Janine Benyus is a biologist, innovation consultant, and author of six books, including Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature. In Biomimicry, she named an emerging discipline that emulates nature’s designs and processes (e.g., solar cells that mimic leaves) to create a healthier, more sustainable planet.
In 1998, Janine co-founded Biomimicry 3.8, the world’s leading nature-inspired innovation and training firm, bringing nature’s sustainable designs to 250+ clients including BNIM Architects, Boeing, Colgate-Palmolive, Covanta, General Electric, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Herman Miller, HOK architects, IDEO, Interface, Jaguar Land Rover, Kohler, Levi’s, Natura, Nike, Procter and Gamble, and General Mills. In the built world, B3.8 is known for their Genius of Place process and for Ecological Performance Standards, a metric that challenges cities to produce ecosystem services at levels that meet or exceed those provided by the native ecosystem.
In 2006, Janine co-founded The Biomimicry Institute, a non-profit that empowers people to create nature-inspired solutions. The Biomimicry Institute runs annual Design Challenges, a Global Network of over 9500 members, and AskNature.org, the award-winning bio-inspiration site for inventors. Once a field without a name, biomimicry is now taught at hundreds of universities, including the newly launched Biomimicry Center at Arizona State University, a research and education facility offering the world’s first Master’s Degree in biomimicry.
Janine has personally introduced millions to the meme of biomimicry through two TED talks, hundreds of conference keynotes, and a dozen documentaries such as 11th Hour, Harmony, and The Nature of Things with David Suzuki, which aired in 71 countries. Her awards include the 2015 Edward O. Wilson Biodiversity Technology Pioneer Award, the 2013 Gothenburg Award for Sustainable Development, The 2011 Heinz Award, Time Magazine’s 2008 Hero for the Planet Award, the 2009 United Nations Environment Programme’s Champion of the Earth for Science and Technology, and the Rachel Carson Environmental Ethics Award. In 2010, BusinessWeek named Janine one of the World’s Most Influential Designers. In 2012, she received the Smithsonian Institution’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Mind Award, for visionary work with a “paradigm-shifting effect on the world of design.”
An educator at heart, Janine believes that the more people learn from nature’s mentors, the more they’ll want to protect them. This is why she writes, speaks, and revels in describing the wild teachers in our midst.