Have you been thinking of expanding your biomimicry knowledge or looking to take a biomimicry course or Master's program, but don’t know where to start or which course to take? This article is here to help you by answering those lingering questions you may have. Below is a guide to assist in giving you a better understanding of which biomimicry courses exist, how they compare to each other, and how to go about choosing the right learning path for you.
There are two broad categories of online biomimicry courses: “qualification-based” and “experience-based”.
To get to those two broad categories, I’m using the lens of that all-important student question: “What am I going to get out of this?” In our experience, learners usually seek either:
Naturally, you will get experience and some form of certification in both types of course categories but it is important to first think about what you’re really seeking to achieve from this education. By answering this question, you could make a better decision regarding the type of course which best suits your objectives.
To borrow from biomimicry thinking: What is the function of you taking a biomimicry course? What is your context? What resources are available to you? All of these questions should be brought to the table when you make a decision on which course you want to take.
Introducing the top online biomimicry courses today. The infographic below is a snapshot of the existing biomimicry courses available as of March 2022, the related prices and duration. The remainder of this article provides more detail and context relating to each course listed below.
The best biomimicry courses of 2022, visualised.
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Our Biomimicry Practitioners Programme is purpose-built for working professionals to complete their learning journey online, focused on project-based learning and guided support. Consisting of six months of part-time learning, our programme is built around you and your career, focusing on the practice of applying biomimicry professionally. Our professional mentors will guide you through your learning journey from start to finish, and you’ll gain the ability to practice biomimicry and apply biomimicry thinking to your own personal context. The total cost of the Practitioner Programme is $2,799 and is proudly endorsed by the Biomimicry Institute.
Register for this programme if you’re keen to practise biomimicry, create nature-inspired innovation/s and organisations, or initiate or transform a consulting practice with biomimicry.
Bio-inspired design and science are used for innovations that support a transition to a sustainable, circular economy. The Master’s programme Bio-Inspired Innovation is a full-time two-year course (120 credits), aimed at students with a Bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences, who are interested in research and want to innovate services, products, production systems and design based on principles that have evolved in nature. The University of Utrecht in the Netherlands offers you a route to becoming the biologist at the design table, and the professional that contributes to the transition to a circular economy with Bio-Inspired Innovations.
100% online, this course offers a Biomimicry Certificate which focuses on nature-based design strategies through courses on sustainable design, systems thinking and biomimicry. Courses included are 1. Introduction to Biomimicry: A Sustainable Design Methodology, 2. Fundamentals of Sustainable Design and Systems Thinking.
$29,404.00 | 2.5 - 5 years online
The online Master of Science in Biomimicry at ASU was the original and first of its kind program focusing on an emerging discipline that seeks to apply life’s strategies to human design. Offered in collaboration with Biomimicry 3.8 through The Biomimicry Center at ASU, the MS also complements the Certified Biomimicry Professional program offered by Biomimicry 3.8. The total cost is $29,404.00 and can take anywhere from 2.5 to 5 years. This is for the individual who is based in the USA, and wishes to pursue a biomimicry career or lead the in-house implementation of biomimicry, initiate or transform a consulting practice in the field of biomimicry; incorporate biomimicry into education for the next generation of biomimics or develop innovative and sustainable solutions to the most pressing global challenges.
The Biomimicry Academy offers two major courses, the Biomimicry Practitioners Essentials and the Biomimicry Practitioners Certificate. The full Biomimicry Practitioner Online Essentials takes three months and costs $1,275 (VAT incl) and takes you in 3 modules on a professional development journey from Human-Centred and Nature-Inspired Design, through Biomimicry, Circular Economy and Systems Thinking, to Business and Communication. The Biomimicry Practitioner course is a 5-month course and states that “you will graduate as a Biomimicry Practitioner into a global community of change-makers, and be future-fit to co-evolve and even thrive in an ever-changing environment”.
Based in Ohio (USA), the University of Akron offers three defining courses, an Undergraduate Certificate in Biomimicry, the Biomimicry Fellowship Program and a PhD program. The Undergraduate is designed to give students training and experience in the theory, methods, and practice of seeking inspiration from living systems to solve technical challenges. The Biomimicry Fellowship Program and the Integrated Bioscience PhD Program are both tailor-made, but perhaps a too lengthy explanation for this article. See the links above for a better explanation.
Our bespoke mentoring means that you learn how to apply biomimicry to your own, personal context. We do not follow a prescriptive “biomimicry and …” curriculum, instead, we focus on enabling you to understand the practical biomimicry methodology. Small cohorts (5-8 people) ensure that peer-to-peer learning is possible. You’ll also get to see how your peers are applying biomimicry to their own topics, giving you a feel for real-world complexity, as well as plenty of inspiration.
You’ll also be connected to an active alumni network via the same platforms! Lastly, we like to celebrate the learning process and make new connections, so you will be invited to present your final project presentations of each cohort, regardless of where you are at in your training.
Learn Biomimicry focuses on the practice and application of biomimicry and we differ from a traditional educational institution as we adopt project-based learning guided by expert professional biomimicry mentors. The central idea is that learners need to be able to connect new knowledge to existing knowledge in order to form complex networks of understanding. This programme is 100% online, accessible to anyone anywhere in the world, and purpose-built for working professionals who wish to accelerate their careers without taking time off.
From Learn Biomimicry’s standpoint, we aim to give you the most diverse starting point into the world of biomimicry. Grasp the fundamental concepts of biomimicry to start practising biomimicry, gain the winning strategies found amongst the species surviving and thriving on Earth and understand what biomimicry thinking is and how to apply it.
This Foundational Course set consists of three courses: 1. Introduction to Biomimicry, 2. Biomimicry Life's Principles and 3. Biomimicry Masterclass. You’ll walk away with a strong understanding of biomimicry thinking and knowledge, suited for the real world. You can read more about the Foundational Course set here.
This is a business-focused course which includes 3 modules: 1. Biomimicry Mindset, 2. Harnessing Nature's Genius and 3. Building your biomimetic future + Introduction and case studies. This self-paced, DIY course will provide you with the methods, mindset and tools. The course facilitator is Jamie Miller, who also offers a biomimicry workshop for 10 individuals in Canada (known as a Biomimicry Excursion).
This is an introductory online self-paced course, with the instructor Denise DeLuca, Professional Engineer, the co-founder of Biomimicry for Creative Innovation, who will show you a step-by-step method for turning nature’s strategies into innovative solutions for human problems. You’ll not only learn the ‘what’ and ‘why’ of biomimicry, but you’ll also learn how to apply biomimicry to solve technical and non-technical problems.
Starting from zero to one, you’ll see the Biomimicry Toolbox—the free biomimicry basics resource from the Biomimicry Institute. This course provides a quick-start guide to biomimicry, introducing the core concepts and methods that are essential to a foundational understanding.
This is followed by this free eBook: A Field Guide to Biomimicry - a simple biomimicry resource that guides you into and through the world of biomimicry. Consider this your starting point to enter into the world of biomimicry (or as a low-cost refresher for those with prior experience).
Click here to download your free field guide to biomimicry
Diversity. Networking. Life-long learning. Biomimicry is really a life-long and life-wide practice. Regardless of your experience and/or qualification, the more you practise it, the better you’ll get. The world of biomimicry is growing rapidly and new information is surfacing all the time. Oh boy, it can be overwhelming. Today, the world asks us to create both technical and ethical innovations that move us from a linear to a circular economy. Biomimicry offers a new approach to sustainability, and there are a number of biomimicry courses that effectively assist you in learning biomimicry.
Before you go, one final thought we hope to leave you with is that theory alone will not change the world. It is only through practice and applying biomimicry that we will be able to move into a thriving world that creates conditions conducive to life. Learning biomimicry can sometimes be overwhelming, or scary. That’s why the Biomimicry Practitioners Programme assists you to practise and apply biomimicry in your own career, business or next project.
We encourage you to use this resource to connect the dots and create your own journey that answers your own needs. Whether you choose to start with us and move all the way up to the MSc, or whether you decide that a specialisation course is your best move—it’s up to you.
Start where you are, and #thinkoutside.
PS - Every year on 22 April, we join millions of others in celebrating Earth Day: a global event that motivates us to design a way of living that is healthy, equitable, and thriving. If you’re feeling inspired to make the leap into the world of biomimicry, a 15% discount on all Learn Biomimicry short courses awaits you. Simply use the coupon code EARTHDAY-15 at checkout**
*Please note that all course descriptions are from the respective organisations’ websites, and all prices are listed in US Dollars.
**Valid for the foundational course set until May 31, 2022
Jessica Berliner | Learn Biomimicry Co-founder and Course Facilitator