Nature’s Tools for Adaptation

Adaptation expert Rafe Sagarin speaks about what we can learn from organisms such as fish, octopi, elephants, and so on. Animals have strong observation skills, according to Sagarin, which help them adapt to change. Nature’s process for adaptation includes observation of the change, response to it, communication with others about the response, expansion of adaptation abilities once you encounter limits, and iteration or reproduction of successes. The octopus, in particular, is a fascinating case study because it exhibits decentralized change detection, for example through its millions of skin cells which sense and respond to danger by camouflaging the organism more quickly than if a centralized brain were to give orders. Sagarin has written a book on the octopus and offers many resources on his website. Other videos in this list contain more insights on adaptation in business and other settings.

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