2014/10/17 09:50  Ryan Church, Ksenia Benifand and Nihal Ahmed, “Reimagining the Future: The Biomimetic Economy”, #RSD3

@BiomeDesign @KBenifand @iNihalAhmed second day #RSD3 “Sustainability, policy & business” track at Relating Systems Thinking and Design 3, at AHO, Oslo, Norway

This digest was created in real-time during the meeting, based on the speaker’s presentation(s) and comments from the audience. The content should not be viewed as an official transcript of the meeting, but only as an interpretation by a single individual. Lapses, grammatical errors, and typing mistakes may not have been corrected. Questions about content should be directed to the originator. The digest has been made available for purposes of scholarship, posted by David Ing.

Program is at http://systemic-design.net/rsd3-2014/program/

All Master’s of Design students at OCAD U.

Economy within an ecology

Biomimicry: emulate nature’s processes

  • Biology has been around longer than human beings
  • Information (proteins) to give form

Research purpose:

  • Explore how biomimicry can be applied to economy
  • Businesses today poorly prepared to deal with unexpected


  • A learning tool for companies
  • Swim from bottom, up to top


Design principles

Three horizons

Type I system:  rapid growth system, with crash

  • Like dandelion

Type II system: panarchy

Type III system:  shared futures infinity loop

  • Old growth forests

Kalundborg Ecopark

  • Closed loop systems
  • Creating value out of waste

Circular economy

  • Thinking about material flow, production and patterns of consumption

Today, a lot of underutilized assets

  • Ellen MacArthur Foundation sees $1 trillion in business opportunities, in study by McKinsey

Diverse economies, from Jane Jacobs, The Nature of Economies

  • One strategy is import stretching:  new value added to an existing ood or import, turned into something new for export
  • Lease Jeans, in Germany:  after a year with jeans, can (i) keep it, (ii) switch, or (iii) send it back where it will be used for new clothing.
  • Another strategy:  import replacement:  making things locally
  • Atlantic Leather, in Iceland, using fish scales for fashion forward shoes and clothing


  • Rethinking product design and production
  • Fostering collaborative relationship

Reimagining the Future: The Biomimetic Economy

#design, #systems-thinking