Biomimicry 101: 5 Names You Should Know

Biomimicry 101

New to Biomimicry? Don’t worry, we’ll help you cover the basics with the help of these five brilliant Bioneers.

Janine Benyus

Headshot of the Biomimicry Institute's Janine Benyus at the Bioneers 2013

Blessing the Bioneers Conference not once, but THREE times – the acclaimed biologist, innovation consultant and author Janine Benyus illuminates how the biomimicry community can collaborate with nature on a hot list of challenges that just can’t wait. Engage with her over What Life Knows, Emulating Life’s Genius and Grace, and the Biomimicry Network Effect: diving deeper into the endlessly beautiful world seen through her eyes. For more information, check out her Biomimicry Institute.

“Take heart, we’re surrounded by genius.”


Dayna Baumeister

The Biomimicry Institute's Dayna Baumeister speaking at the 2011 Bioneers Conference

Envision what our world would and could look like if we actually started reading and following the directions contained in “Life’s Operating Manual.” Co-founder of the Biomimicry Guild and Biomimicry Institute, Dayna Baumeister provides an eagle’s-eye view of biomimicry breakthroughs using ecological design and nature-inspired technologies that emulate nature’s profound design sophistication. She has worked in the field of biomimicry with Janine Benyus since 1998 and designed and teaches the world’s first Biomimicry Professional Certification Program.

“We can create conditions conducive to life. When we do that, we’ve figured out the magic key.”


Greg Watson

Biomimicry Enthusiast Greg Watson speaking at the 2015 Bioneers Conference

Growing up in Cleveland, Watson would notice black ash from the smoldering river raining down on him as he waited for the bus. Industry and government’s failure to address the pollution crisis followed him into his adult life when he learned about Buckminster Fuller’s idea of using nature’s design strategies to leverage energy and create significant positive effects. In state government and the private sector, Watson’s leadership has since manifested in urban planning, wind energy development, and launching community gardens and farmers markets. Watch him speak on the Twelve Degrees of Freedom at the 2008 Bioneers Conference.

“Pollution in most cases are valuable resources in the wrong place. Symbiotic relationships are there to be made in almost all the systems we create.”


Jay Harman

Biomimicry Enthusiast Jay Harman at the 2013 Bioneers Conference

Gracing our Conference stage TWICE, President-CEO of PAX Scientific, Jay Harman reveals in The Nature of Innovation how scientists and designers are taking cues from nature to find breakthrough solutions. Take sunscreen modeled on hippo sweat. How might we borrow the recipe? It’s time for a fresh look at technology and design, with nature as our mentor. See his previous keynote on Designing the Future here.

“Nature has already solved every problem facing humanity.”


Jason McLennan

Jason McLennan at Bioneers 2013 speaking on the Living Building Challenge.

The visionary founder of the Living Building Challenge illuminates the game-changing impacts of the world’s most advanced and provocative green building certification program. He chronicles its core principles, its global influence on designers, builders, communities and educational systems, and its manifest progress transforming the interface between human habitats and the natural world into a virtuous cycle.

“Instead of designing whatever we want and then having impacts downstream and upstream, we need to understand the notion of limits and work within what we have.”

Ready to move onto Biomimicry 201? Be sure to check out our Ecological Design Playlist and the Global Biomimicry Design Challenge (which will have its first ever awards ceremony at Bioneers 2016!).

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