A Ted Talk by Prashant Dhawan the co-founder of Biomimicry India Network. Biomimicry is an approach to innovation that seeks sustainable solutions to human challenges by emulating nature’s time-tested patterns and strategies.
What is it?
Dhawan talks about smart cities. He thinks it’s strange that we call lot’s of different things examples of smart cities when they do not have a lot in common. Technology, water systems, mobility can all have smart elements, but to speak of a smart city there must be something that binds them together. It can not be just human-centred, economy centred or technology centred. It must be life centred. That’s where biomimicry comes in. In order for a city to become smart, we must look at what we can learn from nature.
Why is it interesting?
It’s refreshing when someone doesn’t join in with the ranks and looks at the world from an original perspective. In Dhawan’s case, nature is the key. He gives the example of a forest with a very complex ecosystem and no planning whatsoever but it still thrives. To take this concept and put it in a city may be more difficult than Dhawan predicts. But he feels that interaction, relationships and constant feedback are the keys. Not planning commissions and masterplans. The whole planning process must be like a breath. It feels like a huge challenge, but certainly worth spending some (or a lot) of thoughts on.
Key take away:
“We no longer will allow any product, process or system to be called smart until it meets the criteria that it creates conditions coinciding with life”