Bioneers 2008: The San Diego Zoo Leads the Way in Biomimicry

San Diego zoo photo

Photo via Joe Gets a Camera

A major component of Bioneers is the field of biomimicry. Janine Benyus was a keynote speaker, there was a full-day intensive on the subject, and several workshops. And so it was necessary for the leaders in biomimicry to be present. They were.

The San Diego Zoo was represented at Bioneers and I was able to speak with Jon Prange, Venture Business Manager, about the zoo's role in biomimicry.The city of San Diego is striving to be a leader in biotechnology, and sitting at their doorstep is a perfect place to study the world's flora and fauna - the San Diego Zoo. The zoo recognized its key role and has actively embraced being part of the research. As Prange mentioned, there are three major bonuses for being involved.

First, there is a big boost in education. People have to learn about animals and plants in order to be effective in the industry. And with that education comes an appreciation. To facilitate this, the zoo is working closely with High Tech High, a high school whose focus for 2009 is biomicry.

Second, there is the corporate shift. The zoo becomes a laboratory for innovation for companies heading the way to improved technology. The zoo invites companies in for learning expieriences, helping to strengthen the connection between what they're accomplishing and the resources the zoo has to offer.

And the thrid element is perhaps one of the most vital. As people realize that nature holds the answers, and look towards plants and animals for solutions, there comes a realization that we cannot lose these resources. With biomimicry comes a huge push to save endangered species. By opening its doors, the San Diego Zoo gains enormous support for its work in rescuing endangered and threatened plants and animals.

Biomimicry is a broad field, with every animal and plant holding some secret that can make our technologies greener and more sustainable. So who better to join up with the science than the world's largest zoo?

More on Bioneers 2008:
Bioneers 2008: How to Use Digital Media for Environmental Activism - Advice from the Experts
Bioneers 2008: High Tech High Students Creating Our Future
Bioneers 2008: Familiar Faces – Interface Carpets, WiserEarth, Nepalese Paper and More
Bioneers 2008: Mark Sommer Creates Educasts for Mobile Learning
Bioneers 2008: Opening Speech by Kenny Ausubel
Bioneers 2008: Nature and Technology Joining Forces
Bioneers 2008: A Green Conference Standard
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