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2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit

The Biomimicry Institute

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Biological & Life Sciences, Education, Elementary & Secondary Schools, Environment, Higher Education, Literacy, Natural Resources Conservation & Protection

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 empower people to design nature-inspired solutions for a healthy planet.

Results: We created a first-ever biomimetic chemistry lab lesson plan - showing high school students that we can make building materials - cement - without destructive mining or using excessive amounts of energy, and sequestering carbon! We also 'crowd sourced' a university level Student Design Challenge and attracted 120 teams from around the world to compete. See their amazing design entries here: http://biomimicrydesignchallenge.com/p/2011-winners

Target demographics: environment

Geographic areas served: International

Programs: AskNature.org, Student Design Challenge, Biomimicry Education

Community Stories

5 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Client Served

Rating: 4

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!

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Biomimicry Institute Provided information about biomimicry and lesson plans for helping teachers do design-based classroom lessons around biomimicry. The Biomimicry Institute has been very proactive in providing us with appropriate materials and helping us make the best use of materials form the Biomimicry web site. We look forward to continued collaboration with the Institute.