Conversation Fragments - Experiment! Grant Hypothesis "Innovations based on biomimicry diffuse fastest to late adopters in a market"

Dear all - trying to share a conversation happening in several spaces which you might enjoy. The conversation is part of a journey towards a bold research proposal to the VW Foundation (see https://www.volkswagenstiftung.de/en/funding/our-funding-portfolio-at-a-glance/experiment) in September (TU Berlin leading the proposal along with Uni Lisbon and Maynooth Uni at the moment). The consortium for this call is "jelling" very slowly since we are focused on the cyber safety proposal, and it will need to have a small core team that is ready to commit significant time and thought to the proposal writing effort itself - let me know if you are interested but beware that this will be a lot of work in the next months.

Do share your thoughts here - maybe we can actually co-create a coherent description of the journey :)

Piero is currently deeply exploring the voice of nature in innovation and shared:

"The time of ecological crises is marked by the stories of the human species which, interacting with technology, interferes with nature. In the terrain of economics, agility and complexity of mind combined with agile three-dimensional robots and 3D printers that can build complex things are narrative themes that will point us in the direction of change as it progresses. By inventing our course, will we march differently from the past? Yes, once grasped and mastered the irregularity of the landscape. The terrain comes into sight as a vast plain dotted with numerous holes of ignorance interrupted by hills of knowledge. Reason alone, which features wells of specialized knowledge, can do little to map and explore those holes. There is need for transdisciplinarity – that which promotes encounters and integration of different knowledge maps, giving rise to innovative solutions, hybrid in nature and not attributable to a single, particular body of knowledge. Passion, imagination and irrationality are prerequisites for this work. The Enlightenment, which emphasized the empire of reason, did not neglect them. Those who explore have the personality of the fox depicted by Isaiah Berlin (1909-1997) who transformed into a metaphor a saying initially attributed to the Greek poet Archilochus (680 ca. 645 BC): "The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing". In the words of the philosopher and historian of ideas, those geographers and explorers pursue many ends, often unrelated and even contradictory, seizing upon the essence of accomplished experiences of a vast variety, compounded of heterogeneous elements."

My response:

"Is not every innovation journey the narrative of a change diffusing along multiple paths through the territory of nature? And if so, then the economic maps for navigating this journey are poor abstractions of the territory that confuse more than leading forward in a safe way. 

Is not the change aspired by the idea only sustainable if it represents a symbiosis driven by true empathy between the biosphere and the econosphere? And if so, does that partnership not actually already exist between man and nature, but has been hidden away by a social paradigm of economic greed? Instead of planting the tree that will feed our children and whose fruit we will no longer see, we steal the fruit from others´trees to have a feast today....

3-D printing technology is a wonderful example - it allows us to emulate the designs of nature for solutions more superior than those we have come up with to date in many ways. For example instead of "solid" components in aerospace we can create "metallic networks" that are sturdier / lighter and thus reduce carbon footprint of air travel. 

So when we face a challenge does it not make sense to be creatively ignorant and explore the territory of nature for wells of knowledge that take us on shorter paths to our goals? To recognize that we may be wandering aimlessly in circles in the trough between dunes, becoming weaker and weaker in the strong sun of the econosphere.... while salvation lies only a little distance away on the other side of the dune?

By recognizing the symbiotic nature of ideas and partnering in empathy with the biosphere on our journey we learn that we must let go of the short term industrial paradigms in preference of collaboration at that speed which allows the while system to evolve in comfort - and not only parts of it which then continuously reduce the structural integrity of the world we live in until it breaks....

How can we describe the challenge we are facing in the form of a hypothesis to investigate and design experiments around?"

Any thoughts? Any good examples of here biomimicry led to successfull innovations that diffused rapidly?

P.S. If you are interested in learning more please visit us at www.innovation-web.eu, our LinkedIn Group at https://www.linkedin.com/groups/8779542/, our blog at https://www.innovation-web.eu/entov-hvm-blog, our Researchgate project page at https://www.researchgate.net/project/Open-European-Network-for-Enterprise-Innovation-in-High-Value-Manufacturing-ENTOV-HVM, our Sourceforge page at https://sourceforge.net/projects/entov-hvm/  and our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/2014779865300180/. You can also follow us via Twitter: @owschwabe (#innovationweb) and the LinkedIn Group page https://www.linkedin.com/company/entov.

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