Nicole Miller on Nature and Inspired Innovation
22 Sep 2020
Nicole Miller, Managing Director of Biomimicry 3.8, explains biomimicry and how mirroring nature’s designs can lead to innovative and sustainable solutions in the development products and places.
Hosted by Jeff Kavanaugh, VP and Head of the Infosys Knowledge Institute.
“We are reconnecting people to nature so that nature is no longer just seen as this resource that we can extract from, but as a mentor and a resource that we can learn from.” Nicole Miller
Jeff introduces biomimicry
As managing director of Biomimicry 3.8, you described biomimicry as the conscious emulation of nature's genius. Can you share a particularly poignant example of this?
Jeff introduces Nicole
What is the perennial question for you? Certainly for me, what is biomimicry?
What's one of your favorite examples that you took to a business executive and they had an “aha” moment and changed what they were doing?
[Aligning people with common interests] is good because you get them to metaphorically be on the same side of the desk negotiating, it's a little bit easier, right?
How has your understanding of sustainability changed over time and how can companies get in front of it in their innovation process?
If you don't design or act in a way that allows your species, your habitat to do this in the future, you're not successful and you'll go extinct.” So, how do you relate that to where we are currently globally and with people in general mindsets?
You mentioned COVID-19 so I'll just go straight there. How has that impacted the business case for Biomimicry 3.8? And what your message and how can companies adapt to this new corporate habitat and avoid extinction?
Last month we spoke with John Elkington, the originator of the “triple bottom line” concept of people, planet, and profit. John described the triple bottom line as a genetic code, a triple helix of change for tomorrow's capitalism. What role does biomimicry play in the triple bottom line in this change?
What concrete steps can an executive take, not for this thing to be a check the box ESG initiative but to be at the center of their business?
John Elkington called the 2020s the decade of exponential progress, exponential decade. Do you think we'll see exponential progress, and if so, where do you think it will come from?
How do you think biomimicry will support the development of smart buildings and smart cities?
That all sounds great and if we were going out building a city from scratch and building brand new greenfield area sounds exciting, difficult but exciting, what about for the 90 plus percent in the world, yeah, it was already built, how can biomimicry principles improve upon these brownfield environments?
How can biomimicry design be applied to the digital world and how do you see technologies like AI fitting into this?
You're thinking then a lot about the next generation, what is what you're doing and all this mean for a young person looking to make their way in the 21st century?
You've called mycelium your favorite organism? What is it and why is it your favorite?
What are the books or people that stand out as significant influences for you?
What online resources do you recommend either your own sites or others for further learning?