Category Archives: Newsletters

October 2013 Newsletter

Biomimicry Oregon   October 2013

Join Biomimicry Oregon for a free lecture by Jay Harman, biomimetic inventor and entrepreneur, and author of the new book, The Shark’s Paintbrush: Biomimicry and How Nature is Inspiring Innovation.

What: Free Lecture – Biomimicry: The Next Big Thing – How Nature is Inspiring Radical Innovation

When: Monday, October 7, 2013 at 7:00pm

Where: PNCA, 1241 Northwest Johnson Street, Portland, OR 97209

Entrepreneur and inventor Jay Harman is one of the most sought after speakers on Biomimicry. Jay is one of the world’s leaders in Biomimicry research and development, at the forefront of the Biomimicry design movement as a nature-inspired designer. As founder and CEO of PAX Scientific and its subsidiaries, he has designed more efficient industrial equipment, including refrigeration, turbines, boats, fans, mixers, and pumps and is the founder of several companies to bring these products to market.

Harman says he is “on a mission to halve the world’s energy use and greenhouse gas emissions through Biomimicry and waste elimination.” He believes that it is simply false when some industrial leaders claim that we cannot afford green solutions because they will undermine the economic recovery. According to Harman, “all over the world, across dozens of industries, people are finding profitable solutions to seemingly intractable problems by partnering with nature. Following nature’s design mastery, we can achieve greater wealth and economic sustainability.”

Join us for this sure-to-be-inspiring talk by gifted storyteller and successful businessman – Jay Harman!

Sponsored by: Pacific Northwest College of Art, Biomimicry Oregon, Oregon BEST, White Cloud Press

Sustainable Business Oregon interview with Jay Harman:


The International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP) Reading Group is excited to offer a reading of The Shark’s Paintbrush: Biomimicry and How Nature is Inspiring Innovation book by Jay Harman, organized by ISSP Biomimicry workshop leader, Mary Hansel.

Dates: Oct.19 – Nov.16, 2013
Nov.1, 2013, 12-1pm PST, webinar with the author

To prepare:
1. Register here:
(Free for ISSP members; $25.00 for non-members)

2. Purchase the book. The publisher has it discounted 35% on their website and has pledged to donate $1.00 per book sold, to the non-profit Biomimicry 3.8 Institute.
Purchase here:

The Shark’s Paintbrush reflects a force of change in the new global economy that does more than simply gratify human industrial ambition; it teaches us how to live in harmony with nature and opens bright opportunities for a better future. Let inventor and entrepreneur, Jay Harman introduce you to stunning solutions to some of the world’s thorniest problems.

Why does the bumblebee have better aerodynamics than a 747?
How can copying a butterfly wing reduce the world’s lighting energy bill by 80 percent?
How will fleas’ knees and bees’ shoulders help scientists formulate a near perfect rubber?

Join us for a fascinating journey through the world of Biomimicry as we read Jay Harman’s new book, The Shark’s Paintbrush: Biomimicry and How Nature is Inspiring Innovation.


Inspired by nature? The Biomimicry 3.8 Institute wants you to turn inspiration into action by registering for its 2013-2014 Biomimicry Student Design Challenge. Learn Biomimicry and apply your new skills to solve either a local or global challenge associated with transportation. The environmental, social, and economic impacts of transportation have steadily increased as the demands of people and freight have continued to grow. Can Biomimicry help make the transportation sector more life-friendly, efficient, and effective for people and the planet? The Institute wants to find out!

Register a team today to access Biomimicry design resources, coaching from a trained Biomimicry professional, and the chance to win cash prizes.

Visit for details and to register.

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Free Lecture by Jay Harman at PNCA Oct. 7, 2013
The Shark’s Paintbrush – Book Reading Group Oct.19-Nov.16, 2013
Biomimicry Global Design Competition


Biomimicry Oregon seeds life-friendly innovation by inspiring people to put nature’s genius to work in every organization in Oregon.

Our mission is to nurture and grow a multi-disciplinary, Biomimicry “learning and doing community” in Oregon focused on applying Biomimicry to academia, business, education, government and non-profit activities throughout the state. Learn more

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August 2012


Biomimicry Oregon

Genius of Place




A “Genius of Place” (GoP) looks to the living creatures and plants of a particular place to provide guidance and models for establishing locally attuned strategies for design.

Biomimicry Oregon has begun work on a Genius of Place for the Portland metro area. We are excited about this project that will develop 3-5 Genius of Place stories for our region, and introduce the potential of biomimicry to inspire healthy, resilient design to a wider audience.


Send us your challenges!

We invite you to help shape this project by sending us your challenges! We will select three local challenges to investigate and would like to hear from you as to what sustainability challenges you are grappling with.

Please take a few minutes to fill out our survey.


There are many ways to engage in this project, and we’d love to hear from you if you are interested in helping in any of the following ways:

  • Engage people in your realm/sector to identify challenges or attend workshop.
  • Share ideas on how to design this project for lasting impact.
  • Fundraise $8,200.
  • Create a buzz… report on project activities through media/social media.


Project Deliverables & Outcomes


  • Genius of Place Study >> Catalyze the application of biomimicry via a tangible set of tools.
  • Ideation Workshop >> Introduce 50-100 design and research professionals to biomimicry.
  • Summary Report >> Create a process that can be replicated here and in other regions.
  • Provide an environment for working collaborations between unlikely partners.

Coming Soon

Monthly biomimicry meetings designed to connect, learn, and practice applying biomimicry to challenges!

In the News

Biomimicry Oregon’s Mary Hansel is teaching a month-long web-based course on biomimicry for sustainability professionals through the International Society of Sustainability Professionals. Check it out!

  1. Learn about the challenges faced by local industries
  2. Look and listen for ways local geniuses address the challenges of our landscape.
  3. Encourage “locally attuned” innovation & design strategies that match our local operating conditions and ecologies.
  • Support metro area’s leadership in green building, sustainability, and place-based activities
  •  Inspire resilient, adaptive, sustainable solutions
  • Add new dimension to ecosystem services work already underway
  • Help promote the biomimicry meme in Oregon
  • On the leading edge of a global initiative

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June 2012


Biomimicry Oregon
June 2012

News & Events
We have a great opportunity coming up just around the corner! Educators who are using biomimicry—and those who want to—will gather in Portland, Oregon on June 22-24 for the 6th annual Biomimicry Education Summit for a weekend of workshops, lectures, and networking. Biomimicry provides students with a hopeful way of learning about today’s sustainability challenges, and is an exceptional strategy to deliver STEM education.Oregon K-12 Teachers may receive certificates for up to 20 PDUs.Register for the Summit and/or a 1-day biomimicry workshop for educators on June 21 at

Let’s encourage Oregon educators to attend… if each of us spreads the word to 2-3 educators we know, we just might be able to attract a dozen, which would grow Oregon leadership in biomimicry education!

 A BIG THANK YOU out to Oregon BEST, who generously gave scholarships to two university faculty to attend the Summit!

Biomimicry Oregon is organizing a biomimicry bike tour to coincide with the Education Summit!

Biomimicry on Bikes

Saturday, June 23, 2012, 5:30-8:30pm*

Tour only: $10 | Bike rental, including tour: $30

A guided, 3-mile tour of building designs inspired by nature for locals and participants of the national Biomimicry Education Summit, led by Biomimicry Oregon, the City of Portland, and Portland Bike Tours. More info herePre-registration required if renting a bike.

Register here.

*For skilled riders, there will be an optional 7-mile continuation of the ride returning to downtown Portland along the Springwater Corridor at dusk (return rental bikes the following day by 5:30 pm).

Everybody is welcome to join the opening address for the Education Summit on Thursday, June 21:

Richard Louv

Reconnecting with Life: Biomimicry and the Nature Principle

Thursday, June 21, 7:00 – 9:00 PM

Bagdad Theater | 3702 SE Hawthorne Blvd.  Portland, OR 97214

Richard Louv is best known for his 2005 book, Last Child In The Woods, which started a national conversation about the need for children to be connected to the natural world. His more recent book,The Nature Principle (2011) focuses on our deep human need for nature in all aspects of our lives, and on the “New Nature Movement” which goes beyond sustainability to create new and deeper ways to bring the natural world into all aspects of human life.
Richard Louv’s Opening Address is being made available to both Summit attendees and the general public through a partnership between the Biomimicry 3.8 Institute and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) which has arranged to include the talk in its popular “Science Pub” series.
Copies of The Nature Principle will be available for purchase and signing at the event.


Genius of Place Grant

Biomimicry Oregon has received its first ever grant from the Bullitt Foundation!

Biomimicry Oregon, will study several well-adapted organisms from the region and share their design principles with research and design professionals in an ideation workshop. Their findings and insights on tangible sustainability applications will be outlined in a report.

“In our cities, we have replaced native ecosystems with concrete, buildings, and roads,” said Mary Hansel of Biomimicry Oregon. “What if we were to look at how the natural ecosystem functions? Could we learn from local plants, for example, how to prevent erosion or shed water during heavy rainfall? By looking closely at how nature solves design challenges, we can learn a lot about how to solve our own.”

Biomimicry Oregon Members in the News

Check out our cover girl! Did you catch Nicole Isle on the cover of  Daily Journal of Commerce May 11, 2012? “There is a growing interest in implementation and using the Living Building Challenge and the Regenerative Design (and Nature Awareness Program); biomimicry is a way to unlock the potential for achieving those goals, which can seem daunting.”

Read more here (subscription required).


April 2012




Biomimicry 3.8 is in town to teach a workshop May 5-7 at the Oregon Zoo. Missed the workshop? No problem! Come connect with workshop speakers and participants and learn how nature’s genius can transform the way you design, teach, and do business. Organized by the Oregon Biomimicry Network.Sunday, May 6th, 5 – 8 pm

Rock Bottom Brewery
206 SW Morrison Street
Portland, OR 97204


Take the MAX!

The workshop is filling fast, but it’s not too late to sign up! Register for all three days or just the first day. This workshop is a special opportunity to learn about biomimicry from one of the keystone leaders in the discipline and connect with fascinating professionals from around the world. Learn more and register here.

May 2012
5 – 8 pm









December 2011


January Project Jam

@ Pacific Northwest College of Art

1241 NW Johnson Street

Portland, OR 97209

January 11, 2012, 5:30-7:30pm

Connect and collaborate with Oregon professionals to shape and grow the Biomimicry Oregon network.

Help shape our future

Biomimicry Oregon has been quickly growing and evolving over the past year, and hundreds of people like you have joined the network and indicated an interest in getting involved. This event is your chance to help shape initiatives, join and form action teams, and have a ton of fun charting the future with other Oregon professionals.

Register Nowat


5:30-5:45     Arrive & socialize

5:45-6:00    Updates & introductions

6:00-7:00    Interactive team activities

7:00-7:30     Sharing & planning

Getting There

The PNCA main campus is located in Northwest Portland’s Pearl District, and is easy to get to via mass transit, bike, foot, or car. Find directions and links to the main campus on PNCA’s website.

1241 NW Johnson Street

Portland, Oregon 97209

Ways to connect with Biomimicry Oregon

More Upcoming Events

Be sure to jot these other upcoming events on your calendar:

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About the photo: These are strange Bird’s Nest Fungi (Nidulariales) growing on a twig near the North Umpqua River in Oregon. The “eggs” are actually peridioles that hold spores. The force of a single rain drop in the “splash cup” is enough to distribute the eggs. Source: