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Bioleadership: It’s in our nature!

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By nature.

Bioleadership seeks to understand the majesty of nature and incorporate these advanced systems and processes into our own, human-made designs.

The bioeconomy looks to nature as the mother of all innovation. How might we try borrowing from nature when it comes to a problem we are trying to solve?... Growth? Harmonised teams? Designing out waste?

Write it down.

Consider: which natural system in the world around us might we seek to imitate in our work?

Practice: paying attention to the operating systems of nature

Decide to: intentionally find a cue from the natural world and apply it to a human system in your working world

The bioeconomy. It's in our nature.

Janine Benyus, a biologist and one of the leaders of the global biomimicry movement, points out: ‘When we look at what is truly sustainable, the only real model that has worked over long periods of time is the natural world’.

The greatest challenge we face today is the need to progress the evolution of a new economic system. When we consider growth through a natural lens, we think fundamentally differently than when we view it through the traditional leadership (or capitalist) model of getting bigger, going faster, being busier.

The prevailing corporate structure is one of competing and racing and consuming in siloes where we don’t connect our actions beyond our immediate productivity system/loop. Nature, by contrast, grows in cycles. The seasons hold expansion and decline. Waste and compost also become part of growth. Nature is fiercely competitive, but in a way that maintains the balance of the whole, that doesn’t allow the overall ecosystem to degrade. While humans maximise, nature optimises, its natural restorative properties allow for rejuvenation and renewal… something we could learn from! And there’s a movement gaining traction that argues bio-leadership is the right way forward – and perhaps the only one.

Sketch by Italian artist Alfred Basha captures the complexity of natural life.

Have fun exploring the answers inherent in our nature this week!

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