Nature – Source of Life and Inspiration
Nature runs on sunlight;
Nature uses only the energy it needs;
Nature fits form to function;
Nature recycles everything;
Nature rewards cooperation;
Nature banks on diversity;
Nature demands local expertise;
Nature curbs excess from within;
Nature taps the power of limits;
Nature is beautiful.
Janine Benyus co-founder of the Biomimicry Institute
Natural ecology is built of systems or networks of interrelating organisms. Consistent principles of organization underlie the web of life.
Complex organisms evolve as nested and hierarchical entities embedded in specific contexts, optimizing autonomy to the parts and coherence to the whole.
Living systems depending on myriads of intricate decentralised and symbiotic relationships.
Living systems have open organisation yet bounded structures. They are self-regulating and responsive to changes in their proximate environment. Open systems coupled with their environment co-evolve in symbiotic relationship.
Networks, cycles and feedback loops emerge as iterative configurations and non-linear patterns .
“Understanding life requires a shift of perspective, not only from the parts to the whole but also from objects to relationships”. (Fritjof Capra) “Cooperation is the master architect of evolution” (Martin Nowak). Understanding relationships is therefore fundamental.
Eco-literate perspective and design principles found in natural ecologies can guide us in co-creating more effective social organisations and a more integrated civil society.
Civil ecology must be designed to work with a diversity of stakeholders, each with their own capacity to create.
Nature is full of autonomous systems working in collaborative relationships for collective security and prosperity. To access such architecture human beings must take an extra step and grapple with their deep inner need for freedom.
Before a human being willingly takes up a role as part of a self-regulating collaborative organisation – requiring relationship to other human beings – a fundamental obstacle must be overcome: each must want the collaboration with the other.
Wanting is an emotion, for desires motivate our will, and so the new Civil Ecology looks to nature for inspiration and additionally works to ensure the feeling life of the human being is brought into consideration.