Introduction: Biomimicry – Could a Palm Tree be a Solution to Any of Life’s Pressing Problems?
There is a new field called Biomimicry. It is just over two decades old, where nature is used to solve problems in the world. This may sound odd to you, but George de Mestral invented Velcro after burrs stuck to his jacket. When he examined them he recognized the potential for a fastener.
Have you read?
Today, let’s take a look at the palm tree. I will include some of the characteristics of a palm tree and use them (add some of your own) to associate with a pressing problem that you are having, to see if you can open a new avenue of thought to aid with creative problem solving.
This is meant to be a creative process, to take your mind to a place it has never gone before. It’s doing something you have never done before, to get results you have never gotten before. A quote often attributed to Einstein, but more than likely wasn’t is:
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”
When you think of a palm tree what immediately comes to mind?
- Tall and majestic
- Towering beauty
- Provides shade
- Provides food
- Withstands drought
- Stands strong even in the most inclement weather
- Deep rooted
- Easily recognizable
Facts About, and Characteristics of Palm Trees
- Evergreen, mostly tropical plant in the family Palmae (also known as Arecaceae).
- 202 currently known genera with over 2,600 species of palms.
- First appeared in the fossil record around 80 million years ago.
- Growing from three to 100 feet.
- Strong Foundation: Before it begins to sprout upwards, it attains its maximum girth beneath the ground first. That is, it grows deep first.
- Grows best in moist soil to dry, desert conditions – rainforests to deserts.
- Crowned by a mass of branches from 40 to 80 in number, and on these the fruit grows.
- Fan shaped (palmate) or feather shaped (pinnate) compound leaves arranged at the top of an un-branched stem. The leaves of palms are found in an equal distance apart on the spine of the branch.
- Flexible: The tree bends and sways back and forth but does not break.
- The coconut tree is a type of palm tree.
If you assigned the characteristics of a palm tree to your problem, how would you solve it? For instance, consolidation is taking place in many industries, so perhaps you are no longer earning enough income. Or you lost your job because of robots or other forms of automation.
Like a palm tree, you have strong roots since you have built a strong foundation of knowledge. Now could be the perfect time to sprout upwards, and like the palm leaves, which spread outwards, you could move into adjacent industries, or provide complementary products and services.
Or if you lost your job because of robots or other forms of automation, like the palm tree, you are flexible and can learn new workplace skills, so that you can thrive in the future. Your mind is a fertile ground, so you can grow in different conditions. The palm tree can grow in rainforest to desert conditions. It has the unique ability to find water sources because of its deep roots. You have what it takes to feed your mind with what it needs, so you can learn, stretch, and grow.
Have you read?
Biomimicry: Further Action to Take
- Get comfortable with nature. Spend some time exploring http://www.AskNature.org. Nature may be the solution to your most pressing problems.
- I included a collage of palm tree photos that I took while on vacation in Barbados a few years ago. Take a look at the pictures, you may notice other characteristics that stimulate problem solving.
- Share this post if you find it useful.
UPDATE: First Published February 2012
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