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New Business & Community Models Using Nature
April 13, 2014 - Ernest Hohmeyer
Part 2 of 3
We admire nature. Might there be some lessons it can teach us?
New models on how to develop your business and communities think so.
Business of Nature
I mean getting beyond all this claustrophobia of endless winter, we respect with wonderment nature’s order. That’s why we live here right? We curse it sometimes, but we like the changing of the seasons – when they change.
It is amazing to see how nature works. It seems to be so in unison with how one part works with the other. How the animals and birds know how to prepare for winter and what they need to do in summer and fall.
How do the so many different species know all of this? It really does make one think about how “orderly” nature is. It leads to further thought that behind all of this “order” is an intelligence that nature has.
Who is Intelligent?
And as we discussed last week, if nature has intelligence is it connected somehow to us as “intelligent beings?
If the idea in business is to take advantage of as much “intelligence” as you can, can nature teach us something?
There is new thinking out there (and some old) that yes it can.
We may have to change our perception of what “nature” is first.
And rethink our definition of “science.”
Are We Connected?
Author Machaelle Small Wright talks about working with nature in her book “Co-Creative Science.”
Wright founded the “Center for Nature Research” in Jeffersonton Virginia and defines two different types of sciences. Regular science is “man’s study of reality and how it works.”
She then coins a term “co-creative science” which is “the study of reality and how it works from nature’s perspective and by human and nature working together in a peer, balanced partnership.” Understanding this and the processes she outlines can “make real changes” as anyone can access the “intelligence in nature.”
How does one learn from nature according to Wright? A key method is through the use of kinesiology. In another book, “The Perelandra Essences” she writes that “Every element, every organ, every system in the human body has its electric circuits.” We use this “electric system” which in our body if you strung it all out “would be about forty-seven miles long,” to communicate with nature.
“If you’ve ever been to a chiropractor or holistic physician experienced in muscle testing” Wright writes in Co-Creative Science, “you’ve experienced kinesiology." She points to examples where “co-creative science has helped industries such as “health”, “art”, “teaching”, “computers” and “inner city housing”
From Broccoli to Galaxies
Another relatively new method of nature helping industry is through “fractals.” In the “Synthesist” section of the winter edition of Onearth Magazine, writer Kim Tingley talks about the work of “maverick mathematician” Benoit Mandelbrot. He discovered what looked like “craggy and chaotic” patterns in nature were actually “highly organized.” You could see evidence of this in “natural phenomena” from “clouds” to “broccoli” to “even galaxies.”
Here we go again, the connectivity of it all.
“Mandelbrot’s revelation presented a new way of perceiving nature” Tingley writes, “not as something disordered…but “intricately engineered.”
“Fractal geometry” emerged as a way to quantify “these mysterious forms.” Using this natural phenomenon and applying it for human purposes is called “bio mimicry” according to Tingley. These processes are found in “music halls,” cell phones and “Physicists have made concrete more durable and in permeable by using fractals to engineer its ingredients.”
Here is an interesting take: “Finding inspiration in nature isn’t new, of course” Tingley comments “But actively querying nature about its best practices is.”
From Inspiration to Answers?
The “Natural Systems Thinking Process” can also assist individuals, businesses and communities according to founder and author Michael J. Cohen, Ed.D. This process is “about educating, counseling and healing with nature. This “nature-connected learning tool” is an accredited program that provides a “teachable process to help you and your community…genuinely connect your thinking…with the rejuvenating powers of nature” he writes in his workbook “The Web of Life Imperative.”
Cohen writes “how the omission of nature’s fundamentals in contemporary thinking” does not produce the results we need to face today’s challenges. He explains how we are disconnected from nature living “over 95% of our lives indoors” and that we only use 5 out of over 50 natural senses that he has identified. In other words, we use only a fraction of the resources that we have naturally available to make personal or business decisions.
Doing so through a series of sensory, practical exercises as part of the “Natural Systems Thinking Process” helps us to find better health, business and community solutions. He calls this “eco-psychology”.
“Nature has an inherent ability to rejuvenate itself” (like new life after a destructive fire) Cohen believes, and as being a part of nature we can too. “We cannot reverse our disorders if we do not have an effective, organic process.”
Even though we are a part of nature, Cohen believes that our contemporary community has ignored what nature can teach us. If we can make true contact, human and nature intelligence together, makes for better life learning processes.
Your Business Nature
In the end, perhaps what these folks are talking about is as simple as taking the time to be with nature to rejuvenate and reconnect. That is our visitor calling card isn't it? We have been saying that for generations for example, what Martha Reben called “our healing woods."
What is interesting now is that there are new nature-base learning tools that appear to be practical to help your business and our communities.
Other new ideas and how it can help with business and community decisions extends to Google and how we may possess different kinds of "intelligences."
We will look at this next week …
Save the date: Adirondack Small Business Week May 12-16th in the Tri-lakes area!
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