Biomimicry and the Networked             World:Where Nature and Innovation Meet                    By Gianluigi Cuccureddu...
Biomimicry and the Networked World: Where Nature and Innovation MeetBiomimicry is defined as follow:Biomimicry or biomimet...
The threat lies in the time aspect, adapt too slow and others will cannibalize your share.Product and industry life cycles...
external stakeholders. But also think of convergence and its impact on multiple industries,for instance the TV industry, b...
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Biomimicry and the Networked World: Where Nature and Innovation Meet

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It will be a matter of time when biomimicry will invade the co-creation space. It is all about people and behaviour, about relationships and influences between entities and its environment. Now that the business landscape has opened up, both organisations and target audiences have newly acquired influences upon each other and new symbiotic opportunities (and challenges) to be aware and learn from.

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Biomimicry and the Networked World: Where Nature and Innovation Meet

  1. 1. Biomimicry and the Networked World:Where Nature and Innovation Meet By Gianluigi Cuccureddu March 21st, 2011 Discuss and feedback this article on the 90:10 Group blog Head of 90:10 Group Netherlands CMO Agora Media Innovation Connect through LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/in/gianluigicuccureddu Tel: +31 (0)6 41362612
  2. 2. Biomimicry and the Networked World: Where Nature and Innovation MeetBiomimicry is defined as follow:Biomimicry or biomimetics is the examination of nature, its models, systems, processes,and elements to emulate or take inspiration from in order to solve human problems. Theterm biomimicry and biomimetics come from the Greek words bios, meaning life, and mimesis,meaning to imitate. Other terms often used are bionics, bio-inspiration, and biognosis.I’d go a step further and include the cosmic level as well, cosmic laws are the hardboundaries, the pre-conditions where nature is an outcome of its laws.This field of science is gaining traction and offers us learnings acquired through the billionsof years of existence. It’s often used in Design and the more materialised disciplines, have alook at these 15 examples.Co-creation applicationIt will be a matter of time when biomimicry will invade the co-creation space. It is all aboutpeople and behaviour, about relationships and influences between entities and itsenvironment. Now that the business landscape has opened up, both organisations and targetaudiences have newly acquired influences upon each other and new symbiotic opportunities(and challenges) to be aware and learn from.Four examples of biomimicry that apply on social media and the open environment:Dragonfly effectA well-known application of nature on social media is the Dragonfly Effect by JenniferAaker and Andy Smith:The dragonfly is the only insect able to propel itself in any direction when its four wings areworking in concert. It symbolizes the importance of integrated effect and is akin to the rippleeffect—a term used in economics, sociology, and psychology to indicate how small acts cancreate big change. To us, the Dragonfly Effect shows how synchronized ideas can be used tocreate rapid transformations through social media.Survival of the most adaptableThis one seems to easy, but it’s important to really understand this axiom and the changingbusiness environment. ―Survival of the most adaptable‖ is perfectly in lign with theopportunities and threats that are brought upon.Organisations that understand their target audience quickly and know how to infiltrate thatknowledge into the internal organisation have the opportunity to be truly customer-centric,in an efficient way, creating a real symbiotic and reciprocal relation.
  3. 3. The threat lies in the time aspect, adapt too slow and others will cannibalize your share.Product and industry life cycles become shorter and are more steep, imposing organisationsto adapt as quickly and as relevantly as possible. The other challenge is that most of theknowledge in social media is open to everyone. Competitive intelligence is free and out inthe open, if competitors understand an organisation’s brand and perception, this will layeven more pressure to evolve faster and uniquely.Immune systemBesides laws from the natural order, metaphysics also kick in when talking about theimmune system.The Eastern once said that the outside is a reflexion of the inside. This is in lign with the factthat the brand is in hands of the customers, not by the organisation self. When there areinternal flaws, in the open environment this will have a quick effect on brand perception andportfolio performance. A healthy organisation is able to thrive better, harnessed against theconstant flux of external demands and changing trends.Another example is how the Roman spirit dissolved when soldiers came into contact withforeign beliefs, for instance Mithraic religion that infiltrated Romanity. When once ―DNA‖ isbeing altered and challenged, i.e. a person isn’t a fully convinced embassador of its ownbelief (both mission- and vision statement) the organisation, be that a person, anorganisation up to a complete empire, is being weakened from the inside. People are ones’most important asset. This relates to cyclic involution, understanding this is a phase whichwill or most probably occur to anyone or anything, makes forecasting or scenario planning―easier‖ and be able to deal better with it.EcotoneIn a world of widely distributed knowledge, organisations can’t and shouldn’t want to relyon internal research solely. First of all because it can’t benefit from experience andknowledge from other sources/stakeholders. Secondly because this adheres the concept ofan ecotone:An ecotone is a transition area between two adjacent but different patches of landscape,such as forest and grassland. It may be narrow or wide, and it may be local (the zonebetween a field and forest) or regional (the transition between forest and grasslandecosystems). An ecotone may appear on the ground as a gradual blending of the twocommunities across a broad area, or it may manifest itself as a sharp boundary line.The word ecotone was coined from a combination of eco(logy) plus -tone, from the Greektonos or tension – in other words, a place where ecologies are in tension.These are the places where much innovation occurs, being a convergence and collision oftwo systems, affecting each other and generating new ideas and outcomes. This is in lignwith the concept of open innovation.Because knowledge is distributed and each has its own background and experience,colliding this for innovation is an effect to claim the reciprocal relation between internal and
  4. 4. external stakeholders. But also think of convergence and its impact on multiple industries,for instance the TV industry, being affected by others as well, being forced to transform andadapt in order to survive.Think also about multi-disciplinary teams where each his or her unique expertise are fusedinto a team, getting the most out of a group of individuals.Explanatory or exploratory?Biomimicry does both. In the cases above it explains, the second step would be tounderstand the outcomes of such processes to forecast the effect. The exploration side wouldbe taking into account the natural and cosmic in business. This can range from microprocesses internally, a single person, internal and external behaviour of an organisation,PLC’s to complete industries and macro-economic topics.Humans and its complex nature aren’t alien or immune to these laws, even if modern lifemay let us think that. Our ancestors were able to intertwine cosmos and nature in to theirdaily lives and business, adhering and respecting the opportunities they gave.The examples showed this and something as human-centric as the networked worldcan benefit of biomimicry.

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