Challenge Support Webinars

Jump-start your nature-inspired innovation.

We know that tackling something as huge and complex as our food system is no small feat and we're here to help. This series of webinars will get you ready to create your best nature-inspired food system innovation for the 2015 Challenge. We'll bring together experts in biomimicry, food, business and more, so you can:

  • Hear about key food and agriculture issues.

  • Learn how to find natural models and translate biological strategies into a design.

  • Get a chance to ask Challenge staff all of your burning questions.

How to Join

Access all webinars at, at the times scheduled below.

In order to join, you will need to install the Cisco WebEx software (it's free and you will be prompted to do so the first time you join). Please plan ahead and do this in advance of the webinar so that you will not be delayed in joining. Audio for the webinars will be broadcast over VoIP. For the best experience, use the speakers and mic on your computer or device and ensure that you have enough internet bandwidth to accommodate both audio and video.

Each webinar will be offered twice, to accomodate diverse time zones. All webinars have been scheduled in U.S. mountain time, due to our home office location in Missoula, Montana. We suggest using an online timezone calculator to confirm the local time at your location. The website has a helpful tool.


Challenge Kickoff

February 12 & 13, 2015

Ready, set, innovate! Join staff from the Biomimicry Institute to learn all about the 2015 Biomimicry Global Design Challenge. This hour-long webinar recording covers all the nuts and bolts of this year's Challenge, including how to enter, Challenge requirements, and what you'll need to know to submit your innovation. We'll also share a variety of tips and resources available to help make your design strong.

Food System Challenges and Opportunities

March 17 & 18*

The food system is large and incredibly complex. Where will you focus your efforts? This webinar will feature Nathanael Johnson, author and food writer at Grist, who will provide an introduction to some of the most pressing needs and opportunities for innovation in the food system. Afterward, we'll discuss some important factors to consider as you zero in on a specific challenge to work on, and best practices for beginning a biomimicry design process.

Finding Inspiration in Nature

April 7 & 8*, 2015

Nature's genius surrounds us. This webinar will equip you to find natural models that fit the design challenge you are working on. Learn the most effective ways to use our award-winning resource for biological inspiration, AskNature, as well as other strategies for finding inspiration in nature.

Applying Nature's Unifying Patterns

May 5 & 6*, 2015

Nature's unifying patterns are an attempt to identify overarching lessons in the natural world that have profound implications for what and how we design. These patterns are informed by context and constraints within the natural world, and provide a unique way to approach and think about a design challenge. This webinar will introduce the patterns and provide examples for how they can be incorporated into your design process.

From Inspiration to Application

May 27 & 28*, 2015

One of the most challenging and important steps in biomimicry is the translation of biological strategies into design strategies that can be applied to your design. In this webinar we'll provide guidance for effectively and accurately doing so.

Presented by: Sherry Ritter, Certified Biomimicry Professional

Applying the Systems View

June 16 & 17*, 2015

Designs, organizations, and biology are all composed of systems. Being knowledgeable about and aware of system interconnections can help you optimize design outcomes while considering Earth's operating systems. This webinar will introduce systems thinking and provide guidance for evaluating your design through a systems lens.

Presented by: Curt McNamara, M.Eng, P.E., faculty at Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and Biomimicry Fellow

Biomimicry and Business Planning

July 7 & 8*, 2015

Biomimicry is a powerful force for sustainable innovation. However, the reality is that many innovative ideas, biomimetic or not, do not find success in the market--some because they were not designed in context for a specific, viable market need, others due to a lack of resources needed to get to market. This webinar will help your team understand the market as an 'ecosystem' and offer tools that can help you to identify an appropriate market niche for your design.

Presented by: Faye Yoshihara, Principal of Forest Fractal LLC, adjunct faculty at the School of Business Administration at Portland State University, and Biomimicry Fellow.