Blog Post 4

1.Biomimicry is the idea that nature has already solved many of the problems we deal with in our everyday lives and we can use it as a model, mentor, or measure to overcome our challenges. In my own life, I can emulate nature to solve my own problems. In regards to my GSIF project, we are working to make our nutritional supplements more efficient by lowering the costs, as we have parameters we must fit in in order to be successful. We can use forms of energy that nature has proved to be efficient to make sure that our overhead costs in production are as low as possible. Second, we can use nature to create an appeal for our muffins. It is important that they are appealing to children so we can study the things that children like in nature and translate that to our work. Third, people often struggle while doing group work because they may “step on each other’s toes”. If we compare a group to an ecosystem, we can see that people will be more efficient because they all have their specific place.

2. It is important to apply life’s principles to our work in order to optimize our success in creating social value, and to do it sustainably. They encourage us to “maximize benefits with minimal effort and negative impact”, in accordance with nature (S. Patel & K. Mehta). “Integrating cyclic processes” directly applies to our project focusing on malnutrition in Sierra Leone. As a team, we are trying to implement a process in Sierra Leone in order to combat the devastating malnutrition in children. We would like Sierra Leonean women to have the skills and ability to make the sweet potato muffins and generate a profit so that they can continue to make more. As they are able to make more muffins, their process will directly be reducing malnutrition in Sierra Leone’s youth population. They can also teach the process to their children as a second cyclic process, who can then teach their children, and so on. This example is of the learning and imitating that exists in nature.

3. We can and should integrate the Cradle to Cradle Design into our project in order to create ethical processes and be more economically successful and efficient. The Cradle to Cradle Design is the basic idea that processes should not create waste, and that we should not attempt to fix a problem by creating another one. This is extremely important for our malnutrition project. Malnutrition is one of the most critical health problems in Sierra Leone; almost all children are lacking micronutrients. We must be cautious not to create another problem by trying to fix this one. For example, we must be very careful with the design of our packaging. We do not want to create a waste problem by trying to fix hidden hunger. Additionally, we are going to need to plant sweet potato plants so that our process can be sustainable and Sierra Leoneans can continue to make these muffins after we have left. We need to make sure that these sweet potato plants are not taking away from other crops’ farm space. We do not want a shortage of another crop because we are adding sweet potatoes. It is important that when we are implementing a process to fix a problem, that we use the Cradle to Cradle Design so that we are not causing another problem through our intervention.

4. In a conversation about how small the world is, one of my friends introduced me to the concept of “Six degrees of separation”. This means that anybody in the world can be connected to anybody else through a chain of 6 people. Although everybody talks about how the world is so small and everybody is connected, it is crazy to think that through 5 people, I am already connected to everybody in the world. Another interesting concept to me is the Theory of Everything in quantum mechanics. I do not know anything about quantum mechanics or physics but it seems unbelievable to me that there is no theory that describes everything in the world, given nature and science. A third interesting concept that a friend was telling me about is Solipsism. It is the theory that nothing exists besides our own consciousness. It is impossible to verify anything else, because anything else could be just a part of our consciousness.

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