A #biomimicry manifesto

Baobob tree, Botswana. Rachel Hahs, 2015.

Is biomimicry a movement? An innovation methodology? Where are we headed? How do we get there? As “biomimicry” emerges throughout the world in so many places and in so many different ways, it can be overwhelming to step into the discussion. The answers to these questions are often too broad to be helpful at a practical scale. So as an individual, where do you even begin?Articulating a personal vision as a biomimicry practitioner can be a good place to start.  

Students who complete the Biomimicry Professional (BPro) program are trained not only in methodology, but also to be leaders in biomimicry in their respective fields. But I’ve found that many of us (not all) struggle to figure out how to effectively bring biomimicry to our own spheres. Part of the challenge is that many times when talking to people in our respective industries, we are starting from square one, providing a basic introduction to biomimicry concepts. We are next teachers, motivators, problem solvers, designers and visionaries all at once.  Not only that, but also because biomimicry is so new to most sectors, we are developing the concepts, tools and applications as we go.

To wade through the possibilities and try to focus our individual efforts, our BPro cohort worked a lot on identifying our core purpose and vision for bringing biomimicry forward. The idea behind this is that if you are grounded in your “why”, you are in a much better position to steer yourself along an effective path as well as articulate a clear message people will be drawn to.

A couple of weekends ago, I was lucky enough to reunite with some of my BPro cohort friends (coincidentally three years to the day from when we first met!). One of them had the foresight to print out and bring our final assignments in which we articulated and/or visualized our vision, purpose and intentions in bringing biomimicry forward – our own biomimicry manifesto.

I remember it was hard trying to articulate my own intentions with biomimicry in this assignment as I was transitioning from studying to thinking about how I can best bring biomimicry into what I currently do or want to do. Having never actually written one, I wasn’t even really clear on what a manifesto was! Per Merriam-Webster, 

MANIFESTO \ˌma-nə-ˈfes-(ˌ)tō\ : a written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives, or views of its issuer

Fortunately, the assignment was open to interpretation. In the end, I was thankful for the opportunity to stop, ask and articulate the answer to the question, how do I actually fundamentally think about what I am doing?

I had not looked at my manifesto since I had submitted it last year. I have to say it is empowering to have something in writing I can go back to in times of wandering to remind myself of my intentions and inspire me to further action. I encourage you to do the same!

Part of the definition of manifesto is that it is a public declaration of intentions, so I thought I would put my manifesto out into the world. It represents how I believe biomimicry is/will be a part of the coming shift. It brings me back to my “why.” It reflects my certainty that we are more effective working together than apart. Perhaps it will inspire you to create one for yourself. In the end, your story is mine and mine is yours. I’d love to know your story.


What is your personal vision and purpose and how can biomimicry fit into your story? In what ways do you hope to bring biomimicry into your work and life?

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