Good News! The Seventh Generation Team has made it all the way to Great Falls, Montana and from there to a brief thought of civilization named Dupuyer (which Dan Googled and found means 'bison back fat' in French). All of us were active at 4:00AM this morning and now that it is midnight our time, Penny and I are pretty drained. Dan however is ready for a hike.
I am sitting by an open window watching the sunlight fade behind the Rockies. The temperature has dropped as quickly as the sun. The ranch is beautifully positioned on the edge of the rocky mountains. The base of the range is roughly two or three hike-able miles away. The landscape prairie in between rolls gently and is dotted with trees. It is absolutely amazing.
As we were going over the agenda, it started to sink that I would be here, not for a weekend, but for a full 5 days. My estimate of the number of participants was off by about 100%, there are about 26 people here total, including the participant-caterers, and the author of the book 'Biomimicry,' Janine Benyus. The course attendees are a mix of designers, engineers, students, artists, and some hot Quality Assurance Professionals (1+1, What WHAT)
Because I was behind in my reading responsibilities I started my day by cracking open 'Biomimicry.' As a fantastic plane sleeper, I was doubtful that this book was going to get me past Williston airspace. To my surprise, I read 5 of the 8 or 9 chapters: The first, the last, and a few subjects in between. The first and the last are key to understand the philosophy/ process of Biomimicry and the chapters in between describe applications of the method. Of these chapters I chose: how will we feed ourselves, how will we store information, and how will we do business. The book was written in the late 90's, almost a decade ago, so I wonder what other inspiring examples have emerged since then.
Am I back at Seventh Generation? Janine Benyus gave a 45-minute introduction to Biomimicry and words like Essence and Frameworks and Systems Thinking pervaded her presentation. We even had a wake up which touched on function, being, and will. Looks like we'll be able to take the stuff we learn with Carol on the road.
We had a dinner that was from the land- a big salad with all kinds of greens and vegetables, followed by homemade pizza with a green sauce topped with feta, mushrooms, corn, some with elk or moose. We were told that most of the meals would be vegetarian, and i thought this might be an easy way for me to have a meat-free diet for a while, just for fun, but it was strangely too beautiful to resist. I am psyched.
My thoughts just anticipated my diet here and then my re-entry to airport food next Thursday. Then I realized, I'll be re-entering CIVILIZATION on Thursday. I look forward to a perspective on that...
Here's some photos! The Great Falls airport chairs made me laugh- they were the first things I saw off the plane!