicry in their careers. Education is at our roots, and you can find lesson plans, classroom exercises, and educator training courses on our Biomimicry Education Network website.
In 2008, we launched a free, online catalog of nature’s solutions to design challenges. This award-winning website, called AskNature, has helped students and practitioners around the globe look to nature for sustainable design inspiration and advice.
As our programs evolved, we began working closely with our sister organization, the Biomimicry Guild, a for-profit consulting company also founded by Janine Benyus. In 2010 we embarked on an experiment and united with the Guild under a shared brand, Biomimicry 3.8, as a non-profit/for-profit hybrid organization. In 2014, the two entities decided to revert to the original model of dual brands in order to more effectively achieve our missions. The for-profit consultancy is now Biomimicry 3.8, while the non-profit organization is the Biomimicry Institute.
We envision a world in which people view nature not as a warehouse of goods but as a storehouse of knowledge and inspiration for sustainable solutions.
Our goal today is for biomimicry to become a natural part of the design process. We accomplish this by tackling one massive sustainability problem at a time through our Design Challenges platform, mobilizing tens of thousands of practitioners with the support of the Global Biomimicry Network to solve the challenge, and then providing those practitioners with AskNature as a tool to begin the solution process. We anticipate dozens of new biomimetic innovations will result, creating a healthier world for all.
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