My first recollection of the term “ecopreneur” was when Gifford and I were talking on the phone while I was visiting David Oakey at Interface Carpets.  We had been brainstorming various ways to develop the ideas of biomimicry and intrapreneuring.  We discussed writing a book and establishing a consulting practice but neither of these ideas have come to fruition yet.

Instead the Pinchots pioneered the Bainbridge Island Graduate Institute – the first MBA in sustainability.

Below is an abstract for a presentation I delivered at the Society for Experimental Mechanics in June of 2001:

Ecopreneuring and Natural Capitalism

Disciplines such as biomimicry and complexity science are examples of new sources of inspiration that are inspiring an emerging breed of entrepreneurs.  This presentation is a discussion about the process of innovation and specifically, how to accelerate ecologically wise innovation.  An important concept that is providing a scientific foundation for ecologically inspired innovation is the notion of Natural Capital.  The basic principles behind Natural Capitalism will be introduced and illustrated with examples and several case studies. Natural Capilitlism recognizes the critical interdependency between the production and use of human-made capital and the maintenance and supply of natural capital.  Finally, additional examples will explore how to improve the climate for ecological innovation in corporations and in ventures that span the conventional boundaries between government, academic and private sector interests.