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Posted - 08/15/2017
Pausing to Reflect with Nature as Our Guide: 2017 Grant Partner - Biomimicry Collaborative

Bio_Coll.jpgThe teachers are everywhere, what is wanted is a learner” says Wendell Berry. We are here, we are learners. As humans, we are a relatively young species and, deep within, we have an affinity for nature. We feel awe and wonder – from flowers, birds, mountain peaks, rivers, sunsets, and thunderstorms.

Our team of six practicing biomimics will join together in a remote log cabin in the mountains of Montana in early September. We will “press pause”, slowing down and reflecting. We will gather lessons and draw inspiration from Nature that will help us empower current and future change-makers in the K-12 educational system – our young people, their educators, and their communities – to understand and take action on climate change.

In the months leading up to our pause retreat, we have been individually trying to “quiet our human cleverness” by taking time in Nature. This personal reconnection is a beautiful invitation into biomimicry reflecting on the questions that will frame our time together:

How is Nature resilient?

How does Nature respond to disturbance?

How does Nature adapt to changing conditions?

How does Nature cooperate and create community?

How does Nature learn?

Paraphrasing Einstein and accepting that challenges like climate change, cannot be addressed with the same thinking that created them, we believe that the practice of biomimicry and looking to Nature as a mentor is a powerful tool and lens through which both mitigation and innovative approaches to climate change education (leading to action) will emerge.

In Nature, everything occurs in context. What might we learn by looking to the self-sustaining natural world around us to understand climate change and its local and regional impacts and challenges? How might the simple act of spending time in Nature and immersing in the lessons of place inspire and create conditions for understanding, and ultimately, action?

Tackling climate change is the most important challenge our species may ever face. Fortunately, we have help from the millions of living species that exist today. Over billions of years, these species have regularly adapted to change, finding ways to thrive amidst disturbances, evolving as needed to survive and thrive. These resilient, living organisms and ecosystems we find in Nature have time-tested strategies to share with us about how we, too, can adapt to and reverse climate change.

With this mindset, we will embark on our pause retreat. During this special time, we will ponder, discuss, laugh, play, and explore how biomimicry thinking and practices can help make climate change education more relevant, tangible, impactful, and inspirational. We seek ways to discover and create solutions for gifting biomimicry to future generations as they answer the challenges of climate change and work to create conditions conducive for all life on our blue planet.

The Biomimicry Collaborative is made up of Professional Biomimics Jo Fleming, Diana Hammer, Karen Allen, Christine Lintott, Chitra Dwarka, and Sue Okerstrom. For more information on the Biomimicry Collaborative, visit or email us at