Trees are the oldest and, at the same time, the most advanced technology on the planet. In fact, they started to exist about 400 million years ago whereas the first computer was only created in 1949 and the first mobile phones came out barely 48 years ago, in 1973. Much before today’s phones and computers, trees were already working their connections, sending signals, receiving relevant information and protecting themselves by very advanced means which today’s technological advances are attempting to replicate.
Actually in 1997, Janine Benyus wrote a book about how we should inspire ourselves from nature for more efficient and durable innovations. This process is called Biomimicry.
Long before we had phones, trees were sending out chemicals through funghis in the soil to communicate with each other and purifying the air before in-home air-purifiers. We even copied leaves to make our solar panels. What’s best is that trees don’t need software updates, have their barks as natural firewalls and when attacked by actual bugs, they can send out chemicals to protect themselves and inform their peers.
Trees don’t need their batteries recharged: you don’t need to go look for a power outlet to power up your tree for it to keep working. Imagine that a new phone is launched, with high-resolution, augmented reality, which relieves anxiety and depression, fights against its own malware, fixes its own bugs, has its own solar panel and a natural firewall, never needs to be plugged-in, has a memory of major events that lasts decades, purifies the air around him, absorbs CO2, retains and enhances biodiversity, captures rainwater and nutrients for others around it, knows how to communicate with other species without a multilingual translator. How much in awe would the whole tech community be of its capacities? Shouldn’t we similarly be in awe of trees and everything they do?
Humans have constantly turned to nature as inspiration for innovation even as far back as in the prehistoric era for hunting and healing techniques. So why don’t we inspire ourselves from nature one more time, for our gifts this time, and offer something that is not going to need a software update in a month, that is not going to need to be recharged, that isn’t going to pollute, that is perfect and has been useful for mankind and for the planet for a lot longer than phones and apps : simple and yet beautiful, a tree.