Janine Benyus

MYCHELE DANIAU/AFP/Getty Images

Janine Benyus

A pioneer of the biomimicry movement, Benyus, 51, has helped companies and other institutions develop products and strategies based on nature's "best practices." As founder of the Biomimicry Guild, an innovation consultancy in Helena, Mont., she has worked with such clients as General Electric (GE), General Mills (GIS), and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) to educate executives on how their business might benefit by emulating nature. For example, a water-resistant coating for building exteriors was engineered to work like lotus plant leaves, which repel water by causing it to bead and drip off.