GOLD2023

The Biomimicry Institute

Missoula, MT   |  http://biomimicry.org

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Mission

Life has been on earth for 3.8 billion years, and in that time, organisms have learned to do everything we humans want to do without polluting the planet. By emulating nature’s time-tested designs and processes—a process called biomimicry—we have the opportunity to restore our soil, forests, and oceans, create healthy products, and reverse the effects of climate change. The Biomimicry Institute empowers people to create nature-inspired solutions for a healthy planet through biomimicry. We aim to naturalize biomimicry in the culture by promoting the transfer of ideas, designs, and strategies from biology to sustainable systems design. Our goal is for biomimicry to become a natural part of the design process, to create a new generation of innovators who support all life on this planet.

Ruling year info

2007

Chief Executive Officer

Amanda Sturgeon

Main address

PO Box 9216

Missoula, MT 59807 USA

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EIN

86-1153859

NTEE code info

Science, General (includes Interdisciplinary Scientific Activities) (U20)

Higher Education Institutions (B40)

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

For eons, nature has solved its problems with well-adapted designs, life-friendly chemistry, and smart material and energy use. We exist to shine a light on natures genius, and to bridge the gap between biology and design in order to solve today's most pressing design challenges.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

AskNature.org

The world’s most comprehensive online library of nature’s solutions for design professionals, students, and educators. This free platform features 2,000+ articles describing how living systems have adapted to thrive amongst a myriad of conditions and challenges, offering insights that can be used to solve the most pressing problems of our time. AskNature also serves as the core source for nature inspiration for the thousands of K-12 students around the world that utilize our biomimicry curriculum and Youth Design Challenge project-based learning experience. Visit www.asknature.org to get inspired.

Population(s) Served

The Biomimicry Youth Design Challenge (YDC) is a worldwide interdisciplinary, project-based learning experience specifically tailored for middle and high school students. Offered at no cost, this program equips both classroom and informal educators with an innovative framework to introduce biomimicry, or nature-inspired design, as an engineering design strategy, thereby fostering an interdisciplinary approach to merge biology, engineering, and design. The program provides a tapestry of resources and modules, inclusive of comprehensive lesson plans that lead students through a design thinking process, ensuring educators are well-equipped to guide their students. Visit www.youthchallenge.biomimicry.org to learn more.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents

The Biomimicry Launchpad program converts nature-inspired scientific research into scalable solutions by supporting a wide array of participants, including graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and recent graduates from various disciplines such as biological sciences, engineering, technology, art, and sustainable business. The free, 10-week program offers comprehensive training in both business and biomimicry, alongside valuable networking opportunities, in-person expeditions in natural settings, and resources essential for commercializing innovative ideas. This holistic approach not only guides participants in transforming their research into impactful products and businesses but also empowers them to effectively communicate their ideas to a broader audience. Visit www.biomimicry.org/launchpad/ to learn more.

Population(s) Served

The Ray of Hope Prize discovers, accelerates, and amplifies nature-inspired startups with solutions to extractive environmental problems. This 6-month program identifies a cohort of the world's most promising nature-inspired startups and offers them sustainable business training, mentorship, environmental reporting tools and a world-class nature immersion. Each participating startup receives non-dilutive capital and access to a wide range of impact investors interested in biomimetic solutions. The program scales innovative solutions quickly by shortening the startup valley of death, helps startups avoid harmful production practices to ensure solving one problem does not lead to another, and creates award winning educational content about the biological strategies that led to their innovation. The Ray of Hope Prizes supports startups in securing proof-of-concept projects, investments, and media leads, and unites a community of rising nature-inspired leaders.

Population(s) Served

The Systems Change program is on a mission to bring our industrial systems into harmony with nature, starting with the fashion industry through the Design for Transformation (D4T) initiative. This 2-year, multi-million dollar initiative, supported by the Laudes Foundation, is dedicated to tackling the approximately 92 million tonnes of fashion waste produced annually. Focusing on researching, piloting, and scaling up decomposition technologies, the project aims to transform discarded clothes and textiles into biocompatible materials. These efforts will be tested in Western Europe and Ghana, demonstrating a viable and sustainable approach to managing fashion waste on on a local level before scaling globally.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

Financials

The Biomimicry Institute
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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The Biomimicry Institute

Board of directors
as of 11/30/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Angela Nahikian

NICER Program at the University of Exeter Business School

Janine Benyus

Biomimicry 3.8, University of Montana

Jim Bunch

Impact Delta

Erin Rovalo

International Living Future Institute, Arizona State University

Evelyn Erickson

Indigenous Resilience Consulting

Lisa Craig Gautier

Matter of Trust, The Hum Sum

Mary Davidge

Biophilic Institute, The Senior Institute for Community and Environment, ILFI Biophilic Design Initiative

Daniel Kinzer

Biomimicy 3.8, Pacific Blue Studios

Kent Snyder

American Leadership Forum

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Not applicable
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Not applicable
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Not applicable
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 11/30/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Gender identity
Female

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

Transgender Identity

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data