3.8 billion years and counting, that’s the age of planet Earth. Mother Nature has had all that time to innovate. Biomimicry is the approach that mankind can use to apply these time-tested solutions to our man-made lives.

Efficiencies designed by nature have already been applied to high-speed trains that are pulled along by locomotives with the shape of kingfisher birds. In Japan, Everyone living near train stations heard the loud booms whenever the train exited the tunnels. Air pushed along the tunnels as trains sped through. Literally exploded once free of the tunnel.

In 1990, an engineer who was also a birdwatcher wondered if redesigning the locomotive like a kingfisher whose long beak allowed it to dive into water without a splash would help. Not only did the booms disappear, but the aerodynamic design made trains 10-15% more efficient.

Have you ever wondered where peacock feathers get their color? Structural design of the feathers causes light to be refracted resulting in different wavelengths (or colors) to be reflected. Instead of applying color as we human’s do, nature’s solution is to use the laws of physics.

By emulating the systems that Mother Nature has designed we humans can create futures that sustain all life on the planet. The next time you’re looking to innovate in your business, you may well want to ask, “What would nature do?”

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