Despite endless change and disruption, massive upheaval and cosmic collisions, nature has survived the worst of times and thrived in the best of them for 3.8 billion years. She knows what works, what lasts and what contributes to the future of life on Earth. She is the undisputed master of continuous innovation, adaptation and, ultimately, regeneration. What if we would tap into the NI that stood the test of time to fast track innovation so that we can develop new capabilities, build agile, creative and responsible organisations and healthy and resilient cities and landscapes? We might learn to become life-friendly and self-renewing right where we are and transform our current degenerative value system into a regenerative one, enhancing the world through benign innovation. This may sound like science fiction, but is already happening.
“Forget AI. What the world needs the most today is NI.”
Mushrooms make rain, whales cool the climate, termites build islands, foxes green the tundra, and plankton create clouds. In Natural Intelligence, Leen Gorissen, PhD in biology, shares the latest breakthrough insights from biology and makes a solid case for why NI, not AI, should be at the forefront of business innovation.
The book covers groundbreaking insights from the life sciences and how these change the way we look at change and innovation. It shares some of the most advanced thinking and novelties in bio-inspired innovation —covering disciplines like biomimicry, biophilia, permaculture, living systems thinking, nature-based solutions and regenerative design— and clusters these nature-inspired disciplines under the umbrella of NI because nature is the largest R&D project in history. Gazillions of field tests have led to designs that outclass any man-made design in terms of efficiency, effectiveness, adaptability, resiliency and endurance.
The book also illustrates that once you understand how life works, you will see that sustainability is the by-product of regeneration. Regeneration is a biological process of renewal that leads to a higher order or health, wealth, vitality and viability. Because in the long run, innovations will only last if they leave the world better off. NI therefore offers a whole new lens to look at innovation, organisation, development and design. It unlocks pathways to shift from degenerative to regenerative value creation —upgrading the world through nature-inspired innovation. Stay tuned to learn more about the way life works and how it might inspire you to rethink the nature of innovation.
"Victor Hugo once wrote, 'Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.' Leen Gorissen offers us Natural Intelligence as her evidence of it.”
Dee Hock I Founder and CEO Emeritus of VISA
“This book is a fantastic account of how science is rediscovering at last the magic essence of life on which ancient wisdom was built. It shows how universal interdependency and collaboration, not individuality and competition, shape the fabric of life. Learning how mushrooms make rain and wolves change rivers is also a healthy lesson in humility. Leen Gorissen exposes brilliantly our blind spots and rightly claims for a deep reinvention to get away from our suicidal behavior. The trick looks simple: life is the art of providing for one another, for all living as well as non-living nature. Nothing on Earth is more relevant for humanity than this change of mindset.”
Carlos Alvarez-Pereira I Member of the Club of Rome
"We have entered a time of unprecedented change and disruption for both business and the planet. Betting on innovation-as-usual is like flying into space with an air-balloon. This masterful account on ‘Natural Intelligence’ discloses a whole new way of innovating, based on millions of years of R&D. But it also offers an insightful and optimistic way to fast forward to a future where doing business profits not only the customers and the company but the planet as well."
Peter Hinssen I Serial Entrepreneur & Thought Leader on Radical Innovation
"Leen Gorissen's "Natural Intelligence" is chock full of deep wisdom about how we can live and thrive in harmony with our planetary home. And the photos woven throughout remind us that nature is not just intelligent, it is soul-stirringly beautiful. I hope this book is widely recognized for the value it brings. It's on my 'recommend' list."
Pamela Mang I Co-founder Regenesis Institute for Regenerative Practice
"Circular bio-based economy is the oldest concept on the earth. Nothing is lost and everything has a purpose. It makes sense to embrace it and behave accordingly. In essence there is only one question we have to answer: Do we agree that we humans are part of the nature too? Natural Intelligence provides a very convincing, clear and un-disputable answer."
Janez Potocnik I Former EU Commissioner for the Environment
"My favourite sentence of the book has to be the following: 'It is only an investment if it leaves the world better off'. And Nature is showing us exactly how to do this, having perfected over billions of years the skill of solving complex challenges. We are fortunate to have people such as Leen Gorissen among us to remind us of this fact. She teaches us to observe better and to try out solutions inspired by the beauty surrounding us."
Thomas Van Craen I Managing Director Triodos Bank Belgium
”Interested in AI? Start learning from NI.
Leen Gorissen shows the power of biology, nature’s R&D and complex systems design.”
Saara Kankaanrinta I Visionary Entrepreneur, Chairman & Co-founder
with a focus on climate, sea, soil and biodiversity
Leen Gorissen, Ph.D. in Biology and founder of Centre4NI is specialized in ecology, transition science, regenerative design and bio-inspired innovation. From 2009 to 2017, she worked for the Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO Belgium) where she headed projects on sustainable forest management, circular economy and urban sustainability transitions. As an innovation biologist and transition process facilitator at Centre4NI, Leen helps organizations and businesses to innovate like nature. She has worked for a broad range of clients, including the European Environment Agency, CIMMYT, the Belgian, Swedish and Portuguese EPAs, Triodos, SAS, Port of Antwerp, School of Systems Change, Philips, BD, nexxworks, EDFLuminus, Courage, Business Leaders and the Portuguese Business Council for Sustainable Development. She organized bio-inspired innovation sessions in cities across the world including San Francisco, Oakland, Mexico-City, Perth, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Gothenburg, Lisbon, Barcelona, Athens, Helsinki, Utrecht and Brussels and is the lead author of the book ‘Change the World City by City’ by LannooCampus (2018).
"The nature of the future and the future of nature are interdependent."
Leave your email and get a free sample of the book
Leen is a passionate and engaging speaker and loves to interact with the audience. She can offer conventional keynotes or more experiential and interactive ones. If you are up for it, she can even take you on an inspirational journey into the woods. If you are looking for a keynote or a multiple day workshop formula to dive deep into NI and how to apply it to your organisation, you can ask for a tailor-made proposal. Leen is also part of a vast network of experts, if she cannot help you, she will probably know who can!
Tel.: +32 (0) 499 343932