The complexities of our planet’s natural ecosystems have inspired fables throughout human history. There are many lessons to be learned from the inner workings of nature: a setting that can feel like it has become separated from humanity today. As we look towards the future and begin to think of how we can design a better world, we must become explorers, seeking to understand the intelligence of nature and innovate in harmony.
Since the Industrial Revolution society has advanced greatly without considering nature, the most integral component of human health. A notable example of this is our extreme dependence on fossil fuels, a non-renewable and destructive resource that is used as our primary energy source. We’ve designed rockets to go to mars, written algorithms for artificial intelligence, and grown food in labs. Yet, our health and the health of the planet continue to decline precipitously.
Before the Pandemic of 2020, vocational pursuits were chosen based on societal influence to increase our propensity to acquire wealth. Now, these cultural conundrums are coming into question. And the courageous youth, empathizing with the world around them, is inspiring and mobilizing communities in cooperation to build a better world.
Sustainability in nature is achieved through cooperation. It is the foundation of resilience and an innate predisposition of every living organism. The architect of the future will use the intelligence of nature to discover a new frontier of innovation that truly optimizes our health in harmony with nature.
It is a fundamental understanding of biologists that cooperation is one of the most important and beneficial behaviors on Earth. We must begin to interact with each other and nature in a holistically beneficial way, rebuilding communities that co-create with nature.
The alliances in nature are examples of pure symbiosis. Meerkats, for example, live in tribes of up to 50 members with intergenerational collaboration, division of labor, and the cooperative care for the young. Bees depend not only on the cooperation of the hive to survive but also on the pollen from flowers. Without the bees the flowers wouldn’t be able to pollinate other flowers. This is an example of different species working together to improve resilience.
Fungi is the neurological fabric of the forest. These pathways allow trees to communicate and cooperate, preventing disease and fighting off pests. This natural collaboration and collective immune response build resilience for all life in the forest – humans’ natural habitat.
The cycle of life, and all its complexities, shows us that we must work together and consider all relationships in nature. Embracing the regenerative component of our existence will encourage us to live life to its fullest potential.