Biomimicry Fall Event Series

A young alligator entertains attendees.

This fall, the San Diego Zoo is playing host to a series of events highlighting business and research in the emerging field of biomimicry, or designs inspired by nature. We are excited to report that the first event in a series of three was a great success! We welcomed Pete Foley, associate director of the Cognitive Science Group at Procter & Gamble, to speak on the subject of biomimicry, innovation, and sustainability. His talk was entitled, “Innovating for Sustainability: How we can leverage scale and bio-inspiration to create innovative and sustainable products, services, and business practices.”

The sold-out event was hosted in the beautiful Treetops Meeting Room, right near Albert’s Restaurant, and featured an animal presentation (starring Laveau the American alligator), wine and cheese, networking opportunities, and Mr. Foley’s fascinating presentation. The event began at 5:30 p.m., so guests were treated to an after-hours view of the facilities. They were guided down Easy Street from the Zoo entrance to Treetops, strolling through exotic flora and past the bright (and noisy) pink flamingos. Refreshments were served, cheese platters were laid out, and Mr. Foley escorted everyone into the world of biomimicry, a world in which slime molds effectively plan cities, and life history strategies give insights into new markets.

The success of these events is very exciting for the San Diego Zoo and our biomimicry efforts. It means we have the chance to reach a broad audience and reinforce our position as a leader in the global biomimicry movement. Bringing together established industry leaders and our extensive plant and animal collection under the umbrella of biomimicry allows for a new outlook on design and manufacturing: one that was inspired by nature. By inviting guests to walk through our facilities, meet our special animal ambassadors, and listen to speakers on how products can be both innovative and sustainable, we hope to spread the word of biomimicry and really enforce our conservation, education, and recreation mission.

Our next event will be held on Wednesday, October 27, when we welcome Cheryl Goodman, director of marketing for Qualcomm MEMS Technologies, Inc. She will be giving an exciting talk that showcases mirasol®, a display technology by Qualcomm inspired by the light-scattering wings of the morpho butterfly. To register for this event or to learn more about biomimicry you can visit the biomimicry section of our Web site. Please join us!

Dena Emmerson is a biomimicry research assistant at the San Diego Zoo. Read her previous post, Kingfishers and Bullet Trains.

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