Social Mycology

What can mushrooms teach us about life in this age of ecological emergency, climate change, political tension, and social disconnection?

Recent discoveries have found fungi dating back 1 billion years. Fungi were amongst the first creatures to myceliate the land from the primordial oceans, and have patiently spent hundreds of millions of years evolving strategies for surviving as one with the rest of Nature.

This talk will centre on the concept of biomimicry - taking inspiration from the natural world to create artificial structures in balance with ecology. In recent years, this concept has been largely reserved for architecture, but we can extend biomimicry further into society itself, learning natural patterns of behaviour that have proven themselves to work over vast aeons of time.

Fungi challenge the outdated social-Darwinist notion of “survival of the fittest” and instead showcase the importance of symbiosis. As humans, a relatively young species, we have a lot to learn from fungi. Thankfully, if we open our minds to marvel at the patterns of life in front of our eyes, we may learn a few important life lessons. You may know of a few mushrooms that can do this very well, let’s see if there’s more out there.

         In this talk we will explore the following ideas:

  • Ecology, fungi, and human evolutionary psychology
  • Social organisation from relationships to communities to nations
  • Extinction Rebellion as an example of mycelial biomimicry
  • What fungi can teach us about surviving into the future as a species

event info

Thursday October 17, 2019
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Homerton, London
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