“The biggest innovations of the twenty-first century will be the intersection of biology and technology.” This phrase, anticipated by Steve Jobs, highlights the importance of a new horizontal discipline that is nourished by all others, a science and philosophy of discovery that invites us to learn from nature: biomimetics.
All the living creatures of the planet, without exception, are potential teachers and mentors, as Jordi Pigem remind us in affirming that “where there is life there is intelligence, and where there is intelligence there is life”. Don’t forget it: both vegetal and animal life -and therefore, human life- are included. We are all nature.
We are what we are, the result of 3,800 million years of evolution and vital decisions explained through Darwinism or the theories of the selfish gene, as described by Richard Dawkins. The evolution is the most demanding process of selecting candidates, in this case with survival as ‘prize’. It is ultimately expressed as a drive for self-fulfillment that encourages living beings to overcome while adapting to the conditions of every moment and every time.
Our mental frameworks condition the vision that we project towards nature, with a causal and holistic rigid approach. We still find it very difficult to accept the existence of mental states and consciousness in other forms of life or even in cultures far from ours. The sign of time indicates that now it’s the moment to change our mental patterns for vital patterns.
Times are changing, that’s why we have to change the mental patterns for vital patterns.
This is the start of this new blog, dedicated to biomimetics. First, an explanation of its title: the 3Cs refer to connectivity, collaboration, and creativity. It may seem eccentric to refer to nature in these terms, but as we will explain in later articles, we can extract many and profound lessons from nature, lessons that we never thought possible with our current mental frameworks.
The world, as we understand it, responds to an anthropocentric conception of reality that has led us to consider everything that surrounds us as a resource to exploit without any logic other than economics and without any other horizon than unlimited growth.
The truth, however, is that there is no other reality than relationships: we live in a complex and dynamic ecosystem where everything is diverse and everything is interconnected.
In the same way that Copernicus unleashed with its planetary theory a scientific revolution that put classic paradigms into the crisis that lead us to the Age of Enlightenment, biomimetics, the consciousness that we can not detach ourselves from nature, is a new change of values, attitudes and intentions that guide human activity towards a truly sustainable future from an ethical, social and economic point of view.
Biomimetics brings us, in this sense, a metamodel that allows us to overcome obsolete conceptual frameworks and respond to the great global challenges, providing innovative solutions based on the study of natural patterns and the maintenance of cohesion and the balance of a broad variety of systems.
Living with biomimetic standards involves a new usage of language, respecting and taking under consideration the value of diversity, a language that permits us to learn from the multiple forms of relationships in nature, that we discover through interactions with the environment to ensure the development of vital functions, growth or renewal of organisms. This is how we can see, for example, that cooperation and not competition is the predominant relationship in nature, which we can see expressed in symbiotic relationships between different species.
Biomimetics gives us, in this sense, a metamodel that allows overcoming obsolete conceptual frameworks and responding to the great global challenges.
The need to cooperate with autonomy and interdependence is also the one that gave rise to complex forms of life in order to overcome their limitations and lead to functional differentiation.
This is a new vision of progress that will undoubtedly lead to great technological advances and a substantial improvement in life quality but that, above all, will entail a new governance model that will give meaning and purpose to all actions. Governance understands willingness while management understands activities.
The current systemic crisis must be interpreted as an opportunity that is open to us, as a species, to responsibly use our capacities and transcend the limits that we have autoimposed.
Fortunately, nature is here to help us.
Is it possible to reconcile the differences between knowledge and capital and make both of them work for a mutual benefit that helps society to grow?
As children, we are told that we learn by getting hurt, but in maturity, we are punished for the slightest mistake. How do we have to face errors?
Biomimetics is much more than new architectural systems, scientific methods, and tools for engineering. It is also new ways of thinking and communicating.
Waste can become resources with the collective intelligence of the ‘bottom up’. When it arises, more sustainable solutions are provided.