The world of business is evolving—no big surprise. One can observe the shift in sentiments that is taking place where for-profit companies are now expected to have a social strategy that takes into account the environment and community. Young and old, consumers have begun to pay attention to how products are made, how the company incorporates charity, and what they are doing to improve our world. Companies face the challenge of how to accomplish a social initiative in a smart way. Everyone agrees this is a good idea, yet the lingering question is execution. How can you “do well by doing good?”
Corporations have the opportunity to positively impact the future of our world both through product development and in end usage. I believe corporate give-back policies can expand to conservation, given the organizations working around the globe to preserve habitat and species. As the Green movement has raised awareness, now it’s time to take another step toward tangible results, toward accountability and effectiveness of contributions.
Where to find these solutions? There is an abundance of solutions waiting to be observed in our natural world. Biomimicry in many ways is a type of “tipping point,” defined by author Malcolm Gladwell. It offers a library of small things that lead to large change. The very fact that small organisms can inspire revolutionary technological advancements is a perfect portrayal of Mr. Gladwell’s definition. Each industry is facing unique challenges in the evolving world of business—biomimicry can provide a bridge in understanding. In both observing and giving back to nature, companies can truly live their commitment to social good.
Claire Wathen is a biomimicry assistant at the San Diego Zoo. Read a previous post about biomimicry, We Can Learn from Nature.