Optimization instead of maximization reduces impact corona

Blog 3.

In the previous blogs we explained that it is the view of Natuurlijk! that man’s designs are ready for a ‘redesign’. Nature can serve as an example. If we look at nature, a natural design is based on eight design principles of nature. One of these is: “optimizing” as opposed to “maximizing” what we humans mainly strive for.

For example, the height of a tree is based on a number of factors. The leaf surface present must be sufficient to absorb enough sunlight for photosynthesis. A good sturdy trunk ensures that the tree will not blow over quickly. Optimal is just enough for all parts of the system and no more than that. The biological principle behind this is “optimization instead of maximization“.

This principle is consistently addressed in nature. Humanity can take these kinds of natural “tidbits” – both letting go of our striving for maximization and seeking optimization – for a new sustainable economy.

The economy in adulthood as a status quo

The current economic models are based on perpetual ongoing economic growth and therefore these models do not take an ecological ceiling into account. Economic growth should not be an end in itself today, says British economist Kate Raworth. With her ideas about the “Donut Economy” she puts forward a reversal of economic thinking, in which nature is no longer the blind spot in the system, but forms the heart of it together with humans. Eternal growth is impossible and unnecessary in this model, the British said. Nature does not have that in int either. Even trees and blue whales stop growing.

The ceiling

This Donut model has a ceiling formed by what our earth can handle to the maximum and no more than that. The fact that we as humans experience more and more that there are limits to the use of the earth is increasingly heard in our society. Attention is strongly drawn to, for example, the loss of biodiversity, the need for circular agriculture and the reduction of nitrogen and CO2 emissions. These limits form that ceiling. That voice is becoming increasingly clear and also enforced by those who have not felt heard on this point for a long time. Witness the large number of lawsuits from private individuals, such as Urgenda, against governments.

Journalist Hans Stegeman writes in ‘Het nut van de Donut’ in DuurzaamNieuws.nl of 7 October 2018 about the findings of scientists: ‘The Netherlands is a good example of what is going on. We are one of the three countries in the world that need not worry in any way about the social background; we score higher than the minimum on all indicators. However, all but one of the boundaries of the ecosystem are exceeded. A typical rich country problem. The opposite is true for poorer countries: they act within ecological limits, but have less social quality. And that precisely outlines the problem: apparently we can only achieve social quality by using far too many natural resources. ‘


When the strategy of optimization rather than maximization is consistently followed, this could lead to the necessary shifts in prosperity and well-being at world level. Less inequality through equal opportunities for all parts of the Earth’s ecosystem. What we now see in the Corona Crisis is that those who are less fortunate are more likely to be fatally affected. There are countries where there is no clean water and soap to wash your hands, no money to go to the doctor or the hospital, no government support because you have to shut down your company, no benefits for employees or self-employed persons. Even in a Western country like the United States. The consequences of inequality are painfully exposed by the corona crisis.

What does this mean for organizations?

If you are listed, this makes a company schizophrenic: on the one hand, a company wants to have a positive impact on the planet, while on the other, shareholders still strive for maximum financial gain in the short term. There are no simple solutions for this, but it does start with a clear choice for the signature of your organization.

If you as an organization choose to become regenerative and thus optimize instead of maximize, this means that you can be a very healthy company, without perpetual growth, with a good result for the shareholders and the other stakeholders of the system. Employers, suppliers, customers and other chain partners.The long-term perspective and taking into account the bigger picture are always leading.

The next blog in this series about Corona and companies is about: The principle of enough

Natuurlijk! has the mission for organizations and their stakeholders to create engagement, decisiveness, innovative drive, positive cooperation and appealing regenerative results.

By providing insight into nature principles and their application in organizations, we share in-depth knowledge about the transition to the regenerative era. We do this by sharing our practical change knowledge in training and in practice.

Natuurlijk! inspires, designs, advises and assists with change issues and their development.

Became curious?

Do you want to know how Natuurlijk! can mean something for your organization in terms of engagement, change, regenerative organization and training? Feel free to contact us via this website or via a message to info@natuurlijkorganieren.com

The drawing in this blog was made by By Evie; Evie helps organizations to capture complex matter in a striking image.

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