© Don Hammond/Design Pics/CorbisThe BID Community is at a crossroads.  In hindsight, the original concept of creating a "space" where current and aspiring practitioners, facilitators and people knowledge about the human condition could share ideas appears to have been premature.  We have had little success in reaching out to the broader community and BID Community activity has been steadily declining.  It is not clear that we even meet the criteria of a community.  Although the Internet allows us to 'meet' virtually, the energy generated through face-to-face discussions seems to dissipate quickly when we return to our 'day jobs'.  We share an interest in the concepts of biomimicry, biomimetics and bio-inspired design (B3D for short) but adopt a diverse set of approaches in applying these concepts.  This is in itself not an issue but makes it challenging to identify common attitudes, interests and goals.

B© frank peters - Fotolia.comrett Joseph is an organizational systems consultant, researcher and educator.  He directs the non-profit Center for Ecological Culture and the Cleveland Educator’s for Sustainability, teaches permaculture at Lorain County Community College, Ohio, and is a member of the Great Lakes Biomimicry Collaborative.  His consulting practice builds on his 20 years of experience as an environmental attorney, organic farmer and community organizer.  A current Ph.D. student in Organizational Systems at Saybrook University, Brett has professional and master’s degrees in law and an MA in humanistic and transpersonal psychology.  He also has certificates in civil mediation, socially-engaged spirituality, permaculture design, green building and environmental education.  Brett’s published writings focus on innovation, culture and whole systems approaches to fostering human and ecological health.

© Yang MingQi - Fotolia.comThe Biomimicry Specialist Certification Program offered by the Biomimicry 3.8 (B3.8) organization provides a holistic experience of the three essential elements of biomimicry: ethos, (re)connect and emulate.  The case studies used for illustration typically aligned primarily with emulation of nature, without elaborating on ethos and (re)connect characteristics.  Sometimes ethos and (re)connect had clearly never been considered in the project or product.  We prepared a survey to get a better feel for what the broader audience of biomimics thought and to encourage discussion.  Did our colleague practitioners see ethos and (re)connect as core to biomimicry, essential to its practice or … not so much?

© frank peters - Fotolia.comDr. Shoshanah Jacobs studies knowledge transfer both in biomimetics and pedagogy. Her specific interests in biomimetics lie in the way in which designers approach problems of disciplinarity and how challenges can be overcome.  In pedagogy she focuses on techniques to effectively teach process rather than content. She uses her research to inform her teaching in biology at the University of Guelph, (Canada) and thinks that the best learning outcome of all is if students celebrate the wonders of the natural world around them and become life-long learners. Born in Ottawa, Canada, Dr. Jacobs studied at the University of New Brunswick in Saint John and the University of Ottawa.

© INFINITY - Fotolia.comAt a small conference at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in 1960, scientists from across the United States gathered to discuss biomimetics (actually, they used terms like bionics and biophysics).  After many presentations on specific technologies, three men got up to present the following papers:

  •     Mortimer Taube: “What good is bionics?”,
  •     Otto Schmitt: “Where are we now and where are we going?”,
  •     and Jack Steele: “How do we get there?”.

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