I've written frequently in this blog about the importance of what I'd call "soft technology." That is, the changes in social institutions, behaviors, and norms that define the shift from one period to another. It seems to me that the emphasis placed on hard technology like engines and computer chips is disproportionate to that placed on transforming society.
But the two actually move together. The steam engine and railroad play along with the creation of capital markets and national governments. The internet fuels non-governmental agencies that coalesce out of shared interests rather than shared geography. Here is a reminder that hard technology is an integral part of any transformation in society.
Janine Benyus, in this video from TED, makes the point that from nature we have 3.8 million years of design experience to draw from. Life creates the conditions for life, a lesson not just in habitat preservation but habitat creation from which we could learn. Enjoy.