Deep Roots Initiative

We are dedicating this year's Thirsty Thursdays happy hour events to having fun with our Deep Roots Initiative - holding Design Jams to brainstorm ideas! Find out about our upcoming events on our Events page!

We are also giving network members the opportunity to both get free training and hands-on experience with biomimicry while contributing to our initiative. If you are interested in joining a working group, please contact us!

Connect. Learn. Create.

Biomimicry Chicago’s Deep Roots Initiative seeks to catalyze a paradigm shift in the built environment in the Chicago region. Together with a diverse network of stakeholders, we aim to establish a science-based definition of sustainability for our region alongside an interactive tool of place-based nature-inspired solutions to empower the industry to measure impact, allocate resources and innovate to create a truly sustainable and resilient future.


draw upon our deep ecological and cultural roots to (re)connect communities and their inhabitants with native ecologies and each other to create a shared vision


set audacious regional science-based goals for our built environment based on the performance of native ecosystems, and discover nature-based design principles to help bridge the gap


develop an interactive tool tailored to help stakeholders of the built environment hold a holistic perspective while exploring practical and innovative nature-inspired solutions

Learning from Nature: The Deep Roots Process

Our Deep Roots Initiative is guided by the knowledge that life has already figured out how to solve for the challenges we face, such as flooding, water shortages, access to food and strong communities. Most importantly for the Chicago region, our native ecosystems and species have figured out how to live sustainably and resiliently right here for millennia. Our process seeks to understand what makes those native systems and species successful, and how to practically apply lessons learned in our built environment to solve these challenges. 

To learn more about Biomimicry & the Built Environment, check out our list of related resources.

Next Steps

After our successful kickoff workshop, Biomimicry Chicago has developed an evolving process outline for implementing our initiative which includes the following next steps:

Stakeholder Engagement
Working Groups
Case Studies
tool development

Get involved

Key to the success of our Deep Roots Initiative is the guidance and participation by stakeholders in the Chicago region. For all stakeholders we will provide opportunities to learn and participate in our biomimicry practice and make new connections within our multi-disciplinary network of passionate professionals.

Contributors to our Deep Roots Initiative will have the opportunity to lead and/or participate in working groups, conduct biological research and translation (biomimicry!), generate design ideas and help us build our tools.

Visit our Get Involved page to learn more.