Biomimicry Cafe

A number of BID Community members have expressed a sense of isolation when it comes to practicing biomimicry.  Catalina, Ernst-Jan and Kamelia came up with the idea of a 'virtual cafe' held via Google+ Hangouts where participants could talk about both their successes and the challenges.  A goal is not only to help individual members by suggestion options for moving forward but also to develop ideas for BID Community projects and initiatives. 

The group discussed a number of ground rules:

  • keep the call fast moving (five minutes for an overview of the project/success/challenge, five minutes for questions, explore options rather than trying to solve the problem within that Biomimicry Cafe session)
  • inject some fun into the call (encourage short anecdotes/stories)
  • be open and flexible (avoid 'theme' calls that might restrict who attends)
  • stay focused (moderator to rein in 'deep dives' and encourage a focus on what pragmatic actions we can take)
  • deliver 'yield' early and often by looking for quick wins ('borrowed' from permaculture)

We were split between monthly and weekly calls but agreed that they should be scheduled in advance.  There is never a good time for these calls so we picked Tuesdays at 11:30 PT, 12:30 MT, 13:30 CT, 14:30 ET, 20:30 CET, 21:30 EET.  We can switch if there is a better date and time. 


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nhoeller's picture

2013/03/12 Biomimicry Cafe: Art and Biomimicry in Education

Attendees: Ana McArthur (host), Kamelia Miteva, Norbert Hoeller

Ana McArthur is an installation artist who has tried to combine art and biomimicry with the educational system.  She has experienced significant challenges getting traction within both North America and the UK.  Kamelia Miteva founded Bulgaria-based Bio Games
that offers interdisciplinary education in biology and ecology with elements of biomimicry in the form of workshops for kids, laboratories in biomimicry for adults and adolescents, and design of educational programs in the sciences.

Below are some insights and actions.  A more comprehensive article on the call is planned for the next BioInspired! newsletter.


  • Fund innovative teaching from big 'funders' worded from the perspective that matches their funding interests
  • New insights on better partnering through co-creation
  • Look for funding from well off individuals versus state funding, and through 'connected' individuals
  • Creating a network of acquaintances and using this network efficiently is crucial.
  • As an NGO, search for well-off people who would like to fund you.
  • Learn how to 'look through the eyes' of the funding agencies.


  • Pursue a network of well-endowed individuals that could provide funding
  • With a progressive school, speak to the principal and a science teacher to collaboratively arrive at 'a plan' to carry out a biomimcry education teaching
  • Explore specific grant agencies to identify what they like to fund
  • Talk to acquaintances and ask if they know useful people or funding, etc.
  • Tap into donations
  • Create a short introduction of what you are doing fitted to the agency/school you will be presenting at
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