Janine Benyus

Science writer, innovation consultant, conservationist
A self-proclaimed nature nerd, Janine Benyus' concept of biomimicry has galvanized scientists, architects, designers and engineers into exploring new ways in which nature's successes can inspire humanity.

Why you should listen

In the world envisioned by science author Janine Benyus, a locust's ability to avoid collision within a roiling cloud of its brethren informs the design of a crash-resistant car; a self-cleaning leaf inspires a new kind of paint, one that dries in a pattern that enables simple rainwater to wash away dirt; and organisms capable of living without water open the way for vaccines that maintain potency even without refrigeration -- a hurdle that can prevent life-saving drugs from reaching disease-torn communities. Most important, these cool tools from nature pull off their tricks while still managing to preserve the environment that sustains them, a life-or-death lesson that humankind is in need of learning.

As a champion of biomimicry, Benyus has become one of the most important voices in a new wave of designers and engineers inspired by nature. Her most recent project, AskNature, explores what happens if we think of nature by function and looks at what organisms can teach us about design.

What others say

“The sophisticated, almost pro-growth angle of Benyus shows the great potential profitability of copying some of nature's time-tested, nonpolluting, room-temperature manufacturing and computing technologies.” — New York Times

Janine Benyus’ TED talks

Janine Benyus on the TED Blog
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Live from TED2014

In case you missed it: Day 2 at TED2014

March 19, 2014

So what went down at TED on day two? Well, a lot, as it happens. As curator Chris Anderson commented rather tiredly later, “that was the most intense day of TED I can remember, ever.” Here, a lightning round-up of some of the day’s key moments. Edward Snowden trundles onto stage The first big surprise […]

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Ideas

Nature knows best: A biologist and a designer take creative direction from the Earth’s operating system

February 7, 2014

“Borrowing” as a concept is de rigeur in the creative industries and beyond. What’s that too-often quoted aphorism? “Good artists copy; great artists steal”? Plenty of people have trotted that out as justification for acts they want us to believe are far superior to and way different from plagiarism. In this nuanced conversation, biologist and […]

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The week in comments

August 8, 2009

The reception for this past wave of talks from TED Global 2009 centers around the theme of accountability. People seemed especially moved by Emmanuel Jal’s music on his life as a war child and Michael Pritchard’s revolutionary water filter. We even got a TEDGlobal speaker sparking a discussion on one of these highlighted talks (in […]

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