A generic description of nature will most likely be , the collective natural, physical, material world as well as the universe at large. Some refer to “Nature” as the physical world they live in. Our best and biggest discoveries all come from nature. And as humans we are all part of nature, so we come from nature. But somehow, we are not quite clear if human activities are to be considered separate from nature or what categorises as natural phenomena ?
I have come to understand nature as one of the most intelligent and sophisticated self learning ecosystem ever known to humans. An evolving and dynamic system that works tirelessly, learns from trial & error. And is probably the best example of sustainable and continuous value creation.
Nature is not only good at conceiving millions of diverse range of species, it has also taken care of the granular details like finding ways to make all these species self sufficient on their own. So individual species are fully empowered to become responsible for their own existence as well as their reproduction and well-being. Quite clearly nature has no favourite, and it provides every species the same opportunity to prosper and thrive.
Over time nature has developed amazing processes to help create resources, and then find ways to cleverly allocate and reallocate these resources. And the conception of the value chain is just mesmerising. The whole ecosystem is based on the idea of interdependency, and the supply chain as well as the value chain is built to keep the ecosystem sustainable for as long as possible. No one gets priority over the other.
But as humans became more dominant species, we have tried to change the balance dynamic in our advantage. The jury is still out on the overall impact humans have on the long term sustainability of the ecosystem, but my suspicion is that, nature has probably built in safety mechanisms to mitigate any permanent damage to the survivability of the system.
Humans have clearly changed the power dynamic, and there is ample evidence to conclude that our rise as a species has come at a cost to other species. But the only permanent in nature is change, so I firmly believe that humans are not designed to become a permanent feature of nature. We are an experiment of nature, and nature itself is an experiment.
We know from radiometric dating that Earth is about 4.5 years billion old, so nature as the operating system has probably been around for billions of years. And over that time nature has created tremendous value. For example, if we were to try and estimate the money value of the services of ecological systems along with the natural capital stocks that produce them that are obviously critical to the functioning of the Earth’s life-support system. As they contribute to human welfare, both directly and indirectly, and therefore represent part of the total economic value of the planet.
Some researchers have estimated the current economic value of 17 ecosystem services for 16 biomes and the entire biosphere to be around US$ 54 trillion multiplied by ( 10 to the power of 12). This is considered to be the lowest estimate based on published studies and a few original calculations. Now that an immeasurable amount of value. And nature continues to create over US$ 33 trillion in estimated value every year.
In the system designed by nature, there is no economic crisis or generous bail outs, because nature has figured out efficient ways of creating and allocating resources. There is no evidence of wastage or miss allocation of resources.
As an entrepreneur nature has learnt to take risks, and smartly diversified itself by creating millions of different species that are interdependent. And as a wise investor, nature has made all of its investments self sufficient that creates continuous value for not just themselves but also the larger ecosystem.
Nature has developed state-of-the-art resource allocation and risk management tools. Its compliance and regulatory regime is simply billions of years ahead. And in conclusion, I would like to say that I haven’t come across a better entrepreneur and investor than nature, so therefore, I continue to learn from nature.