Janine Benyus is a biologist, innovation consultant, and author of six books, including Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature. Since the book’s 1997 release, she has evolved the practice of biomimicry, consulting with businesses and conducting seminars about what can be learned from the genius of nature.
Benyus has personally introduced millions to the meme of biomimicry through two TED talks, hundreds of conference keynote presentations, and a dozen documentaries, such as Biomimicry, produced by Leonardo DiCaprio’s Tree Media, 11th Hour, Harmony, and The Nature of Things with David Suzuki, which aired in 71 countries. Most recently, she has been a featured speaker at SXSW Eco 2015 and the Dubai Sustainable Cities Summit. However, her favorite role is biologist at the design table, where she introduces innovators to 3.8 billion years’ worth of brilliant, time-tested solutions through her work at Biomimicry 3.8.
In 1998, Benyus co-founded the Biomimicry Guild with Dr. Dayna Baumeister. That morphed into Biomimicry 3.8, providing biomimicry consulting services to clients such as Boeing, Colgate-Palmolive, Nike, General Electric, Herman Miller, HOK architects, IDEO, Natura, Procter & Gamble, Levi’s, Kohler, and General Mills. In 2006, Benyus co-founded the Biomimicry Institute, a nonprofit designed to embed biomimicry in formal education and informal spaces such as museums and nature centers.
Benyus has received numerous awards, including the Edward O. Wilson Biodiversity Technology Pioneer Award in 2015, the Gothenburg Award for Sustainable Development 2013, the Heinz Award 2011, Time magazine’s Hero for the Planet Award 2008, the United Nations Environment Programme’s Champion of the Earth for Science and Technology 2009, the Rachel Carson Environmental Ethics Award, the Lud Browman Award for Science Writing in Society, and the Barrows and Heinz Distinguished Lectureships. In 2010, Bloomberg Businessweek named her one of the world’s most influential designers. In 2012, she received the Smithsonian Institution’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Mind Award.
An educator at heart, Benyus 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.