Biomimicry 3.8 Resource Handbook

Following is an excerpt from the introduction to the Biomimicry Resource Handbook, which is the definitive textbook for our professional training programs (see additional photos below):

This Biomimicry Resource Handbook: a seed bank of knowledge and best practices contains the most current thinking about and tools for naturalizing biomimicry into the culture as understood and practiced by our organization, Biomimicry 3.8.

We call it seed bank because a seed bank collects, stores, and preserves critical genetic resources so that they may help replenish destroyed reserves elsewhere, conserve biodiversity, and create resilience in the face of catastrophic events. In a similar way, the Biomimicry Resource Handbook is a repository for the concepts and applications of biomimicry, so that as the field evolves and the demands of the world necessitate, anyone can draw upon these ideas to help society follow nature’s genius, conserve biodiversity through bio-inspired innovation, and foster resilience by creating nature-mentored regenerative systems.

The handbook is intended to be a practical tool you can draw upon whenever you have a design challenge calling out for an innovative and sustainable solution. The handbook is designed for professionals who are interested in incorporating the practice of biomimicry into their work. It’s directly applicable to designers, biologists, engineers, entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs, but will no doubt prove valuable to students, educators, and a wide variety of other disciplines.


To get started, we recommend reading through all the section headings to familiarize yourself with the content and layout so you can easily reference back to whatever you need at any time. The sections are organized to be flexible, but follow an order that makes sense to us.

Here’s what you can expect to find:

• My Pathway For participants in workshops and certification programs, you’ll find in this section the specifics of your course including course agenda and outline, course attendees, and the worksheets specific to your course. Any supplemental reading that complements your course but doesn’t otherwise go in the overall Resource Handbook will also be found here.

• Biomimicry This section introduces you to the meme (the idea) of biomimicry, what we like to call the noun of biomimicry, and also describes who we are with respect to the meme, including the primary offerings and tools that Biomimicry 3.8 believes you would be most interested in.

• Life’s Principles This section goes deep into our most comprehensive tool. It’s found near the beginning of the handbook because it’s the most important and influential component of biomimicry.

• Practice of Biomimicry Here you will find an in-depth exploration of the verb of biomimicry. It includes our Essential Elements of Biomimicry, which describe the three complementary foundations: ethos, (re)connect, and emulate. If you are looking for something resembling a methodology, look here.

• Spreading the Meme We’ve included a whole section on sharing biomimicry with others because biomimicry is best practiced in community. With sub-sections on communication, networking, and facilitating, you’ll find plenty of practical advice on what you can do and how to do it, including tips from our best practitioners.

• Case Studies This section recognizes the importance of examples when both learning about and teaching biomimicry. It shares how to build your own collection as well as a few featured examples.

• Giving Thanks Our last section could very well be first— here we acknowledge all who have made this work possible. You’ll also find our thanksgiving piece for nature, as well as recommended resources. We find it appropriate that this collection is found here, as without this community, biomimicry would be nothing more than a fantastic idea in someone’s head.

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