Life’s Principles as a guiding philosophy for Social Enterprises

Samir Patel and Khanjan Mehta

Journal of Social Entrepreneurship

Patel, S., Mehta, K.,  Journal of Social Entrepreneurship, Vol. 2, No. 2,“Life’s Principles as a guiding philosophy for Social Enterprises”,  2011


Biomimicry – design inspired by nature – is an emerging discipline that studies nature’s best ideas and then imitates these designs and processes to address human problems. The laws of nature are embodied in Life’s Principles, a framework developed by the Biomimicry Institute to inspire, inform, and benchmark the design of sustainable technology and business systems. The recent emergence of social enterprise has demonstrated the relevance of a broader view of business and entrepreneurship, and its power to address developmental inequities in the world. Social enterprises have challenged fundamental theories and concepts of design and business, while reconnecting us with nature’s basic design principles and the multi-dimensionality of the human experience. This paper suggests that successful social enterprises employ Life’s Principles to tackle structural, management, product design, and supply chain issues in their conceptualization, development, and scale-up stages.



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