Friends,

Yesterday was my 59th birthday.  I celebrated by climbing up high into the mountains above Santa Fe, feeling fortunate for being born at a time of year when nature so beautifully marks the ending of a season and the start of a new one, and reflecting on my own rotation around the sun.

Giving thanks for my blessings from this past year, and looking into my intentions for the next, I realized that one thing I am grateful for was the opportunity to give a Biomimicry talk at the 2019 Festival of Faiths in Louisville, KY… and that I hadn’t yet sent it out to this community.

I was asked to speak about Nature’s Models for Regeneration– reflecting on what we can learn from the natural world about cycles of disruption, ending, and renewal, as exemplified lessons for these disturbing and pivotal times we are living through.

Since I also have an intention to share more with the world from my learnings about nature’s amazing and evolutionary success strategies, today feels like a good day to reach out to you all with this offering.

If you are so inclined, I invite you to join me, for 22 minutes, in this exploration of “What Would Nature Do?…”. I’d welcome any comments, either responding to this post on the Biomimicry for Social Innovation Facebook Page, or on our website, here.

Let’s keep learning – together – from nature’s teachers that are all around us, about how to be resilient in these evolutionary times, how to allow breakdown of that which no longer serves us, and how to welcome new cycles of life-affirming growth.

To life,
Toby

As a gardener, I’ve learned that my purposeful action does not always yield a definitive result.

I may walk into the kitchen on this August afternoon, holding a firm red tomato in my hand, delighted by my harvest. I’m proud of this tomato as if I created its aroma, smooth skin and the juices within. But I know that what I really did was create the conditions last spring to support a healthy seed – miniscule, yet packed with possibility – so the seed could, if all went well, become something delicious.

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FOREST bio-sis.net

As we walked in a fog-moistened forest on the side of Mount Tam, Janine Benyus, author of Biomimicry – Innovation Inspired by Nature, was excitedly showing me the elegant connectedness of the whole system – an interwoven living network of organisms that she calls “the wood-wide web.”

We were talking about using biomimicry for social innovation. Janine is both seer and sage of a growing movement that looks into nature’s 3.8 billion years of evolutionary intelligence as guidance for solving our own sustainability challenges. She said, with the humble confidence that comes from a deep relationship with the natural world, “We are looking for a coherent vision of a world that works, and a practical pathway to get there. It’s all around us…”

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Pioneering a Harmonious Future

My last post on biomimicry talked about the importance of sacredness as a biomimetic practice. This post will focus on the power of applying biomimicry to social innovation, or the work we do that leverages relationships, communication, and behavior change in diverse professional settings.

For the last six days, I participated in a Biomimicry Thinking for Social Innovation Immersion Workshop at the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center, led by intrepid instructors Toby Herzlich and Dayna Baumeister. This first-of-its-kind workshop is part of a movement called Biomimicry for Social Innovation; the goal is to shape human communication, cooperation, and action in ways that mimic nature to create conditions conducive to life.

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