3.1 Assignment: Learning From Nature

The three blogs that I am currently following are HOLOS (written by Neil Croft) , John Thackara, and DO - The Encouragement Network.

Neil Croft's blog looks at pertinent information on leadership and our world today, promoting his business HOLOS that holds a team of specialists and culture coaches who have been training other diverse leaders on change leadership. Category topics within leadership include authenticity, innovation, personal development, and society.

John Thackara is a seasoned writer, curator and editor who has traveled the world in search of interesting stories on sustainability and design, realized in diverse communities working towards future wellbeing. The blog is quite diverse with topics including locality & place, learning & institutions and design areas within food systems, mobility, social innovation, transition, art and development. 

The DO Blog has a load of information from the latest news to workshops, lectures and podcasts - basically all the resources you need to get inspired and creating. Do - The Encouragement Network has a simple idea: people who are "doers" can inspire the rest of us from their story, leading to a chain effect of us "doing" things that inspire others. 


On this week's topic, Learning From Nature, and the materials we were given for assignment 3.1, there are many overlapping themes and ideas coming from the readings, videos, and blogs. In Neil Croft's blog post on "Megatrends Update on Digitisation" , he emphasizes the point that "everything that can be automated or digital will be" (Croft). Croft also mentions, like Gerd Leohard's video talk, that marketing and advertising will change, as well as music, art and video will become "key tribal content channels" (Croft) of culture based on interests, and will be useful in distributing content. He like Gerd believes that industries are changing, and more creative leadership and adaptability of company structures will be needed for the future. For the post I extracted the same concepts from Gerd Leohard -- that businesses/people will become interdependent and interconnected for thriving in the future. There is bridging and simplifying in tasks and efforts with different talents leading in diverse areas, be it both human and technology... It sounds like the future is about harmonizing both. 

In John Thackara's blog post "Back to the Land 2.0 " he mentions nature and our position as humans now to create a new story, that of stewardship to land, a purpose that a diverse group of people can relate to, support and share even with other differences. He also speaks of idea of bioregion, looking past the human colonized definition of land, but from a biodiversity perspective defined by nature. He goes on to explain the mirroring of nature and ourselves as, "Bioregions are not just geographical places; they also embody the interconnection of our minds, and nature's, at a molecular, atomic and hormonal level" (Thackara). Through some examples of ecosystem restoration projects, he shares that they are working towards repairing "the unity of mind and world, that has been fractured by modernity" (Thackara). I thought the the section on ecological systems was a great way to reflect the way in which companies could work, mimicking nature. As John writes, "ecological systems are unique to each place, and the same goes for social assets of a bioregion - individuals, groups, networks, and cultures" (Thackara). If a leader would respect the internal cultures of a company like bioregions, it would flourish -- knowledge is socially created, experienced directly, local and embodied. I now see a leader as someone who is the "embodied nature of land-based knowledge" (Thackara). I like that this article stresses the importance of artists, designers and city-planners to creatively return to the land. Quoting Wendell Berry, "The cities have forgot the earth and will rot at heart till they remember it again." A lot of what continues in the post is sharing the different community-based doers, and open source platforms all moving towards restoration ecologically, culturally and socially. 

From the Do Blog, I checked out the Do Lecture "How Nature Inspires Better Clothing Design" and listened to an inspiring talk from Neil McNair, of McNair Shirts, and how his passion for snowboarding and the mountains brought him to the company he has today. With a close relationship to the outdoors daily, Neil discovered that every "functional" hi-tech jacket he had would have a short life and use, which brought him back to traditional fabrics and materials from the inspiration of his favorite Dachstein gloves. On top of it, meeting company textile specialist Natalie, brought her dream alive of bringing up north Yorkshire back into its fame as a textile hub. Now McNair shirts are manufactured in Yorkshire, spun, woven, raised and steamed all within ten miles of their atelier. Following his passion, Neil's company has not only created an natural quality product (made of wool), but it has also brought sustainability back to a community with job creation and factory use. Looking back to "Tomorrow's Natural Business" article, I can see some applications and questions worked on for McNair shirts that has made both the company and the community of Yorkshire a success story.