I was always interested in eco-friendly solutions. Guess that’s rooted in my growing up on a farm, working with nature instead of against it.
And I was lucky with the teachers I had as a teenager. Especially my physics teacher taught us a lot about sensible technologies. Plus, we had some major breakthroughs when I was a teenager – no nuclear power station in Austria, one way-too-big dam project was cancelled and a national park created instead, there’s the successful fight against sour rain and ozone depletion.
Back then, we switched technologies, based on laws and agreements. It must not be of financial benefit to ignore the system we are living in. It must be part of the calculation. True-cost pricing. That’s important, in a market- and money-driven world. And that’s not about being a hippie. That’s about being a real homo sapiens. Smart. Intelligent. Wise. Pragmatic.
So, when I studied innovation management, I jumped on the chance to focus on “Bionik” as a sound basis for innovation. I wrote both my bachelor theses about the learning from nature. To make it more applicable in creative problem-solving, I combined it with TRIZ, the Theory of Inventive Problem-Solving. This approach is based on the human ingenuity documented in patents and offers a very nice and practical set of tools for creative-inventive-complex problem-solving. The combination is quite elegant if I may say so.
BTW, back then I used the misleading translation “bionics”. That is the direct translation of the German word Bionik (biology & technics). In English however, that’s more about bio-inspired prosthetics.
It is amazing how the knowledge and application of “natural” technology grew within the last years. What started here in Europe as a high-level, yet quite technocratic approach got a sister movement in the US, where the respect for the system we live in plays an important role, too. I quite like that.
Link tip » asknature.org (biological function database)
Link tip » vimeo.com (me talking about TRIZ, Bionik, biomimicry and biophilia)
Link tip » grin.com (if you’d like to buy the BAC theses)