Innovators Tackling Humanity's Biggest Problems Seek Solutions by Studying Nature
By Megan Schuknecht
Alessandro Bianciardi wanted to help get fresh water to communities that needed it the most -- rural farmers in areas that were hardest hit by climate change-induced drought. So when he and his team of engineers and designers at the company Planet set out to create a more affordable, scalable and radically sustainable solar still, they went right to the source of the most effective R&D process they knew of -- nature itself.
The Planet team, including CEO Alessandro Villa and product developer Alessandro Zecca, is part of a new crop of social entrepreneurs who are incorporating biomimicry, or nature-inspired design, in order to take their innovations to the next level. Biomimicry is based on a simple idea -- that living systems can provide clues for how to create human designs that are better for both people and planet. It’s a pathway to innovation that’s leading social entrepreneurs to find new solutions to tough issues like energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, food systems, transportation, water management and more.