Let's BEE Wild!
Inspired by the collective action of swarming bees, The One Billion Wildflower Initiative seeks to incentivize and empower individuals and organizations to take collective action to save our pollinators - and our food system - by planting wildflowers. Take action, share what you do, and learn from others. From one flower to one billion, working together we can make a difference.
Join the Hive!
#1BWILD is currently in beta test in the Chicago region.
The #1BWILD Initiative encourages individuals and organizations at all scales to take one simple action to improve the resilience of local communities and our food systems: plant wildflowers! And joining the network will connect you with local “scout” organizations (i.e. land trusts, schools, farmers, arboretums, community gardens, restaurants, etc.) that provide education, local information and physical recognition of your accomplishments (i.e. yard signs, window decals, and/or t-shirts), which you can use to share your work with your physical networks as well as virtual.
Just as bee "scouts" take action to look for the best forage and nesting sites, you can help our vital pollinators by planting wildflowers, which makes them healthier so they can fight pests and disease. Make it social and fun by hosting a #PollinatorParty!
Share your Story
Who doesn’t like to show off, just a bit? Just as bees “dance” to share information on optimal sites, we ask you to document and share your actions with your social networks using the hashtag #1BWILD. Use that same tag to connect and learn from others doing the same!
Gain a Global Perspective
Track our collective progress toward our one billion wildflower goal!
Our simple, automatic platform (currently under development) will create and enhance networks of individuals and organizations, track and map the number and location of wildflowers planted, and reinforce best practices at a local level, automatically providing a global perspective to individual actions. And just as a bee colony learns from its collective experience to choose the best sites by continually sharing information and reinforcing pathways that provide the greatest incentives, our platform will embed the ability for individuals to promote the best local strategies and build on each other’s work, rapidly prototyping ideas so that best practices can be quickly adopted at all scales.
We are proud to have submitted the #1BWILD Initiative to the 2015 Biomimicry Global Design Challenge! Keep your antennae tuned for more information!
The Role of Pollinators in our Food System
Pollinators are responsible for one-third of every bite we take, including most of the fruits and vegetables we love, such as apples, berries, even almonds. But these crucial partners in our food system are dying in record numbers, a systemic result of the overuse of indiscriminate pesticides and rampant habitat destruction. This threat to honeybees and wild pollinators threatens our diversity of nutrition and the overall resilience of our food system. But maybe we can use our human cleverness to learn from the bees to help save them!
Learn from the Bees to Save the Bees - Swarm Intelligence in Action!
By leveraging “swarm intelligence,” we can create the conditions and protocols that allow us to swarm and create a system that is stronger than the sum of its parts. The mechanisms and strategies in swarm intelligence, when translated to human social innovation, create incentives and empower individuals, businesses, schools, and conservation organizations to self-organize and work together toward a common goal. This approach has the potential to serve as a model for nonprofit groups worldwide and revolutionize collective action toward greater decentralization, fiscal efficiency, and individual empowerment.
“Swarming” like the bees, we can expedite the (re)planting of high-quality, diverse forage at every location and every scale, working together to embed sustainability and resilience into our food system.
There is no time to waste.
We are developing toolkits, lesson plans, and best practices that will provide inspiration and implementation ideas while making participation easy and fun. Visit our Resources page to learn more [currently under development].
Amy Coffman Phillips
Project Coordinator, Certified Biomimicry Professional
Co-creator and Quantitative Researcher
The Conservation Foundation, “Scout” Organization Beta
Local Beekeeper and Source of Continual Inspiration
Biologist at the Design Table, Biomimicry Professional
K-12 Curriculum Coordinator
Swarm Intelligence Advisor
Dr. Adrian Smith
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Project coordinated and initially funded by: