SALLY BREYLEY PARKER & ARGERIE VASILAKES – Natural Systems and Organization Design: Applying Nature’s Wisdom to Organizational Ecosystems

For years, our organizations have looked to the practices of other organizations in their search for ideas about addressing and solving the critical challenges we face. What if we expanded our search to include some of the most productive and healthy systems on the planet … the natural ecosystems that surround us.

Life has been designing itself for agility and innovation for over 3.85 billion years. We can learn from Nature’s wisdom and apply those lessons to enhance our organizations. This session will introduce core principles and strategies of a living systems approach (applied biomimicry). Participants will explore how they can apply some of the principles and strategies to:

  • Better understand the complexity of their organizations and more readily manage inherent paradox.
  • Design organizational systems where people can innovate and prototype more rapidly and with greater ease.
  • Expand their strategic toolkit to help them better leverage resources.
  • Enhance capacity to effectively adapt in environments that are ambiguous, continuously changing, and increasingly complex.


Sally Breyley Parker and Argerie Vasilakes are co-founders of TimeZero Enterprises, LLC. Together with a growing community of collaborators, they focus on environmental conditions — such as strategy, design, and culture — that create flourishing systems and foster transformation and enhanced performance. Their passion is social process innovations that tap the genius of natural systems to release the authentic power of the human spirit.  The outcomes are inventive strategies, innovative designs, and transformed businesses grounded in a deep sense of purpose.

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