Sometimes, we can learn how to solve problems by watching how animals behave.

This is called biomimicry.

One interesting example comes from African wild dogs. These dogs live in packs, and they make decisions in a unique way. When they need to decide if they should leave their resting area to go hunt, they “vote” by sneezing. If enough dogs sneeze, they all go hunting. The number of sneezes needed can be different depending on whether it’s a dominant (or “boss”) dog or a less dominant dog that starts the sneezing.

Just like how these dogs vote to decide if they should go hunting, people in the United Nations Security Council (or UNSC) also vote to make important decisions about keeping peace in the world. But sometimes, the system doesn’t work perfectly.

So, Ebenezar Wikina has been thinking about whether we could use what we learn from the wild dogs to make the UNSC’s voting system better. And he has some ideas:

  • Get rid of the “veto power,” which is like a boss dog stopping the pack from hunting even if lots of other dogs sneezed.
  • Change how many votes are needed to make a decision. This would be similar to how the wild dogs need different numbers of sneezes to start hunting, depending on whether it’s a boss dog or a less dominant dog that starts the sneezing.
  • Try voting several times until they can make a decision, like how the wild dogs might need several “sneezing sessions” to decide to go hunting.

You can read more here

Another amazing example of biomimicry and how we’re trying to learn from nature, and from African wild dogs, to make our world a better place!

Ebenezar Wikina is a certified Biomimicry Practitioner and founder of Policy Shapers (, an open-source platform for policy ideation, dialogue, and advocacy led by young people.

If you’re looking for a way to inspire kids to care about and take action on environmental issues, be sure to check out Rockford’s Rock Opera’s musical stories. Through catchy songs, engaging storylines, and the concept of biomimicry, these musical tales provide a hopeful and actionable vision of the future that kids will love. Download Part 1 FREE here