PINPOINT THEME: From Scarcity To Abundance.

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For about 3.85 billion years nature has sustained the planet through an intentionally designed interdependence between its biological systems and physical infrastructure. Then along came humans. According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), it took hundreds of thousands of years for the world population to grow to 1 billion, and in just another 200 years or so it grew sevenfold. In 2011, the global population reached the 7 billion mark and it is projected to climb to over 9 billion by 2050. The impacts of over-consumption, toxic manufacturing and dirty industries have all taken their toll on what was once a finely crafted eco-system, creating a scarcity of resources for future generations; the full impacts of which we have yet to see or feel.

This week we’re taking a look at how we can shift the balance from scarcity to sustainability and perhaps even a new abundance.

Some, like Janine Benyus (Co-Founder of the Biomimicry Institute and winner of the 2009 United Nations Champion of the Earth award), believe that a sustainable world already exists and that rather than learning about nature, we need to learn from it. Having consulted with over 250 global companies (Nike, Boeing, Interface, Proctor & Gamble, etc…), her belief is that “nature has already solved many of the problems we are grappling with. Animals, plants, and microbes are the consummate engineers. After billions of years of research and development, failures are fossils, and what surrounds us is the secret to survival.” Once a year the Biomimicry Institute hosts a global bio-design challenge, mobilizing tens of thousands of students and practitioners to solve some of our massive sustainability problems, using the world’s most comprehensive biomimicry inspiration database, AskNature, as a starting place.

Image: Biomimicry Institute

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