December 2012 Newsletter (Issue 9.2)

Welcome to the last issue of the BioInspired! newsletter for 2012.  This issue includes articles on the PhD in Biomimicry program at the University of Akron, perspectives on the Findhorn workshop, and a guest article on how biomimicry can lead to new ways of organizing business.

This newsletter is publicly readable - click on the titles below to read the full articles.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to the newsletter!

© Don Hammond/Design Pics/CorbisAnother year has passed, the Mayan calendar has flipped over without incident and I woke up to snow on the ground! Unless it rains (again), we may yet have a White Christmas.

The highlight of the year was the launch of Zygote Quarterly. In addition to lots of website traffic and accolades, it was short-listed by the Digital Magazine Awards in the Science & Nature Magazine of the Year and Magazine Launch of the Year (New Title) categories. Marjan Eggermont had the opportunity to attend the awards ceremony on December 6th in London. Although ZQ did not win an award, it was an honor to be recognized amongst magazines such as BBC Focus, Scientific American and Inquire. DMA posted a video clip of the magazine covers - see the sections at 1:20-01:37 and 3:04-3:26.


© ktsdesign - Fotolia.comIt has been a busy and successful launch of the Biomimicry Fellowships in the Integrated Bioscience Program at the University of Akron. Two major events kicked off the program, immersing the first cohort of Biomimicry Fellows (Emily Kennedy, Daphne Fecheyr-Lippens, and Bill Hsiung) in a flurry of activity just three weeks after their arrival on campus: a visit by Janine Benyus and the launch of a significant strategic initiative for biomimicry in Ohio.



© ktsdesign - Fotolia.comTime passed quickly during the intensive Biomimicry Education Training Workshop developed by Biomimicry 3.8 and led Megan Schuknecht and Sam Stier. Sixteen attendees from many geographical and professional horizons had the opportunity to share our deep passion for biomimicry and teaching through a wide range of hands-on activities. The program was “designed for high school, college or university, and informal science teachers or lecturers who are interested in learning the fundamentals of biomimicry and integrating biomimicry teaching into new or existing courses, programs, displays, or exhibits.”


© johann35 - Fotolia.comImagine hunting like a wolf pack at work instead of taking orders and handouts from your boss like a lap dog. What if you were responsible for your own profits every month, pocketing 20% of them on top of your salary? What if you could choose your managers, your workspace, your equipment, materials, customers, colleagues and hours?

One radical Dorset company, Matt Black Systems, has done precisely that by scrapping traditional leadership and hierarchies. The family firm was failing: in terms of the Boston matrix, it was transitioning from the ‘cash cow’ to ‘dog’ phase, borrowing money to survive. As a result of a radical transformation of the business, productivity increased by 300% and profit margins by 10% while pay increased by 100%. Customer perception went from poor to outstanding with product returns at less than 1% and “on time/in full” delivery exceeding 96%.


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