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That's the news for now. is at 7 o'clock. Our next full bulletin The National Press Club is next. I'm Paul Lockyer. Good afternoon. International Pty Ltd Captioning and Subtitling Closed Captions produced by

This program is not subtitled Benyus as our speaker today are very pleased to welcome Janine

You can make your own judgment in

about an hour's time, but she has

certainly an outstanding record in

this field which many of you may

know by the name biomimicry, but this field which many of you may not

after you've listened to her for a

while, I'm sure you will recognise

many of the applications that are

already being made of this science

in Australia. Janine is a life

science writer, basically, an

innovation consultant and she has

written six books, one of which you

can see there called, 'Biomimicry -

innovation inspired by nature'

that's what it is, studying natural

processes in applications in daily

life. She has already had

contact with Australian audiences life. She has already had extensive

over the last few weeks and more is

to come. She is touring with her

colleague, Kath Lyn, who is also

here today which is what's known as

the natural project and we're very

pleased she was able to make this

part of that tour. Please welcome

Janine Benyus. APPLAUSE Thank you

very, very much. It is an honour

be here and I would like to thank very, very much. It is an honour to

the National Press Club and the

members of the Natural Age project

which is a terrific group of people

and have toured me to some

places and most importantly some and have toured me to some wonderful

wonderful groups of people in your

country. As a biologist, it has

been a life-long dream of mine to

come here, simply because you have

million species. 80% of them are come here, simply because you have a

found nowhere else on the planet,

and half of them are not even -

not even been identified and half of them are not even - have

scientifically. So literally, as I

was - everywhere I looked on this

tour, everything was new to my eyes,

which is an astound

which is an astounding experience.

If Daunte has circles in hell,

coming to Australia for the first

timen is one of the circles in

heaven for a biologist and I will

back. It is also similar in some heaven for a biologist and I will be

ways to my home state of Montana,

which is a big, broad-shouldered

state, like your country is. It is

a big, strong state that is also

very fragile, and I've learned this

about what Dorothy McCeller so

beautifully called the sunburnt

country. I have learnt that your

soils are fragile, that you have

flooding rains, that you have

parched a

parched aridty, that some of your

rivers dry out before they reach

your dualed seas of.

your dualed seas. It is a land of

extremes, and what that means to a

biologist is that it is a crucible

of create tift. It is a place

organisms are under stress, they of create tift. It is a place where

busy. They get busy understanding organisms are under stress, they get

very quickly the opportunities they

have on that landscape and the

limits they have on that landscape,

and then they learn to dance within

those parameters. They get

ingenius, and the adaptations that

you have in the biomes in Australia

are not only interesting to

biologists and the eco tourists

you have, I would suggest to you biologists and the eco tourists that

today that these organisms and

ecosystems will be sources of today that these organisms and their

inspiration for what might be the

next wave of innovation in

Australia. The world is waking up

to the fact that nature is abundant

and nature is resilient but she is

not endlessly abundant and she is

not endlessly resilient. And we

realising as we as a species head not endlessly resilient. And we are

towards this evolutionary extreme

climate change, extreme ecological

destruction, as we head in there,

splinters and all, what we are

realising is that like the

in your country, we've got to get realising is that like the organisms

really creative and innovation is

going to pull out through that knot

hold. So the question is on Monday

morning where do we find our good

ideas? And we've spent a long time

asking each other for good idea

asking each other for good ideas.

It's now time, I think, to start to

ask these organisms on your

continent and others for their

ideas, and this is a field called

biomimicry. This is a field that

your country, especially, has been

taking the lead in. Per capita, I

would say that Australia has more

bioprojects going on than many

countries I've been to. What bioprojects going on than many other

biomimicry is basically is taking a

design challenge and then finding

organism or an ecosystem that has design challenge and then finding an

already solved that challenge, and

literally trying to emulate what

learn, the design principles that literally trying to emulate what you

you learn. It's beyond Metaphor.

It's not hoping that our systems

like natural system, it's actually It's not hoping that our systems act

getting into deep conversation with

the organisms. That takes

biological knowledge and then it

takes a biologist work wg an

engineer or an architect or

to bring that knowledge to product. engineer or an architect or designer

Now, that's happening. I wrote a

book in 1997 about this, and most

the work was in research labs. Now book in 1997 about this, and most of

we can find the work in products.

And especially here in Australia, I

would like to talk to you about

products and some companies that would like to talk to you about some

have come out of this way of inknow

vaiting. And I would like to tell

the stories through the people that

are doing them because Australia is,

as I am realising, a very small

country of very ingenius people as

well as organisms. J Harman. Does

anybody know that name? Have you

heard of J Harman. He is an

inventor that grew up here in

Australia. He was with the

Department of Fish and wildlife.

spent a lot of time in the ocean. Department of Fish and wildlife. He

He spent a lot of time with his

tuned to certain patterns, that is He spent a lot of time with his eyes

how organisms dealt with extreme

flows of water. Now, one of the

things that he noticed was that

- long-ribbon kelp - are really, things that he noticed was that kelp

really pulled and roughed up by the

tide and yet they don't tear, and

wondered why that was. He reached tide and yet they don't tear, and he

down one day when he was eight and

pulled up the hold-fast of a green

kelp with his hand. So he realised

it wasn't the hold-fast that was

keeping the kelp in place. He

looked closer and what he realised

was that the water that was going

through the kelp, the kelp was

actually spiralling so that the

water could come through. He began

to see that kind of a spiral

everywhere. He began to see it in

sea shells. He realised it was in

the cochlear of our ear. He

realised it was in the pores of our

skin. That everywhere that flow

needs to go, that water or air

needs to go, that water or air needs to move without friction there

to move without friction there tends to be a spiral, including the zylum

of trees. And yet we had never

taken that shape and put it in

fan-blade gee om met tri-. So Jay

decided to try to start to build

some propellers, some fans based on this gee

this geometry. He now has a

this geometry. He now has a company called Pac Scientific. He is in

called Pac Scientific. He is in the States right now. His partner and

he are creating fan technology that

in its air-handling capacity, the

fans are, say, -- save 50% in

energy savings and are 75% quieter.

Now, imagine if every fan that you

were bored by. Have -- that you

were bothered by - have you ever

been in a room and a fan is going

and it's annoy. That's fiction.

Imagine if that sort of technology

took over across industries.

took over across industries. That's one story. Here is another story.

There is a man named Peter Stein

Berg who has a company called

Biosignal in Sydney. His story was

again in the ocean. He was looking

for a way to deal with bacterial build-up without use

build-up without using antibiotics

because of the problems with

antibiotic resistance, especially

antibiotic resistance, especially in hospitals. He was also looking for

a way to coat the bottom of our

boats with an anti-foul lant that

didn't leech heavy metals into the

water. He went into Botany Bay, he

looked for the organism that while

being surrounded by my scroebs had

no microbe build-up on its leaves.

What he found was that the sea

What he found was that the sea purse is not emitting a poison like we do.

The sea purse is actually emitting

a molecule that instead of killing

the bacteria, it simply jams their

communication networks, because

bacteria will not build up on a

surface unless there are enough of

them. It's called quar rum sensing.

So if their communication signals

are jammed, they Neverland. They

don't get friends to come down, so

they leave. He has mimicked this

and now Biosignal is creating

surfaces for hospitals, contact

lenses, anti-fouling paints. This

is a very, very important potential

way of dealing with microbes on

way of dealing with microbes in a

whole new way. We can mimic life's

form like the Pac's fans, we can

mimic life's recipes and we can

mimic life's ecosystems. A man

named Dean Cam has been winning a

lot of awards recently. I met him

yesterday - a lovely man. He has

created a technology that is based

on how soil organisms filler water,

sewage treatment and treatment of

grey water at the level of our

household. So instead of - nature

does things is a distributed way.

The energy generation is

distributed. The waste treatment

distributed. The waste treatment is distributed, and these biolitic -

basically they a kind of septic

basically they a kind of septic tank looking thing, but inside are

looking thing, but inside are layers of soil organisms. The soil

organisms over time create a Hume

mus which is exactly what you see

mus which is exactly what you see in the moist layers of soil. That

humus becomes the filter for the

sewage treatment and for the grey

water treatment. Now, because of

the structure of this humus, it doesn't

doesn't need to be air ratewide

fans. It -- airated with fans.

fans. It -- airated with fans. It costs 50% less. It uses less than

10% of the electricity. The added

benefit is that the awe ter from

this system can then be -- the

water from this system can be moved

through shallow piping to your yard

to recharge the ground water in

to recharge the ground water in your yard, and these can be networked.

So these are the type of

technologies I think as we move

technologies I think as we move away from centralised manufacturing,

centralised energy generation and

centralised waste treatment, it is

these distributed technologies that

will bring us into that next wave

will bring us into that next wave of innovation. I also met a man on

this trip named Mick pierce who I

wanted to meet for a really long

time. Mick pees is an architect.

You may know of him. He is one of

the green architects in Australia

and his passion is looking at

organisms like termites. Now, you

might wonder what termites have to

do with buildings in the United

States. -- in the United States,

all architects want to learn how to

till Kerr mites. He was building a

building in zam zam. He said,

building in zam zam. He said, "What is the building technology on this

landscape? ""So that it was termite

mounds which are basically very,

very large airconditioning units

very large airconditioning units for the termites that live beneath them.

the termites that live beneath them.)? Zimbabwe) Actually, it is a

very tall tower that - there are no

ter mits living in

ter mits living in the tower. It

ter mits living in the tower. It is actually filled with channels and

they are designed in such a way

they are designed in such a way that the air is actually pulled into

to

the air is actually pulled into that tower and at different wind speeds,

the air comes in and there is a

pressure gradient created and it's

actually pulled through that tower.

When the tower heats up, there is a

stack effect that goes on and air

stack effect that goes on and air is directed up and out of the chimney

and below the organisms are living

in the cool mud. So air is focused

down to the cool mud, the air gets

cooled, and then it gets pulled up

by these convective currents, it

gets pulled up and it keeps the

termite mound at 31 degrees

centigrade, no matter how hot it

gets or how cool it gets. He built

a building that had these

characteristics and had no

airconditioning in it. These are

the kind of large-level research

ideas that are going on. There is

ideas that are going on. There is a man named Malcolm Condon who has

realised that one of the most

important technologies for us is

going to be filtering, receiving,

going to be filtering, receiving, -- seiving, taking materials that we

now call poisons, like metals in

water, and getting them out through

what we might think of is kind of a

mining operation. The distributed

materials that are currently in our

waters and in our soil are in the

materials that we have to learn to

gather together and mine. So life

is full of filtering and seiving

applications. So, for instance, in

applications. So, for instance, in a company called Baline Filters, he

looked at the humpback whale which

is an organism that pulls in

enormous amounts of water, a. As

enormous amounts of water, a. As it pushes that water out, it captures

the krill and the comb of its

the krill and the comb of its baline does this seiving. What's new

does this seiving. What's new about is is that it doesn't get clogged.

There is a whale that the -- there

is a way that the whale makes sure

that with each intake of water it

doesn't get clogged. That's one of

the problems with our filtering

systems right now. So Malcolm

created a filter for waste

processing in food industries in

which the solids are kept on one

side, pure water is recovered on

side, pure water is recovered on the other side, and it's cleaned.

other side, and it's cleaned. These filters are cleaned over and over

and over again. Again, on the

ecosystem side, you've got people

like - and there are far too many

like - and there are far too many to name in the world of agriculture in

Australia. I think one of the big

exports that you really already

exports that you really already have given to the world is the idea of

water sensitive farming methods,

water sensitive farming methods, and you're up against those questions

because you are such a dry

continent. So you're looking for

ways to do farming while keeping a

water balance. And the way that

water balance. And the way that you have looked at this is to look at

the ecosystems that were here

the ecosystems that were here before we removed them and replaced them

with annual plants, and to try to

bring elements of those ecosystems

back. So, a person, for instance,

Peter Andrews is somebody who is

working on something called natural

sequence farming. So he is putting

weirs, leafy weirs in streams to

build up a sequence of ponds. This

is something that used to happen

naturally. Along rivers, there

naturally. Along rivers, there were plants, deep-rooted perennials and

trees with deeper roots that used

trees with deeper roots that used to help keep that water balance, keep

that lens of water along the flood

plain so that water wouldn't race

down after your flooding rains and

gouge out and erode away deep

incisions, but rather that it would

stop, be slowed, be taken up by the

plants and held in this lens of

water. Recreating those ecosystem

level structures, the things that

the ecosystem used to do for us and

now recreating those in crops that

we can eat or that cattle and sheep

can eat, that's this whole field of

ecosystem Ma'ale Adumim ci in

farming. You guys had the very

first conference that I ever saw on

ecosystem Ma'ale Adumim ci and ago

ecosystem Ma'ale Adumim ci and agriculture way back in 1987 and

that was here in Australia. You

have a legacy of permaculture and

all kinds of ecosystem-based

farming. You also have a green

chemistry centre in Monash, and I

believe green chemistry is also

going to be one of the fields that

will get us through this

evolutionary knot hold. What green

chemistry is replacing industrial

chemistry with nature's chemistry

book. It is a big, big job, but

book. It is a big, big job, but one of the processes that are now being

mimicked - there is a gentleman

called Dr Ben Nassan and he is at

the University of technology in

Sydney. He has written the most

recent and I think the most

comprehensive review on bioceramics

and it is a new way of

hard materials without use

and it is a new way of manufacturing hard materials without using any

kilns. Basically we have been

making ceramics in the same way for

5,000 years, taking earth slurry

5,000 years, taking earth slurry and firing it. Organisms can't afford

to do that. So every time you go

to do that. So every time you go to the Barrier Reef and you see Mohl

lust beings and sea shells and

abalones and the coral reef itself

and every time you bite your

breakfast cereal in the morning,

you're looking at a bioceramics.

Your teeth, bones and sea shells

Your teeth, bones and sea shells are bioceramics - about 70 different

kinds. What we're learning is how

to mimic those, how to mimic the

process of those. Our computer

chips are made of silicon. There

are many marine organisms that have

the same composition as what we use

with our computer chips. It is the

manufacturing that is really,

different. So I'm looking at manufacturing that is really, really

like the green chemistry institute different. So I'm looking at places

to start to teach us about

self-assembly and chemistry in

at room temperature and low self-assembly and chemistry in water

pressures. It's extremely - what

you have here in Australia is the

start of this next wave of

innovation, I think. You've got

scientific base. I mean, just innovation, I think. You've got the

having 6,000 people in C s.

having 6,000 people in CSIRO is

amazing. When I do miser muches, I constantly see C s.

constantly see CSIRO and I see CIC

coming up with biomimic ideas.

artificial photo sin they sis coming up with biomimic ideas. Your

network is the largest in the world.

That's where we're looking at

leaves or photo sin they sis

criteria to try to mimic them.

So you've got the scientific basis.

What you also have - the people

met on this tour are the people - What you also have - the people I've

and there are some of them in the

room - people like Mohly

Harris-Olsen. People like Dr John

EP a. Cole and Stacey McLeod of

EPA, real pioneers in the world of Cole and Stacey McLeod of Queensland

sustainable, bringing sustainable

thinking to business and government

and communities. Philip Bangateur

I knew them by first names of Hatch. and communities. Philip Bangateur -

Greg Bruce of the Townsville City

Council. Some people are nodding -

you know these people. Amber Nell

who the deputy mayor of Townsville.

Dan Atkins who is a young man who

started in sustainable engineering

practice. Tony Kelly of Yarra

valley Water. These are people who

are creating your root network if

you will. They are putting down

roots, the knowledge bases, what you will. They are putting down the

you're going to need to take you to

that next step in sustainability.

When you look at a forest, you're

only seeing what's above the ground,

and it's not even the half of it.

tree For instance, if you look at the

trees that survived the Katrina

Hurricane, the live oaks that

survived, those live oaks, one

wonders why they survived. They

lost a lot of branches, but they

Charles Street survive. Some of them on saint lost a lot of branches, but they did

Charles Street are 1,200 years old.

What you don't know is that one of

the reasons they are surviving is

that beneath the ground they have a

root ball that is 150 feet wide and

that root ball is interconnected,

interwoven with the roots nearby,

that when the wind hits, it's not interwoven with the roots nearby, so

hitting one live oak, it is hitting

an entire forest of them. That's

what I see happening here in the

networks in Australia. You are

building your roots for this

sustainability revolution. And you

might see these individual projects

as seedlings in an understory right

now . They're waiting for their

time in the sun, and believe me, at

some point, very, very, very soon,

that over

that overstory of old industrial

paradigm is going to fall, and

seedlings of demonstration projects paradigm is going to fall, and these

that you have going on in Australia

are going to get all the sun they

need. And you're going to find, I

think, that people will be

clamouring to hear what you know

what the organisms in your country clamouring to hear what you know and

know. And as we talk with these

people around Australia, it is a

very pragmatic country. We talked

about next steps. What they wanted

was four next steps, basically.

They wanted to somehow - they liked

this idea of learning from the

organisms in this country and

new, more sustainable products from organisms in this country and making

them. What they wanted was to know

more about these organisms. We

half of them identified more about these organisms. We have

scientifically. They wanted to

interview the flora and fauna and

learn more, and that's really the

first step in biomimicry, is the

quieting of human cleverness and

beginning to pay attention to

organisms that have already learned

this. The second thing that they

wanted to do is begin to listen to

what they learnt from these

organisms, and share it. So the

biological knowledge right now is

out there in abundance . The

problem is that engineers,

architects, designers, the people

who make our world, do not yet have

access to that information, so they

wanted to see a knowledge base grow

so that biological information

be shared with the people at the so that biological information could

moment of creation --

moment of creation - at the moment

of creation, could be shared with

the people who need it. In the

United States we are working on a

portal that will organise by

function, so how does nature feel,

communicate, desalinate. And

biomimic papers will do this. They

want more than that. What they

really want is to have both the

knowledge, but they also want to

have the biologists at the design

table. They actually want people

who have this knowledge to start

working with them at the moment of

design. So what we talked about

building a cadry of biologists who design. So what we talked about was

know enough about design and

engineering that they can sit at

table and the engineers can say, engineering that they can sit at the

"Well, tell me, how does nature

desalinate?" So building up a base

in your biological community of

basically a slot team that can come

in and help design. The third step,

once you've quieted human

and you've listened and shared what once you've quieted human cleverness

you know, the third step is to

actually echo what you have heard

and that's the actual emmu lags.

the Australians that we have talked and that's the actual emmu lags. So

to want to actually do a project.

They want to make a bio They want to make a biomimicic

building. They want to build a

water treatment facility that

nature in many, many ways. They water treatment facility that mimics

want to actually try this emu lags.

They want to bring wants currently

in the research labs out and into

the market. Then that fourth step,

once you have quieted human

cleverness and you've listened and

you've echoed what you've heard

through emulation is a giving

for what you've heard. Now, this through emulation is a giving thanks

a step in which the loop, the for what you've heard. Now, this is

Thanksgiving loop completes the

circle, because what we've done

historically in the industrial circle, because what we've done over

revolution - from the industrial

revolution on, is basically go,

raw materials, take them, make them revolution on, is basically go, find

into products and waste, and go

and take more, not really thinking into products and waste, and go back

about that finite container that we

were taking them from. In this

revolution, I think we have to

more about where we get not just revolution, I think we have to think

resources, but now where we get our more about where we get not just our

ideas. Because when you think

ideas. Because when you think about it, these ecosystems, the biomes in

Australia are the wealth springs of

good ideas. So what we thought

about and talked about was after

this process in which we create all

kinds of biomimic inventions, that

we ask the companies who have come

up with these inventions and are

up with these inventions and are now profiting from them, to donate a

percentage of the proceed

percentage of the proceeds to

preserve the habitat that inspired

the organisation. So, for instance,

Mercedes-Benz has created a concept

car based on the way the box fish -

it's hydro dynamic. Imagine if

it's hydro dynamic. Imagine if they brought this to market and a

percentage of the proceeds went to

conserve coral reef habitat. It

seems to me that's the least we can

do - give credit where credit is

due, and build in a loop that is a

win-win, for the organism, for us

and for the ecosystem that will

and for the ecosystem that will give us our lessons, our next set of

lessons for the next wave of

innovation and the next and the

next. So, I am going to close and

open this up to questions. But I

would leave you with a vision that

actually helps me get up in the

morning, and that is that we, this

very, very young species, with the

help of our elder

help of our elders, get through

help of our elders, get through that evolutionary knot hold and that we

bloom on the other side into a

species that is welcome here, a

species that is what in ecology we

call a keystone species, a species

that not only meets its own needs,

but in the process of meeting its

own needs, it makes it possible for

other organisms to meet theirs.

Organisms create conditions

conducive to life. I'm hoping that

as we bloom on the other side of

that keyhold, that that's the kind of

of species we become. I'm hoping

that on the day that we can say our

technologies are functionally

indistinguishable from the natural

deck knoll jis that we see all

around us, that they work just as

benignly, that they enhance the

earth just as well, on that day we

will be home. We will be home on

the planet and on this continent

that we sprang from and that we

belong to. Thank you very much for

sharing Australia with me and

sharing Australia with me and please take care of it. Thank you.

APPLAUSE

Thank you very much, Janine Benyus.

As usual, we have a period of

questions today. The first one

today is from Peter Phillips.

Ms Benyus, Peter Phillip

Ms Benyus, Peter Phillips from the

Ms Benyus, Peter Phillips from the - one of the Directors of the

one of the Directors of the National Press Club. Conventional

contemporary or docksy and

imperatives have it that it's the

market that will make key decisions,

including in relation to new

products and new processes, and

sustained by and obviously to a

great extent sustaining this

orthodoyy makes it pretty easy

forgot governments to do what they

are doing which is arguably not

enough. If governments are not

doing enough not in the Northern

Hemisphere, not in the Southern

Hemisphere, what more and more

importantly, in what ways can what

you're doing being transported and

be conveyed to governments to

convince them that they have to do

more and then to do more? Well, I

would say that - I would echo Chuck

Hazenbrook of the sp centre for

royal independence. He says that

what we research is what we get and

that research is a form of social

planning. So what we're researching

today and very often, and

in this country, you're really good today and very often, and especially

about government stepping up and

funding research, and so what

funding today is what we will get funding research, and so what you're

a society in 20 years. So I think funding today is what we will get as

role for governance is to choose a society in 20 years. So I think a

those research agendas very, very

carefully. I think another role is the convene

the convening of the best minds in

business to try to sort out what

the grand challenges of our time. business to try to sort out what are

Bruce Mal says, "Now that we can do

anything, what should we be doing?

That's a very, very important anything, what should we be doing?"

question and it's one that maybe

government can help us sort out.

we were, for instance, to gather government can help us sort out. If

together, not just as a continent,

but as a global body, if we were to

gather together the 20

sustainability challenges for the

next five years and then work

proactively and deliberately to put

the best minds on those and to try

to solve those, I'm wondering what

we could do as a species.

Governments that - in Japan, I've

seen organisations like Miti which

is a research organisation that is

both public and private. It is a

combined kind of research

organisation. What they've done is

encourage cooperation in the

research lab among companies to

solve common challenges, and

competition then in the showroom.

There are a lot of sustainability

challenges like what is - how do we

stop using compounds to do fire re

retarred dancecy, for instance. stop using compounds to do fire

These things we see around us are

bathed in a chemical that will soon

be banned in many parts of the

and yet we really don't have a good be banned in many parts of the world

example of a way to stop combustion

quickly the way these compounds do.

These a sort of

These a sort of a research

that is across industries. The These a sort of a research challenge

electronics industry has it, furn

initialings, interiors have it, car

manufactures have it. That's on a

very small scale, but if you look

some of those questions and you very small scale, but if you look at

gather together research dollars to

solve them cooperatively, I think

that's where government could help.

one of the ways. A question from that's where government could help -

Glenn Milne. Glenn Milne from News

Limited Sunday pub pli kaitions and

the Sunday newspaper. I belong to

that rare fieed and obvious reviled

species called political

and our filtering systems are much species called political journalists

cruder than whales, so forgive me

for asking you a political question.

about There is a debate in this country

about the privatisation of what's

called the Snowy Mountains hydro

electricity scheme. This is

basically a debate over the control

of our water supply and rivers in

what you mentioned through your

researches as probably the driest

country in the world. I'm

whether in your paradigm some country in the world. I'm wondering

see this debate a question of whether in your paradigm some people

national security. In other words,

if we privatise this huge scheme

it's headquartered in Los Angeles, if we privatise this huge scheme and

in America, what regard would that

company board have to Australia's

water supply needs, and I'm

wondering whether you see a linkage

between that kind of national

security interest and the

of a country like Australia's security interest and the uniqueness

natural resources? It's interesting

because we have the same thing

on in Montana Wright now. We've because we have the same thing going

sold our dams to out

sold our dams to outside interests,

and it is - you know, I'm not an

economist and I'm not a political

scientist by any means. I do know

that local control - in the natural

world, the rewards

world, the rewards are local and

it's a very, very close feedback

loop, that if you do something

by your ecosystem, your direct loop, that if you do something right

descendants and descendants so,000

years from now will benefit, so

there is a direct evolutionary

pressure for you to continue to do

thinkings sustainably for organisms

condition to do things sustainably and in thinkings sustainably for organisms

conditions sustainable to life. So

I think in things as important as

what you're talking about, people

whose offsprings have to live in a

watershed should be the ones in

charge of these kind of decisions,

they should live with the

consequences of those decisions.

I would advocate bringing authority consequences of those decisions. So

back locally. I know we have in

Montana. Maurice Riley. Maurice

Riley from the National Press Club.

We see at this forum some very

prestigious speakers and we include

you in that, in the sciences and

arts communities, and we always are you in that, in the sciences and the

amazed at some of the things that

are happening in the world, in

of innovation, invention, new ideas, are happening in the world, in terms

but it always occurs to us that the

other problem in getting the

out is science's role in the media, other problem in getting the message

generally the front page is

and in this country, and in this country, depending on generally the front page is politics

what city you live in, there is a

form of football or sport, and I

even remember Professor Peter

Doherty who was a Nobel Prize win

Doherty who was a Nobel Prize

winner, alarmed at the fact that in

the Australian Football League, AFL,

there was something like 500

journalists nationally and in the

science community there was

something like one tenth of that.

In fact, it had him - you might

this hard to believe - it actually In fact, it had him - you might find

had him gobsmacked because he is

prone to so few things, Peter. But

at the end of the day, how do you

project the message better out

because at the end of the day, even project the message better out there

though I'm not a political

journalist, you have

journalist, you have to win the

hearts of the communitind

hearts of the community and you

to win the - governments have to hearts of the community and you have

react to it and politics has to

react to it and money has to be

thrown at it and so on and so forth.

That's right. I wrote five books

adaptation before I wrote mimicry. That's right. I wrote five books on

I real ayesed that not many people

are reading these books at all. I

mean, - and that the importance of

eco literacy, of getting people to

understand how the world works,

science reporting, is one of the

most important things we need to do

right now. So I cast around really

for a way of presenting why it is

that it's so important to conserve

biodiversity. And what I found,

quite to my delight, is that this

not just an argument for conserving quite to my delight, is that this is

biodiversity, which is obviously is,

but there are more people listen

but there are more people listening

to how life works now than I would

ever have done by writing just

natural history books or writing

doom and gloom books about how bad

things are. I think people know

things are. I think people know how bad things are. I think the

problems space has been well

defined. There is still a role for

people to be brought up to speed on

that, but for me I wanted to move

into the solution space, and the

conservation message comes last.

What is the first message in this

What is the first message in this is the innovation message and suddenly

you have groups of business people

listening to how - listening to

science speaker, and I find that

very interesting. I find it to be

very interesting. I find it to be a sign of the times. I think that as

a community of business people, we

understand that we need not just

small change, but we need to

re-imagine everything, and I think

we realised that we don't have time

to go through the trial and error

and make the same mistakes. So

there is a natural resonance with

this idea of how life has worked,

and it makes sense to people. You

know, it's not a stretch. It makes

sense. We've painted ourselves

sense. We've painted ourselves into a corner technologically. We're

a corner technologically. We're not as optimistic as we once were about

our ability to get our selves out

our ability to get our selves out of that corner, and there is a

that corner, and there is a definite trust in the natural world and how

the natural world has worked.

the natural world has worked. There is a knowledge gap, so I think

is a knowledge gap, so I think there is a teachable moment right now.

People are listening. People are listening - to science.

It shocks me! The next question is

from Martin Dwyer. Martin Dwyer

from Martin Dwyer. Martin Dwyer from Engineers Australia. More on the

innovation, I suppose. How do we

move from at the moment seems to be

accidental and isolated incidences

of inany vaition to a more

of inany vaition to a more strategic approach? What are the areas of

engineering and industry which are

more likely to yield results with

biomimicry, and what's the

biomimicry, and what's the strategic approach we need to have to find

those opportunities? That's an

excellent, excellent question. I

think that if you look at where

biomimicry has been funded, it has

been funded by the military, it has

been funded by space agencies.

been funded by space agencies. They have a particular interest in

biomimic etics. We're new now to

fund it through governments and

through businesses. So what are

through businesses. So what are the fields that are key right now? I

would say the field of material

science, nano technology,

self-assembly, the field of green

chemistry is key, and again the

lesson there is, in green chemistry,

is we don't have time to substitute

chemical for chemical and say,

chemical for chemical and say, "This is a bad chemical, let's find

another chemical." What the green

chemistry folks are trying to do is

go back and look at whole families

of chemical reactions and say

daition reaction, how do we do it,

how does it work in the natural

world? There is a much smaller

number of chemical reactions. The

green field of energy, finding a

to go to solar, to go to solar green field of energy, finding a way

hydrogen is going to be key, and

biomimicry is playing a large role in the art

in the artificial photo sin they

I talked about, but is also playing in the artificial photo sin they sis

a role in fuel cell technologies,

because there is a chemistry that

goes on here on our planet. So I

would really - because I would beef

up funding in the processing part

biomimicry, OK. That's that next up funding in the processing part of

step. The ecosystem part of

biomimicry is obviously just as

important, and that's the level of

whole-city planning, whole-industry

planning. I haven't talked much

about that, but on an ecosystem

level, what you do is you try to

mimic, for instance, a coral reef

a forest, and you put organisms in mimic, for instance, a coral reef or

food web of industries, and I think a forest, and you put organisms in a

that's something that can happen -

that's a strategic thing to do

today, is to say, "What are the

industries that are here in

Australia, what's coming out into

their dumpsters or on their cutting

room floors that can be taken and

used as raw material for another

industry?" Hooking up and making

your economy as tight, as far as

loops as a coral reef eco system.

That's something that can happen

today. I would like to ask you a

couple of questions springing from

what you've already said, but I

would just like to remind the

audience, that if there are people

out there who would like to ask

questions, if they let ab by here

know, she will make it possible for

you. A lot of what you've said in

answer to questions and in your

address bear on a point which most answer to questions and in your main

Western capitalist governments find

order they hard to accept and that's the

ordering of priorities and what

call picking winners. They hate ordering of priorities and what they

appearance that a decision may call picking winners. They hate any

advantage somebody and disadvantage

somebody else because it is

electorally Dang just and populous

politicians don't like doing that

sort of thing. What sort of sense

of urgency do you imagine will be

necessary in the situation you're

talking about, the knot hold

concept, to overcome that sort of

inertia, and if you can overcome it,

who picks the winners? Again, I

think that - the thing that we

haven't really done as a movement

the sustainability movement, is to haven't really done as a movement in

define what success means in a very

broad and strong way, the criterion

of success, and the way you sort or

the way you pick winners has

everything to do with the criteria

you set. And the criteria does not

yet match some biological realities.

I mean, if the criteria, for

instance, was we want to do - say

chemistry again - we want to do

chemistry in the way nature do

chemistry in the way nature does,

would put enormous emphasis on chemistry in the way nature does, we

chemistry in ambient conditions.

The winner in terms of companies to

incent or research projects to

incent would fall out of that. We

would be basing not on a political

preference, but rather on something

that we collectively had decided

in our best interest.

that we collectively had decided was in our best interest, to go towards.

And it gets back to that

And it gets back to that governance piece. You know, what are the

truths that we hold to be

self-evident? What are the

biological truths that we, as a

species, hold to be self-evident?

And how do we make those the

criteria by which we define what is

profitable? Yes. There is a

question down the back. Thank you.

Brian Walker from CSIRO. I have a

question about Jevens' paradox who

was a mid-1800s Skoien tifs, who

noted that the running out of coal

didn't in fact lead to less coal

being used, but more because it was

cheaper and more widespread. The

efficiency of fuel use in cars is

not leading to fewer cars or less

fuel being used. More cars,

fuel being used. More cars, driving further, more bridges, more roads.

The bounceback effect generally

comes under Jevens' paradox. So

some of the things you mentioned

some of the things you mentioned are win-win and should go ahead, but

win-win and should go ahead, but all of those you addressed as a primary

reason for doing it. As a

ecologist, it means you reduce the

resilience of the system and you

have this bounceback effect where

have this bounceback effect where in fact you create and prolong the

problem further down the road.

Without stretching this too far, it

is akin to some of the colleague

is akin to some of the colleagues

is akin to some of the colleagues of developing the atom bomb. So I'm

not suggesting that this technology

shouldn't go ahead. My question is

how much responsibility do those

promote efficiency gain

how much responsibility do those who promote efficiency gains should

promote efficiency gains should look at the consequences of that and

at the consequences of that and what should you be trying to involve

yourselves in in its application?

Excellent question. Every day we

work with companies like general

electric and general mills and FC

Johnson, large companies and we

Johnson, large companies and we have to say to our selves, "What's worth

doing? What do we improve. What

technologies if we are going to

improve them and make them more

efficient, are we indeed - Wes

Jackson puts this way: Are we

creating a more efficient pump when

what we really should be doing is

maintaining the well? Do you see

what I mean? So, agree with you.

what I mean? So, agree with you. In some cases if we increase the

efficiency of the current paradigm,

we basically deplete faster and

faster and faster, and yet the

paradox is that we've got a

Tranition period where we have

things that we are currently using,

technologies we are currently using,

and they have to last us until we

and they have to last us until we do the radical rechange, OK, and those

technologies are leaping like sifs

right now and destroying, so there

is a - I honour the people who are

doing eco efficiency work because

it's absolutely necessary, but it's

not enough, and I think they know

that. It's part of the mosaic of

ideas out there and there is a

diversity of ideas you need. You

also need to work on re-imagining

the entire thing. I mean, building

in ways that - using completely

local materials, going directly to

sunlight, re-using water over and

over and over again, and get do you

work with a company that is sealing

a pipe who is still transporting

water to a centralised place, do

water to a centralised place, do you help them seal the pipe? Yes. I

think you do both. You know, you

work on decentralised. You work on

getting rid of the pipe, and you

work on sealing the pipe, because

this is evolution through time.

Janine, thank you very much. We've

been defeated by time again.

OK. I'm glad you've made the

decision already to come back to

Australia, because we made a

decision to make you a member, so

any time you come back, please come

back again. Thank you. May I do

back again. Thank you. May I do one thing that I have been extremely

remiss to do, and that is to

recommend to you a book. My

pleasure is to look at the natural

world and find case studies of what

works. This is a book written by

Australians - there are some of

Australians - there are some of them right here, Charlie Hargraves and

Cheryl patent and Mike Smith is

Cheryl patent and Mike Smith is also here. It is co-authored and edited

and Nick Poulou, s project. This

and Nick Poulou, s project. This is an encyclopedia of best practices

around the world. It is a follow

around the world. It is a follow up to the natural capitalism book and

it's tremendous. You should be

very, very proud of of these young

people in your country, and I'm

sorry I was remiss to do that.

And they launched it here. Did they?

That's great. Thank you very much. APPLAUSE. Closed Captions provided by Captioning and Subtitling

International Pty Ltd His face and voice are almost as familiar as a member of your own family. He's been a constant presence - first on radio, then film, finally television for almost 70 years. He's still acting and remains passionate about his craft. Tonight's talking head is 'Bud' Tingwell. UPBEAT THEME MUSIC