I recently saw the movie Robots. Since popular culture probably has a bit more of an impact on the real future of our world, that being the younger generation, analysing the messages in this movie can provide some value. Without ruining the movie for anyone, the basic premise is a completely mechanical world of all Robots. The natural world is completely mimicked; the robots have babies that grow up just like children, except they are delivered in a box, assembly required, and their parts are replaced every year with bigger parts. They even have birds, but these too are of course mechanical. Starting to sound a bit like biomimicry to me.
The ‘bad guy’ is the new leader of a large corporation, who has conspired with an evil scrap yard owner, to increase profits: stop making replacement parts. All the ‘undesirable’ robots will fall apart, and they will collect and melt all the pieces and use them to make only completely new models, for which they can get more profit. While their methods are questionable giving a negative connotation to it, this demonstrates the reuse of materials in continuous closed cycles, further enhancing the biomimicry message.
This also however has the Robot economy moving from more of a service and flow economy to a product orientated relationship with the big corporation. The hero of the movie however decides to capitalise on the ‘need’ he sees in the market and ‘fills that need’ with a robot repair service, giving the service and flow economy strategy a positive portrayal. The hero also manages to stand up to the big corporation and everyone in Robot City rallies behind him, showing that you can make a difference.
While the Robot world seems devoid of natural capital, Robots does demonstrate a couple of the Natural Capitalism strategies for the future generation. Too bad the ‘see a need, fill the need’ entrepreneurial message of the movie didn’t have more ecological connections and that the reuse of waste wasn’t shown in a more positive light.