The Biomimicry Institute

Rating: 4.83 stars   12 reviews

Issues: Education, Environment

Location: PO Box 9216 Missoula MT 59807 USA

Mission: We are nurturing a global community of people who look to the natural world for ideas, designs, and strategies for sustainable design. We want to bring biology to the design table. The mission of the Biomimicry Institute is to change the way human designers - architects, engineers, materials scientists, product designers - approach their work.

2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

I believe that biomimicry will become one of the major waves of our future, reversing the historical trends of trying to "dominate nature", and instead putting humankind back on track in studing the ingenious infinite coping mechanisms that nature has developed over the eons. Kudos to the Instutite of Biomimicry!


-Rich Wenzel

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Amongst other major innovations, am particularly impressed with the institute's work on organic solar electric cells.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Get them more funding!

Thanks, Rich, for this review and mostly, for sharing our interests and concerns and being an evangelist for biomimicry in your own work! - Diana Lee, Biomimicry Institute

Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

When I first heard about Biomimicry and wanted to integrate it into my classroom curricula I had to do all the research myself. Now with the creation of the Biomimicry Institute and the Ask Nature resource I am able to bring incredible resources to my lessons.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Listening to their great CD with my child.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-11-01

Rating: 5 stars  

I am certain that the study and practice of biomimicry in everything we do, business, product design, food production, housing, education--is essential. The Institute of Biomimicry is the organization providing the education, training, network, and awareness to make this happen in society. I have a consumer product prototype. I am determined to integrate bio-inspired principles to solve our design challenges. The Institute has continually provided the expertise, research support, and direct outreach to help me find a designer--which is the make-or-break reality of this project. Because of their personal commitment and stellar professionalism, I am educating myself about how to find biomimicry solutions in my work. The Biomimicry Institute holds, without a doubt, the answers to what we unnecessarily grapple with about environmental and economic recovery.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

1) My ability to network with the right professionals; 2)build my design skills; 3)introduce others to the importance of their educational services; 4)commit to learning about and implementing bio-inspired practices in every aspect of my life.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Fund it generously to make it an integral part of public life.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the courage and focus and intelligence to offer solutions that will help us to make the immediate and long-term changes in all educational, economic, and environmental realms.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Committed, patient, responsive, professional

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

1. be present in every school, starting in elementary school 2. change the design, production, and manufacturing of consumer goods to align with natural processes 3. eliminate waste 4. restore farm lands 5. protect natural resources

Ways to make it better...

to have more bio-inspired designers to work with; I am looking for a team in the future, including design students who have specialized in biomimicry.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Awareness. We need a funded public education campaign to make biomimicry a household name and to educate policy makers to see the impact and possibilities.

One thing I'd also say is that...

There is no time to waste. The importance of biomimicry is obvious. Make it known. See the results in people's lives around the world.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-10-01

Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 4 stars  

I came across The Biomimicry Institute a few years ago as I was preparing to teach a high school course on biomimicry. New to the field, but excited to dive in, I contacted TBI so see if they had any curricular materials they were willing to share. When they learned that I was planning to teach a semester-length course for high schoolers on biomimicry, they invited me to share my own materials with them for dissemination to other teachers, as they had little in the way of high school curriculum. Sam Stier, their Education Director, was great. He was supportive and encouraging. After seeing what my students produced, he invited me to attend TBI's education summit and to present my students' work. The summit was full of really interesting presentations and networking opportunities. Since then, I have seen many of the initiatives discussed at the summit implemented - the "Ask Nature" website and the certificate program in Biomimicry. This is an organization that is making things happen!

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the support I received as I developed my own course in Biomimicry and the networking opportunities it provided to share what I had done and learn from others. I have also used some of their conceptual materials to help teach biomimicry concepts.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

try to make courses offered more financially accessible.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

meeting others with experience teaching biomimicry and with a passion for the subject.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

generally warm, helpful, and knowledgeable. Sam Stier, in particular, has done a great job of reaching out and keeping me in the loop.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

transform the lens and process we use to design things, systems, you name it, so that our solutions to design problems are more sustainable, elegant, and functional.

Ways to make it better...

the person who answered my questions when I inquired about the certificate program had treated me as a professional with valid and relevant skills and experiences (he was the only person at TBI with whom I've had a less than positive interaction).

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

scaling up their offerings in a way that maintains quality and affordability. So many more people need to know this stuff, and it is clear that they have more interest in their programs than they are currently able to serve.

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-7-01

Rating: 5 stars  

I have been involved in biomimicry since before the Biomimicry Institute was officially established and have watched it grow into a network of passionate facilitators that have become a crucial resource for teaching biomimicry to University students at OCAD University in Toronto, Canada. The Biomimicry Institute has been instrumental in offering support to our faculty and students, developing curriculum and establishing research projects and networks. Our students have been involved in the Student Challenges, which is leading to ongoing research and potential internships for our students. Through the Biomimicry Institute we have established a broad network of educators across North America and Europe that has helped validate and support our research and curriculum efforts.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My students have been exposed to educational and industry experts, such as Pacific Outdoor Equipment, the San Diego Zoo, Janine Benyus, Arizona State University, to name a few.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

The Institute needs more support to facilitate ongoing discussions between students and experts in the field. Workshops each year are excellent, but the infrastructure has never quite been established for sustained interdisciplinary discussions.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

meeting extraordinary people who inspire me.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

humble geniuses.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

become an incredible clearing house for information that would fuel world changing research.

Ways to make it better...

we had more time, we have so much to cover together that the brief workshops and discussions are not enough.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

staying focussed, there are so many opportunities, but limited resources.

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-9-01

Rating: 4 stars  

The Biomimicry Institute put us in touch with Christopher Viney at UC Merced. They also helped us develop our online and hands-on biomimicry activities. Christoper Viney was a total pleasure to work with. He collaborated with our winner to create a bio-inspired design - the Floppy Flyer. It resulted in a citizen science call to action on our website. For Videos of Christopher and our Biomimicry winner visit kidssciencechallenge.com. We launch a new challenge on October 1st, so after that date the videos and activities will be in our archive. The Biomimicry Institute made much of this possible, and we're extremely grateful!

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

see above!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-5-01

Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

The Biomimicry Institute promotes learning from nature to create more sustainable human designs. Telling the best stories nature has to offer, provides an ever important vehicle to get our young people inspired to look at the world through a different lens; a lens that sees the amazing design lessons nature has to offer, a lens that sees we humans are just a part of nature, a lens that is inspired about what the future has to offer.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have benefited from the wonderful free resources that are made availalbe to teach about biomimicry. I have attend workshops and have joined a network of inspiring professional that want to make a difference in how people view the world & respect it.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-8-01

Rating: 5 stars  

The Biomimicry Institute has been a great resource for us as we design programs around the topic of biomimicry. In 2011 we will offer an entire overnight experience that is supplemented with educational material and insight from the institute. What was most helpful was their educator's conference in 2010, which provided an enlightening and inspiring experience for us as we entered the early stages of development. We are very excited to share our program with the institute and get useful feedback from them in the near future.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Personally it has made my task of designing biomimicry programs a much easier task. Their resources and educational staff have been very helpful and a vital instrument in our design process.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

None

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The openness for collaboration and excitement about the topic.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Extremely friendly and open to assist with your projects.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Open the door to many other institutions and expand their educational reach through those partnerships.

Ways to make it better...

n/a

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

n/a

One thing I'd also say is that...

n/a

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-7-01

Rating: 5 stars  

Working with The Biomimicry Institute (TBI) has given us the opportunity to bring our laboratory research to a general public audience, enhancing the visibility and usefulness of our research beyond academia and industry. The free, online database of sustainable technologies inspired by nature (www.AskNature.org) is unlike any other resource out there. TBI is also helping us to create a physics lesson plan based on our research for high school teachers, connecting laboratory research to youth education. We envision that partnerships like ours will enhance the level of science available to the public, and increase scientific and engineering awareness.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-9-01

Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

The Biomicry institute assisted me in preparing a middle school museum visit about biodiversity. Biomimicry forms a core of the visit as it is a great way to give students tools to look at nature's genious and to have hope forour future.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Very helpful service. They shared with me an excellent power point which became the basis for my visit. They provided a scientific review and offered very helpful advice. They have offered continued colaboration.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-8-01

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