Tag Archives: regenerative business

Set your internal program guide to the positive

Adapted from “Set your internal program guide to the positive…” in September’s issue of Regenerative Thinking in Action.

Recent research into how our brains work is increasingly proving we see what we’re looking for. The continuing story of InterfaceFLOR’s sustainability journey is a great positive to tune in to, as told in their recent update on how they’re building community wealth in the Pacific by turning old fishing net into new carpet tiles.

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Business innovation supplied by nature…

(Adapted from “Copying nature – biomimicry and business success…” in our September newsletter)

Back in the 19th century the human race got hooked into chemical and mechanical engineering. We developed steam power and learned to make soap in quantity, then later fell in love with petrochemicals.

While these have been useful tools to a point, their side effects are showing up as increasingly damaging. Biomimcry is showing up as a new source of innovation for both product and systems design.

“Biomimicry is studying a leaf to invent better solar cell, or a coral reef to make more resilient company. The core idea is that nature has already solved many of the problems we are grappling with: energy, food production, climate control, benign chemistry, transportation, collaboration, and more.” Janine Benyus – A Biomimicry Primer

Heat, beat and poison…

Mechanical and chemical engineering practices and their mindsets have been foundational in the technologies we use today – however new developments are emerging that will increasingly make these resource-hungry oldsters out-of-date.

Copying nature…

Biomimicry

We’ve become increasingly aware in recent decades that nature does some pretty amazing things at room temperature and ambient pressure. We use massive heat and pressure to turn non-renewable petrochemicals into Kevlar – but a spider makes a super strong web in it’s stomach AND using flies as a highly renewable input.

Physics and biology are showing up as rich sources of innovation and invention for developing not only smarter products, but smarter systems.

Biomimicry can operate at one of three levels:

  • Copying natural form – for example, copying the beak of a kingfisher to re-design the nose of a bullet train.
  • Mimicking natural processes – using vortexes to purify water the way rivers do, instead of mechanical filters or damaging chemicals
  • Copying natural ecosystems to develop regional models conducive to life.

This new source of design inspiration is exactly that – inspiring. Find out more about biomimicry from: http://www.asknature.org/ (Just watch the front banner cycle through different innovations to get a feel for the possible.)

Remember also that the core principle of true biomimicry is the development of solutions conducive to life. You can have a bio-inspired product like velcro – however if you make it from petrochemicals, you’re not really practicing biomimicry.

For some great examples of how biomimicry is being used in the world today, explore some of the case studies of The Blue Economy: http://www.theblueeconomy.org/blue/Innovations.html

High class communicators listen differently…

“High class communicators take the responsibility to interpret the understanding of their audience in order to be understood the way they want to be understood.”  Alan Sieler – Newfield Institute.

I resat Newfield Institute’s 3-day Ontological Coaching In Action workshop last week.   Ontological Coaching is an ongoing practice – like yoga – that helps me be more grounded, balanced and flexible.  One thing that stood out for me as particularly important for regenerative business innovators was a discussion about “listening for clarity and from clarity”. Continue reading

Is attack your last option – or your only strategy?

(First published in “Regenerative Thinking in Action” – April 2014)

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
– Richard Buckminster Fuller

Are you in automatic fight mode?

One of our great modern philosophers – Humberto Maturana – has commented, that we live in an age where society’s prevailing mood is one of aggression.  One of the implications of this is that we can get trapped in the assumption that the way to change a system is to fight it. Continue reading

Collaborative Consumption and the Sharing Economy

(First published in “Regenerative Thinking in Action” – April 2014)

A different aspect of the shift to regenerative thinking is the development of a group of value-sharing initiatives that leverage the Internet to deliver value. In their book “What’s Mine is Yours”, Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers identify different forms of collaborative consumption systems including:

  • Product service –  based on users paying for the benefit of using a product without needing to own the product outright.
  • Redistribution – where used or pre-owned goods are passed on from someone who does not want them to someone who does.
  • Collaborative lifestyles – where people with similar needs get together to share and exchange time, space, skills and other intangibles.

Rachel Botsman explains Collaborative Consumption in this TED Talk:

If you’re interested to investigate further, here’s a list of some of the Australian initiatives from planetcentric.

We’re heavily habituated to owning what we need, so exploring for collaborative alternatives can be another way to leverage the opportunity side of regenerative business.  If you need help in developing a new strategic perspective, then Contact Us.

Learned Helplessness: a recipe for sustainability INACTION?

Back in the 1960s, psychology researcher Martin Seligman and his team discovered how to create helplessness and passivity – first in animals and later in humans.  Some sustainability campaigners could learn an important lesson from his research about how to present their message so it generates action rather than helplessness. Continue reading

Galileo, heresy, physics and the emerging regenerative economy…

Many years ago, the subject History and Philosophy of Science was a required subject in my undergraduate degree.  In it I learned about Galileo – the Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher who championed heliocentrism – the then controversial proposition that the earth went around the sun.  The mindset change he championed resonates strongly with the shift to regenerative thinking. Continue reading