A social network that functions like a colony of ants. A database that manages and shares information like a slime mold. What can we learn from the obvious? Millions of years of royalty free R&D embedded in nature holds the answers to many of today’s human centered design challenges. In this presentation, co-facilitated by Chris Allen of The Biomimicry Institute and Michael Dungan of BeeDance LLC, learn how a systems approach that mimics nature’s lessons and resiliency can be adapted to technology design. Biomimicry is a proven design process that asks nature for advice. The application of biomimicry is responsible for the development of successful products ranging from Velcro™ and photovoltaic solar panels to advanced seawater desalination methods and more efficient Japanese bullet trains. Bringing a biologist to the design table to explore innovation in IT application development and optimization can unlock new discoveries. The teachings of specific champions in nature that will lead to break-through design thinking will be offered during the presentation. When approached as mentor, model and measure, organisms and whole systems found in the natural world become powerful collaborators. As B2B and B2C users continue to seek out more robust, fast and reliable forms of technology, the answers may not be in the room, but right outside the window.
Chris serves on the management team for the expanded operations of the Biomimicry Guild and Institute. He is among the fifteen graduates of the first cohort of the Biomimicry Institute's two-year professional program.
Trained in International Business at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas (1985), Chris has over twenty years experience providing strategy and management consulting services related to sustainable development for a variety of private sector clients as well as the US Department of Energy, the National Center for Appropriate Technology, the Northwest Area Foundation, and the United Nations Man and Biosphere Program. His international experience includes work and studies in Europe, Southeast Asia, and Mexico and he serves on the Board of Directors of A World Institute for Sustainable Humanity.
Chris received an award in 2007 from the State of Texas, Department of Parks and Wildlife, for land stewardship achievements at Woodson Place, a conservation development project focused on ecological restoration and green building on his family's 112 year old family farm.
Holly Harlan, an entrepreneur, engineer, and economic and business development specialist for 30 years, works with entrepreneurial leaders from business, government and non-profit organizations to implement sustainable business strategies that drive new opportunities and triple bottom line benefits for their organizations and the region. From the beginning of her career as an engineer with GE and John Deere, she has been trained as a change agent. Today she helps leaders discover the changes that will enhance their business’s ability to discover and implement new opportunities to thrive through the lens of sustainability and whole-systems design.
If Economic Development was a law firm in Northeast Ohio, Holly would surely be a senior partner. After graduating with a BS in Industrial Engineering, Holly worked 8 years in manufacturing and marketing for John Deere and GE, often in start-up operations. In 1990 she worked for three nationally recognized economic development: CAMP(now Magnet), Shorebank Cleveland, and WIRE-Net. Holly has listened, learned, experimented and discovered new opportunities to help the new and existing businesses prosper.
In 2000 Holly founded the Entrepreneurs for Sustainability (E4S), an award winning economic development non-profit whose mission is to grow sustainable regional economies that affirm and sustain life for all. Holly Harlan and E4S are nationally recognized as network-builders, subject-matter experts, and project catalysts in the sustainable business world. The E4S Connect, Learn, Do Sustainability strategy has resulted in a growing network of over 10000 entrepreneurial leaders from all sectors who are putting sustainability to work for their organizations and the NEO region.
In 2005 Holly was awarded the SBC Foundation Civic Entrepreneur Award by REI at CASE, in 2007 E4S was awarded the Organizational Innovation Award, in 2008 Cleveland Magazine recognized her as one of 50 Influentials in Cleveland, in 2009 Crain’s Cleveland Business awarded Holly the Green Lantern Award and in 2010 Holly was listed at one of the 150 Who's Who by Crain's Cleveland Business.
Kathy is the Founder of HOLOS, a sustainability consultancy whose core tenet is systems thinking and collective intelligence. Her experience in the commercial building sector covers multiple LEED ratings, project scales and advisory roles- which has led her to develop a suite of comprehensive planning & management tools for her projects. Her biomimicry training has inspired her systems thinking approach and has been incorporated into several initiatives she is leading. Kathy will be assisting The Biomimicry Group in bringing their inaugural 3-day workshop to Austin in April, one of five locations selected from around the world, in addition to being a 2011 Biomimicry Regional Specialist Candidate. Kathy is currently serving on the Green Roof Advisory Group to the City of Austin and is the Chair of the U.S. Green Building Council's National Chapter Steering Committee. In addition to raising two future entomologists, Kathy speaks regularly on sustainable communities, green roofs, social media and collaborative networks.
Michael Dungan’s work is dedicated to discovering new abundance in our community by reclassifying waste as an asset. Through his consultancy APISync, the community project ZeroLandfill, and the online marketplace BeeDance, Michael is disrupting the status quo and bringing new understanding to the role of waste in our society. In nature, a lot of waste is generated, yet nothing is wasted. Human centered systems have every opportunity to mimic this core principal.
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