State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

Strategies from Ecology and Evolution for Business

Business strategy and the scientific disciplines of ecology and evolution share a similar vocabulary: competition, resources, game theory, and ecosystems. Companies and business theorists alike increasingly appreciate how natural systems provide powerful models for design, operations, and strategy.

Velcro is an example of a biomimetic invention which has copied burrs and uses small flexible hooks to reversibly attatch to fluffy surfaces. This fruit attatches to animal fur via the hooks on its surface to improve distribution – Photo by Zephyris

Join your colleagues and friends at the Center for Environmental Research and Conservation to learn more about Business Models: Strategies from Ecology and Evolution.

This course pushes beyond the pioneering works of Paul Hawkin (“The Ecology of Commerce”), Amory and Hunter Lovins (“Natural Capitalism”), Janine Benyus (“Biomimicry”) and others to further our understanding of what businesses can learn from the fields of ecology and evolution. We focus on business strategy, design, and operations. We also explore the use of the concept of ‘ecosystems’ and the Boston Consulting Group’s “Adaptive Imperative,” as part of the analysis of how ecological and evolutionary principles can help us address emerging sustainability challenges.
Wednesday, Mar. 7, 21, 28, Apr. 4, (4 sessions, 6:10-8:10PM; skip Mar. 14 – Spring Break)

David Meyers received his PhD in Biological Anthropology and Anatomy from Duke University where he studied the ecology and evolution of primates. He received his MBA from the Yale School of Management with a concentration on strategy and non-profit management. David is a serial entrepreneur and consultant focusing on sustainability, triple bottom line business, environmental finance, and international development. He has founded and ran several companies including Madagascar Bamboo, the first industrial bamboo transformation company in Africa.

This first session is free and open to the public. Registration is required to attend the full 10-hour course.

Interested in learning more? Visit our website or

Contact Desmond Beirne for more information: or 212-854-0149.

This course is part of CERC’s Certificate Program in Conservation and Environmental Sustainability. Courses may be taken on an individual basis or you may pursue the full 12-course Certificate.

Banner featuring a collage of extreme heat images.

Recent record-breaking heat waves have affected communities across the world. The Extreme Heat Workshop will bring together researchers and practitioners to advance the state of knowledge, identify community needs, and develop a framework for evaluating risks with a focus on climate justice. Register by June 15

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12 years ago

Any chance of doing an online course at all??
Bit far for me to travel in person haha.
Love the idea, and would like to know more