New Biological Models (and what they imply for businesses)

It has been a good year for new biological models that have impacts on businesses, and I was recently lucky enough to spend a day with the heads of research teams in Oxford looking at their current aspects of research. They might not be working on business related models, but they made me think rather hard about the parallels. The day before, I was also sat listening to a full lecture on the future of cities, and what that implies for the human race, and civilisation in particular.

As ever, smashing two unrelated themes together is a good way to create ‘serendipity’, and the little connections that light up will, I hope, provide some themes for the next few months of content.

Some of the highlights:

  • what is the best response of disturbed ecosystems to massive trauma (something that is already being discussed in business terms)?
  • why is it vital to select against inflexibility?
  • would you let a slime mould plan your logistics?
  • why the network is the organism?
  • what it means to ‘pulsate’, and why is it important?
  • is it a good idea to put a fly in a synchrotron?
  • what to duck hunting eagles and guided missiles teach us about hitting a target?
  • why do ponds disappear if you eat tortoises?
  • what can you learn about mitochondria from video that a photo cannot tell you?
  • is being in equilibrium the same as being dead?
  • how can microscopic green dots chill an entire planet?
  • when is having two diseases less bad than just having one?

These might not emerge in order, but each one has jogged a specific business related concept out of a comfortable seat and into the uncomfortable light of new information. I still think that nature has a massive amount to teach us about the optimal ways to conduct business, and how to deal with the evolution of our market places, and I’d be pleased for comments, new subjects and – frankly – any pointers to the maths of it all.

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