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Reimagining the Future The Biomimetic Economy 
Ryan Church I Ksenia Benifand I Nihal Ahmed 
OCAD University MDes, Strategic Foresight & Innovation
What is Biomimicry? A science that studies nature's models and then uses these designs and processes to solve human problems. 
2
Why Biomimicry? Nature has been dealing with dynamic change for more than 3.8 billion years. 
3
Research Purpose 
Explore how Biomimicry design principals can be applied to our economic system. 
4
The Challenge 
Businesses today are poorly prepared to deal with unexpected adverse social, environmental, and economic impacts. 
5
6
Design Principles 
Resilience 
Optimizing 
7 
Adaptive 
Systems Based 
Value Based 
Life Supporting 
Source: Biomimicry for Creative Innovation (BCI)
Three Horizons 
Time 
Prevalence 
H3 
H2 
H1 
Source: Anthony Hodgson 
8
Type I System 
10 
H1
Type II System 
11 
H2
Type III System 
12 
H3
Kalundborg Ecopark 
13 
First full realization of industrial symbiosis. Companies collaborate to virtually eliminate waste, and use the by-products and waste as net new input.
14
Circular Economy 
New way of thinking about material flows, production and patterns of consumption. 
15
16 
Underutilized Assets
17
Diverse Economies 
In nature, successful ecosystems expand through diversity. Diverse economies also expand in a rich environment, created by diverse use and reuse of goods and services. 
18 
Adapted from Jacobs, J., 2000
Import Stretching 
New value is added to an existing good or “import” and is turned into a new product for export. 
19 
Adapted from Jacobs, J., 2000
Case Study Rent your jeans for a year, after that you have 3 options: 1) keep it, 2) switch it, 3) send back. 
20
Import Replacement 
Developing capacity to make things locally that used to be imported from afar. 
21 
Adapted from Jacobs, J., 2000
Case Study 
Icelandic company using fish scales for fashion forward shoes and clothing. 
22
Three Horizons 
Time 
Prevalence 
H3 
H2 
H1 
Source: Anthony Hodgson 
23 
Circular Economy
Next Steps 
•Rethinking product design and production 
•Fostering collaborative relationships across value chains 
•Socializing new modes of consumption 
24 
Adapted from Jacobs, J., 2000
"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.“ 
- Albert Einstein 
25
Thank You! 
Ryan Church - newton.davinci@gmail.com @BiomeDesign 
Ksenia Benifand - ksenia@aeonstrategies.com @KBenifand 
Nihal Ahmed - nihalahmed@live.in @iNihalAhmed 
26

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Reimagining the Future: The Biomimetic Economy

  • 1. Reimagining the Future The Biomimetic Economy Ryan Church I Ksenia Benifand I Nihal Ahmed OCAD University MDes, Strategic Foresight & Innovation
  • 2. What is Biomimicry? A science that studies nature's models and then uses these designs and processes to solve human problems. 2
  • 3. Why Biomimicry? Nature has been dealing with dynamic change for more than 3.8 billion years. 3
  • 4. Research Purpose Explore how Biomimicry design principals can be applied to our economic system. 4
  • 5. The Challenge Businesses today are poorly prepared to deal with unexpected adverse social, environmental, and economic impacts. 5
  • 6. 6
  • 7. Design Principles Resilience Optimizing 7 Adaptive Systems Based Value Based Life Supporting Source: Biomimicry for Creative Innovation (BCI)
  • 8. Three Horizons Time Prevalence H3 H2 H1 Source: Anthony Hodgson 8
  • 10. Type II System 11 H2
  • 12. Kalundborg Ecopark 13 First full realization of industrial symbiosis. Companies collaborate to virtually eliminate waste, and use the by-products and waste as net new input.
  • 13. 14
  • 14. Circular Economy New way of thinking about material flows, production and patterns of consumption. 15
  • 16. 17
  • 17. Diverse Economies In nature, successful ecosystems expand through diversity. Diverse economies also expand in a rich environment, created by diverse use and reuse of goods and services. 18 Adapted from Jacobs, J., 2000
  • 18. Import Stretching New value is added to an existing good or “import” and is turned into a new product for export. 19 Adapted from Jacobs, J., 2000
  • 19. Case Study Rent your jeans for a year, after that you have 3 options: 1) keep it, 2) switch it, 3) send back. 20
  • 20. Import Replacement Developing capacity to make things locally that used to be imported from afar. 21 Adapted from Jacobs, J., 2000
  • 21. Case Study Icelandic company using fish scales for fashion forward shoes and clothing. 22
  • 22. Three Horizons Time Prevalence H3 H2 H1 Source: Anthony Hodgson 23 Circular Economy
  • 23. Next Steps •Rethinking product design and production •Fostering collaborative relationships across value chains •Socializing new modes of consumption 24 Adapted from Jacobs, J., 2000
  • 24. "Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.“ - Albert Einstein 25
  • 25. Thank You! Ryan Church - newton.davinci@gmail.com @BiomeDesign Ksenia Benifand - ksenia@aeonstrategies.com @KBenifand Nihal Ahmed - nihalahmed@live.in @iNihalAhmed 26