Ecocentricity Blog: Dreaming Big

Oct 25, 2017 11:00 AM ET

Ecocentricity Blog: Dreaming Big

What if they’re successful beyond our wildest dreams?

I’m talking about the teams in the latest cohort of the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge. You can read more about the Ray of Hope Prize® winner and our time out at Bioneers in our press release here, but in this post I want to reflect on all of the teams and the potential impact they could have.

Let’s start with B-All out of Colombia. If they’re wildly successful, they’ll pioneer a solution for providing balanced nutrition to communities impacted by disasters, all without generating waste. You know how an apple comes pre-packaged with its own protective, edible coating? What if we packaged entire meals in the same way, with a business model geared towards making them available to communities in crisis?

Evolution’s Solutions is working in San Diego to create ANSA (the Autonomous Nutrient Supply Alternative). They want to make organic farming practices easy and reliable for hydroponic systems, most of which currently use synthetic (fossil-fuel based) nutrient supplies. If they’re wildly successful, they’ll unlock organics for hydroponics, which could be a game-changer in shifting our agricultural sector away from current and harmful industrial practices.

NexLoop, based in New York City, is trying to capture and store water from rain and fog, making it accessible for urban agricultural purposes. If they’re wildly successful, passive water capture and storage will be fully integrated into our built environment and usable for a wide range of purposes. Nature is an expert in capturing nearby water. Why don’t we ask the same of our buildings?

ShareEET wants to shift how people think about food scarcity and food waste. These two women, based in the United Kingdom, plan to offer workshops and pop-up restaurants designed around the concepts of sharing and sufficiency. If they’re wildly successful, we will see a culture shift in dining practices, where people understand that “enough is as good as a feast.”   Slant is a team out of Chile that is developing an application to reconnect urbanites to local farms and food providers. What if you could bypass the supermarket entirely, finding everything you would want from local farmers right on your mobile device? If they’re wildly successful, they will create a scalable model for how cities can reliably support local, sustainable and small-scale agriculture.   Finally, WindChill has innovated a passive refrigeration device with great promise for the developing world. By capturing low-speed winds and then utilizing evaporative and geothermal cooling, WindChill’s product could preserve food without electricity. If they’re wildly successful, they will transform the refrigeration industry by unshackling it from energy-hungry machines that are stuffed full of HFC greenhouse gases.   Will they be wildly successful? We’ll have to wait and see. These dedicated men and women have worked incredibly hard, and they have a lot of hard work still in front of them. But with nature as their guide and their brilliance on full display, I know that I wouldn’t bet against them!   So how about you? Do you have an idea for a biomimetic innovation that could help solve our next challenge of climate change? If so, we’d love to see you enter the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge. Good luck!