Business, Biomimicry and Sustainable Development

Session 24

ES/SO352 Sustainability - Session 24

S24: Business, Biomimicry and Sustainable Development

Required readings:

  • Senge, Peter & Carstedt, Goran (2001) Innovating Our Way to the Next Industrial Evolution. Sloan Management Review, 42(2): 24-38.
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  • Learn the difference between:
    • using nature
    • learning about nature
    • and learning from nature
  • Learn what is biomimicry, prosumerism, social business model, and why they are important to design sustainable systems
  • Integrate concepts from all previous sessions into a single analysis from a real-case example
  • Learn about the Open Source Ecology/Hardware project, its evolution, and the live-"civilization starter kit" they procuded

1. Topics (from the reading)

From the reading Senge, Peter & Carstedt, Goran (2001) Innovating Our Way to the Next Industrial Evolution. Sloan Management Review, 42(2): 24-38

2. "Biomimicry: Innovation inspired by Nature"

"Biomimicry: Innovation inspired by Nature" (2005). Janine Benyus. TED Talk. (23')

3. SWOT Analysis on Findhorn (Scotland)

On a SWOT table, indicate themaximum number of concepts discussed in this Sustainability ES/SO352 Course that you can find reflected in the presentation shown in the video "Living in Future 7: Findhorn" about intentional communities in some EcoVillage implementations (5')

4. SWOT on Findhorn et-al.





5. Open Source Ecology/Hardware

Marcin Jakubowski: Open-sourced blueprints for civilization - Marcin Jakubowski - 2011 - TED Talk (4')

See also: http://opensourceecology.org

  • Bioinspired Chitinous Material Solutions for Environmental Sustainability and Medicine. Fernandez JG, Ingber DE. Advanced Functional Materials. 2013;23:4454-4466
    • Abstract:
      Chitin—the second most abundant organic material on earth—is a polysaccharide that combines with proteinaceous materials to form composites that provide the structural backbone of insect cuticles, crustacean exoskeletons, cephalopod shells and covering surfaces of many other living organisms. Although chitin and its related chitosan materials have been used in various industrial and medical applications based on their chemical properties, their unique mechanical functions have not date been leveraged for commercial applications. The use of chitinous materials for structural applications has been limited by our inability to reproduce, or even fully understand, the complex hierarchical designs behind naturally occurring chitin composites. In this article, an example of engineered chitinous materials is used to introduce the reader to the potential value that bioinspired materials offer for engineering of synthetic and biological materials. The nature of chitin and its general characteristics are first reviewed, and examples of chitinous structures are presented that are designed to perform very different functions, such as nacre and the insect cuticle. Investigation of the structural organization of these materials leads to understanding of the principles of natural materials design that are beginning to be harnessed to fabricate biologically-inspired composites for materials engineering with tunable properties that mimic living materials, which might provide useful for environmental challenges, as well as medical applications.
  • http://scholar.harvard.edu/jgfermart/publications/unexpected-strength-and-toughness-chitosan-fibroin-laminates-inspired-insect
  • Part of the BBC series "Genius of Nature" (Episode 3 - Arms race). 3'

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