Entrepreneurship via Nature

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

Nature, with its 3.8 billion years of evolutionary innovation, offers a treasure trove of solutions to the challenges that entrepreneurs face. Drawing inspiration from organisms and ecosystems opens up a world of inspiration, creativity, and possibility – and that is the essence of biomimicry. Through this field we can learn how to both consume and produce resiliently, exchange resources and create value sustainably, while balancing the needs of different stakeholders.

In this international bootcamp hosted in the richly storied hills of Tuscany, Italy, participants will embark on a transformative journey. Here, they will gather insights from nature on innovation and sustainability through the medium of food. Engaging in immersive learning experiences, they will delve into the intricacies of small-scale food systems by participating directly in local community projects.

Guided by principles of biomimicry and nature-based entrepreneurship, participants will employ design practices that mirror nature’s ingenious strategies. By studying how natural ecosystems function and thrive they will gain a deeper understanding of sustainable entrepreneurship. These insights inform the development of sustainable scenarios that not only benefit local communities, but also contribute to the broader global effort towards environmental stewardship.

Through hands-on exploration and collaborative learning, the bootcamp fosters a dynamic exchange of ideas and perspectives, empowering participants to become catalysts for positive change in their respective fields. By harnessing the wisdom of nature, participants emerge equipped with innovative solutions and a renewed commitment to creating a more sustainable and restorative future.

The program includes 2-3 extra days dedicated to kickoffs and reflection work:

Kickoffs: Two brief online sessions in May to introduce participants before the bootcamp begins.
Reflection Work: Time set aside for individual reflections after the completion of the bootcamp, and for one brief online session in the Autumn with past Bootcamp Alumni.

Intended learning outcomes

This bootcamp will teach you:

  • Innovative Design Solutions: Participants will cultivate fresh perspectives on sustainability, learning to develop innovative design solutions inspired by nature (biomimicry) to create regenerative entrepreneurial solutions.
  • Understanding Tuscany’s Food Production: Through immersive hands-on experiences, participants will gain deep insights into Tuscany’s small-scale food production and the experiences of local producers, and have the opportunity to strengthen their ideas.
  • Renewed Value Creation: Participants will learn how biomimicry can provide new ways of creating value, managing growth, and expanding entrepreneurial knowledge, where the ‘value’ is intricately tied to sustainability.
  • Ecosystem Perspective: Participants will gain new perspectives on how to use nature’s innovation as a guiding framework, connecting us to an ecosystem, biodiversity, and multi-species perspective.
    Multi-Disciplinary Collaboration: Through collaborative and interactive projects, participants will develop the ability to thrive in multi-disciplinary and multicultural teams, immersing themselves in local traditions, networks, and values related to food systems


This immersive Bootcamp will offer:

  • Insights into the specific challenges faced by local Tuscan food producers, with a focus on devising innovative and sustainable solutions suitable 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.
  • The opportunity to engage in critical reflection and discussions regarding the intricacies of designing sustainable food development initiatives, particularly within the context of nature and entrepreneurship.

This bootcamp offers a hands-on immersion experience with local projects centred around traditional gastronomy, small-scale food production, and biodynamic farming practices. Participants will actively engage with these projects, working alongside local communities to envision innovative modes of sustainability and community enhancement tailored to the unique needs of the area.


In order to receive a certificate from the bootcamp, students need to actively participate during the bootcamp days, create the required assignment deliverables, and present their proposals together with their team. Additionally, there is an individual written reflection assignment due after the bootcamp experience.

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 actively involved as an educator, professional researcher, and enthusiastic advocate in the field of biomimicry since 2003. She has worked within architecture since 1999, both in practice and research with Grimshaw Architects, Exploration Architecture, and Arup Group in London, as well as internationally. In 2010, she moved to Sweden and has since been teaching, researching, and driving biomimicry education in various Swedish universities. She earned her PhD from Chalmers University of Technology in 2017, with a dissertation titled “Wild Poethics,” exploring nature-inspired sustainable design through artistic research and embodied methodologies. Dr. Orrù also holds an Affiliated Senior Lecturer position at Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts & Design, where she spearheads efforts to integrate nature-inspired sustainability into academic programs. Additionally, she is a co-author of the Nordic Council of Ministers’ study on “Biomimicry in the Nordic Countries” and co-founder of Nordic Biomimicry, directing initiatives that harness nature as a source of inspiration; as 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 Tuscany. In her continued efforts to co-habit and collaborate with nature, she has embarked on creating a nature academy on her Tuscan farm where she hosts these immersive bootcamps.

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 maximise 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 04–13 - 2024


Pietrasanta, Tuscany, Italy


This bootcamp is free to attend for all eligible participants, covering the cost of flights, accommodation, and selected meals. Specifically, the bootcamp will provide a welcome dinner, a farewell dinner, and lunch for seven days of the program.

Please note that participants are responsible for arranging and covering the cost of all other meals, including breakfasts and meals on days not specified above.


10 days on-site in Italy. The Bootcamp and travel begin June 4 from Sweden. The return date to Sweden will be June 13th.


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

Group size

13 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 some 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.

There will be two mandatory online kickoff meetings leading up to the Bootcamp in May:

16 May from 16:00 – 18:00
30 May from 16:00 - 18:00.

Additionally, there will be one post-bootcamp online meetings, with the timing to be confirmed later.


Applications are open until April 1st.


Please contact us at

The Bootcamp is organised under the patronage of the Swedish Embassy in Rome and the Swedish Consulate in Florence. In 2023, The Bootcamp was a finalist for the New European Bauhaus ‘Education Champions’ in the category Reconnecting to Nature. (7 finalists in over 1,400 applications)