Biomimicry: Entrepreneurship via Nature


What happens when we view entrepreneurship through the lens of nature?

Biomimicry is a field that takes inspiration from the natural world, which holds 3.8 billion years of elegant solutions and ideas based on Research & Development tested throughout evolutionary time. It can guide us through many of our challenges with how to consume and produce, how to exchange, how to take and give back, how to create value, and how to balance and share.

In this international bootcamp, participants will learn about innovation and sustainability in Tuscany, Italy, through the medium of food. We will explore Tuscan food systems by engaging in local community projects and using innovative design practices that include biomimicry and nature-based entrepreneurship, to inform sustainable food systems and future development scenarios.

There will also be 2-3 additional days of kickoffs and work: 
For kickoffs – 2 brief sessions online to meet in May before the bootcamp starts.
For work – Individual reflections after the bootcamp is completed.

Intended learning outcomes

This bootcamp will teach you:

  • New perspectives on sustainability and the ability to arrive at innovative design solutions inspired by nature (biomimicry) for resilient and circular food systems, sustainable farming, and entrepreneurial solutions.
  • About Tuscany’s slow-food production and local producers through hands-on immersion into local projects and challenges, and the opportunity to strengthen their ideas.
  • How biomimicry shows new ways of creating value, managing growth and expanding entrepreneurial knowledge, where the ‘value’ is intricately tied to sustainability.
  • New perspectives on how to use nature’s innovation as a guiding framework, connecting us to an ecosystem perspective, biodiversity, and multi-species.
  • How to work in multi-disciplinary and local multi-cultural teams by exploring local traditions, networks, and values to learn about food systems.


This immersive Bootcamp will offer:

  • A look into the challenges of local Tuscan food production to reach innovative and sustainable solutions that are viable for small businesses.
  • A new way to view, value, reconnect, and participate with nature and an understanding of how to apply these skills as design models for sustainable solutions.
  • Opportunities to critically reflect and discuss the complexities of design for sustainable food development in relation to nature and entrepreneurship.

This camp is a hands-on immersion with local projects that tap into traditional gastronomy, slow-food production, and biodynamic farming. Each project aims to envision new modes of sustainability and community-enhancing strategies for the local area, and we will help them strengthen their ideas to become more resilient.

We will explore how nature can be a source of inspiration while also maintaining traditional and cultural practices. Together, we will discover how innovative design practices such as biomimicry and nature-based entrepreneurship can inform the paradigm shift in farming and innovative food systems.

What a day might look like

Breakfast Reflection
Seminars and Lectures
Lunch, including gardening and cooking
Field trips and/or Lecture. Project groupwork
Knowledge Aperitivo + Lecture
Dinner out together or Free evening


In order to receive a certificate from the bootcamp, students need to actively participate during the bootcamp days, create a business plan and presentation together with their team and hand in an individual written reflection assignment.

Active participation: 30%

Group project report and presentation: 50%

Written Individual reflection assignment: 20%


All students and alumni of SSES member universities are eligible to apply to this bootcamp. We get many applications and unfortunately cannot accept everyone. The selection process is outlined below:


  1. Application is reviewed
  2. Selection is made and confirmation email is sent out
  3. Participant must confirm his or her seat in order to secure the spot
  4. If spots are not confirmed in time, the waitlist will be reviewed and new participants selected

About the instructor

Anna Maria Orrù, PhD

Bootcamp Instructor / Teacher
Affiliated Senior Lecturer Konstfack – University of Arts, Crafts and Design
Co-founder Nordic Biomimicry

Dr. Anna Maria Orrù has been an educator, professional researcher and enthusiast in the field of biomimicry since 2003. She has worked within architecture since 1999, both in practice and research with Grimshaw, Exploration Architecture, and Arup Group in London, as well as internationally. In 2010, she moved to Sweden and has since been teaching and driving biomimicry education in various Swedish universities. Now based in Sweden and Italy, she holds a PhD in Architecture from the Chalmers University of Technology (‘Wild Poethics’ 2017) which furthered the topic of nature-inspired design using artistic research and embodied methodologies. She also holds an Affiliated Senior Lecturer position at Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts & Design where she is responsible for embedding nature-inspired sustainability. She is a co-author on the study for the Nordic Council of Ministers on the ’state of biomimicry in the Nordics’ and co-founder of Nordic Biomimicry, where she directs the centre that dedicates itself to collaborate with nature as a mentor, measure, and method. To further underpin her service to nature, she is a beekeeper and takes care of a biodynamic vineyard and olive grove. In her continued efforts to co-habit and collaborate with nature, she has embarked on creating a nature academy on her Tuscan farm.

Image of Anna Maria Orrù  by Christopher Backholm

What is a BootCamp?

SSES Bootcamps are full-time one-week highly interactive deep-dive into an exciting challenge area, where students work alongside each other to learn, solve, bond and grow. This social immersion takes place somewhere around the globe, or in beautiful Stockholm, in collaboration with our world-class academic partners. These Bootcamps are designed and developed for engaged and ambitious students, giving them the tools and opportunity to address wicked problems and complex social challenges through interdisciplinary groups. Through a meticulous selection process, we handpick students from each of our six member universities in order to maximize diversity of disciplines, perspectives, cultures and genders. Bootcamps are completely free and students and alumni of SSES and our six member universities are all welcome to apply.


Jun 06–13 - 2023


Pietrasanta, Tuscany, Italy


This bootcamp is free to attend for all eligible participants (flight, accommodation and food).


7 days on-site in Italy. The course and travel begin June 6 from Sweden. The return date to Sweden will be June 14th.


Full time (9:00-18). Some days will include an evening program.

Group size

10-12 students in total.


All participants are expected to attend daily starting at 9:00. Some days will end at 18:00, while others include an evening together around dinner. All materials and lectures will be conducted in English. However, with onsite visits to our local projects, Italian will be the main language, but all will be translated. Expect some group work outside the mandatory daily sessions and an individual reflection assignment after the bootcamp.


Applications are open until March 31st.


Please contact us at

The bootcamp is organised under patronage from the Swedish Embassy in Rome and the Swedish Consulate in Florence.