The natural serial entrepreneur
- By Jean Oelwang -
- Jun 18, 2012
I have the wonderful privilege of working for one of the world’s most inspirational entrepreneurs, but sorry Richard, there is someone else that trumps you - Mother Nature.
For three billion years Mother Nature, or Gaia as James Lovelock fondly calls her, has been using her entrepreneurial energy to build the natural wonders that keep us alive and in awe every single day. Her oceans, forests and soil gently absorb all the carbon we throw at her, her complex ecosystems connect all living things and keep them healthy and her beautiful natural assets fill our lives with wonder.
What if we looked at everything we did in the world through Gaia’s lens? What if we created businesses built on her wisdom? There is a wonderful movement called bio-mimicry that is doing just that. Imagine a building built to mimic termite mounds that uses a system of air vents to keep the mound at exactly 87 degrees. The Eastgate Centre in Zimbabwe does just that and was able to save over $3.5m on an air conditioning system, use only 10% of the energy of a building of its size and thus have 20% lower rental rates – with the added bonus of fresh air!
Leaders like Jayne Benyus are bringing this new field to life and helping to stem the up to $4 trillion US we lose in natural assets each year. Every single major ecosystem is in decline, so if we don’t start listening and learning from Gaia, the very systems that keep us alive will disappear. Check out Janine’s TED talk at www.ted.com and see loads more wonderful examples of the ultimate serial entrepreneur, Gaia.
Looking forward to hopefully seeing her natural entrepreneurial energy shine at Rio+20 this week!
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