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Growing Life by Biomimicry Alliance

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Growing our rural communities strengths is key to adapting to and responding to climate change.



Through our research we discovered that rural communities often struggle to find and maintain their unique identity amidst change, often being consumed or drained by nearby cities. The loss of businesses, people, and culture leaves towns vulnerable when climate change causes dramatic shifts to agricultural, ecological, economic, or social norms.

Our proposal is broken down into four distinct categories of effort that all seek to build on the strength of small communities while providing people with the tools to design for a future of adaptation and change.

Gaggle Life - A digital and physical marketing and branding platform that allows independent businesses and people within a town to create community events and prioritize activities around important visions or efforts relevant to the town. This technological and human platform grows community support around new ideas, and builds on what works.

School of Life - Based off of the highly successful School of Life started in London, this local school of life for rural communities addresses their unique problems and challenges of living and developing rural regions. Based in sound philosophical needs of people of the place, this school can adjust to accommodate the changing needs of grown-ups and responsible citizens who care about each other and their community.

Seeds for Life - A small business rural incubation fund, tied to the School of Life and the Gaggle Life program it endeavors to seek out local investments and local individuals to spur economic and social activities that align with creating stronger community, offering viable local services, and builds on sustainability frameworks. 

Category of the action

Mitigation/Adaptation, Changing public attitudes about climate change

What actions do you propose?

Our proposal indicates a need to find suitable funding and partnerships to enable this systems based approach to supporting communities for climate change. We further propose that  2 to 3 small rural areas be selected as trials to build out the resources and mechanisms described. These towns should have a diversity in their culture, location, climate challenges, and distance from urban areas.

Gaggle Life - As a technology and physical platform will require development that can be easily repeatable or scaled to different cities. As a central communication device for the city it will require community support and buy-in before the technology is implemented.

School of Life - The initial steps are partnering with School of Life, and developing early content and staff that can build the resource for the local community. Each school of life is scalable in terms of general organization structure, or financing models - however content may need to be dramatically adjusted based on location, language, culture.

Seeds of Life - As a closely tied incubator the seeds of life fund works to identify those prospects that have the long-term sustainable and resilient changes in mind for the community. As an investment vehicle, it’s success helps the community grow.

Who will take these actions?

The Biomimicry Alliance is an ad hoc network of members who are part of the Biomimicry Network. We have a specific interest community development, architecture, regional planning, and ecosystem development. Our members consist of entrepreneurs, engineers, architects, and biologists. Our process strength is in creating the large frameworks and connections between people and place. The ideas set forth in this proposal emerged from some of the best ideas from nature - including:

  • How grasshoppers manage to thrive by changing behavior in harsh conditions.

  • How fish form schools in order to sense and respond as a community.

  • How small ecosystems flourish when there are more generalist players in the community.

  • How moths coordinate despite huge distances and many hurdles along the way.

As facilitators of the end concepts we are in a position to make connections, build a supportive international community, and direct funds to those agencies that can build on-the ground solutions. For each of these endeavors however we have found that it is likely the local population that will benefit most from helping to build these organizations and structures.

Where will these actions be taken?

Our proposed locations for initial locations include rural areas is: United States, Croatia, South Africa, and Brazil. These locations have strong regional networks in biomimicry and we can leverage these resources to help the local organizations on the ground.

What are other key benefits?

The key benefits of this kind of comprehensive systems thinking is that it builds on itself. The entrepreneur based gaggle system seeks to immediately help organize and contribute to the region's success. The School of Life, and Seeds for Life help support continued growth and development of the town. The great strength of rural communities is in supporting and building community.

What are the proposal’s costs?

The proposals costs are dependent on location, but early estimates include:

Gaggle Life - $300k for software and technology development

School of Life - $300k Town for early development of program and location

Seeds for Life - $300k venture fund for supporting regional sustainability and resilience efforts at $25k sums.

Time line

We will begin allocating funds to regional centers in 2016. The School of Life and Seeds of Life begin first classes and investments in the Fall of 2016 Spring 2017. Gaggle life development begins in fall 2015, and rolls out summer of 2016.

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