Janine Benyus gave a TED Global talk this summer about how biomimicry provides sustainable innovation inspired by nature. Benyus main claim is that “we are part of a brilliant planet and surrounded by genius.”
Examples she cites are JR West’s examination of the kingfisher to solve the problem of trains creating pressure and sonic booms when going through tunnels. Sharklet Technology applied the pattern of Galapagos sharks that repels bacteria to design anti-bacterial washes. Calera uses knowledge of coral reefs to sequester carbon in cement.
Here’s a video of her TED Global talk from 2009. Her 1997 book is Biomimicry: Innovations Inspired by Nature.
Her video from the 2005 TED conference is below.