World’s First Astrobiofuturist to Speak at Metro Vancouver’s Zero Waste Conference

“We need to reconnect with the idea that we are nature,” says Almon.

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The world’s first astrobiofuturist points to a unique characteristic of humans: their creation of garbage.


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Billy almon An American biologist, architect, futurist, storyteller, former Walt Disney creative director and host of Discovery’s Animal Planet, is one of the speakers at the Metro Vancouver Zero Waste Conference, an online event on October 28.

Almon believes that the answers to achieving zero waste can be found in nature.

“Astrobiofuturism is essentially the intersection of all the things that I have explored in the past and what I am currently exploring around how space exploration is influenced and informed by the study of nature, through a process called biomimicry “Almon said, in an interview this week from Burbank, California.

Metro Vancouver Zero Waste Conference is an event that brings together some of the most important minds trying to find solutions to the ecological crisis. The theme of this year’s conference is a future without waste.


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Billy Almon, an astrobiofuturist, will speak at the Metro Vancouver Zero Waste Conference on October 28.
Billy Almon, an astrobiofuturist, will speak at the Metro Vancouver Zero Waste Conference on October 28. PNG

Almon has a master’s degree in biomimicry, drawing inspiration from nature and embracing human engineering in an effort to be more resilient and sustainable.

For example, climbing pads capable of supporting human weight are an imitation of the biomechanics of geckos’ feet, while the aerodynamics of the Japanese bullet train were inspired by the shape of a bird’s beak.

Waste is a human concept and it is the very idea that we must get rid of, Almon said.

“When talking about zero waste and regenerative design, nature is the best model because the idea of ​​waste is not something that really exists in nature because everything is cyclical,” he said. Waste is abhorred in nature. Everything is a nutrient for something. “

At the center of Almon’s vision and hope for the future is the West African concept of sankofa, which means to go back and get it.


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“It is this idea of ​​going back to the past to collect the things we need in the future. It’s the same as this concept of biomimicry and turning to nature for solutions, ”he said.

“We need to reconnect with the idea that we are nature,” Almon said.

Jack Froese, chair of the Metro Vancouver Zero Waste Committee, said the conference is about bringing people together to teach us how to imagine a future without trash.

New products are being designed, such as using biological waste from blueberry plants to create a film for packaging, while new uses are being developed for wood or asphalt waste, he said.

“There is so much going on in the future that a lot of very brilliant minds are working on,” said Froese. “We really just want people to think about how we can reduce waste.”


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About 62 percent of waste is already diverted from landfills in Metro Vancouver through recycling and composting programs, but the goal is to reach 100 percent.

Almon said that all products created from now on must be designed to be reused.

In 2006, Almon was studying architecture and was part of a volunteer team that went to help after Hurricane Katrina, a disaster that had a profound impact on his life and career.

“I just wanted to help and as a young black man, but also as a designer, seeing that area in that condition with my own eyes left me with these questions of why is this happening and why is it always impacting low-income and communities of color. communities. “he said.

He is working on an MIT-funded project to investigate how biomimicry can be used to help solve the problem of police shootings of unarmed people of color. To do this, you are looking at nature and how some creatures perceive threats. The only part of that problem that nature offers no solutions for is racism, he said.

“Racism is a human construction, a tool of capitalism. And it is a historic campaign of otherness through fear and violence. And so that sense of intentionality to build such a device is not something you see in nature, “he said.

Anyone interested in hearing from Almon and many other leading experts talk about zero waste can register for the conference online at

[email protected]



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