To emphasize the ‘Academy’ part of the Future for Nature Academy, we organize workshops exclusively for FFN Academy Members. In these workshops, participants learn practical skills that are useful for a career in nature conservation, but are not necessarily part of a school curriculum.
Cooperation is one of those skills. Good cooperation can significantly increase the chances of success for nature conservation projects. Therefore, the Academy was very grateful that Ylva Poelman was willing to show us what we can learn from nature itself, in terms of cooperation. She is one of the Dutch pioneers in the field of biomimicry/bionics/ bio-inspired innovation, a field in which nature is looked at as a source of inspiration for dealing with problems we as humans face. We found out there is much to be learned. After all, nature has been experimenting with what works and what doesn’t work for 4 billion years! More specifically, we looked at how to cooperate effectively for conserving nature. Furthermore, we discovered another reason for conserving nature: there are loads of examples of ‘’proven technology’’!
During the workshop Ylva introduced us to the field of bionics/biomimicry. She explained the principles and showed various examples of bio-inspired innovation. After that we had a taste of what it is like to work from a bionics perspective. In groups, we worked on assignments for which we had to think about and look at nature in a different way. We tried to figure out which underlying conditions are required for different types of cooperation mechanisms. Ultimately, we tried to answer the question: ‘’How can we cooperate effectively with people from different backgrounds with different views and jargon?’’, which happens often in nature conservation. All in all, it was a great, educative day that showed us a different way of looking at nature.
By Marjolein Poelman