Stefano Mancuso – how intelligent are plants?

By April 30, 2019August 5th, 2020ecology, technology

Prof. Stefano Mancuso, author and Director of the LINV – International Laboratory of Plant Neurobiology, talks about intelligence in the plant kingdom – based on a network model. The Internet is an example!

Cristina: We often think that in order to succeed we have to climb a peak or become a leader of something to have influence, but the plant world teaches us much more. Does it teach us that intelligence can spread like wildfire and why? How?

Stefano Mancuso: Everything you said is true, because we are inspired by the animal model, which runs on a central brain that governs organs, and it’s the model we replicate in our organizations. There is a leader and a hierarchy underneath, a bureaucracy that serves the purpose of transmitting orders. The plant model, paradoxically, is much more modern than the animal model because it is a widespread network. In other words, the plant distributes functions throughout the body that animals concentrate in their organs. Imagine an organization of this kind, these very modern organizations, the internet itself is made this way, it does not have a central command, or the cryptocurrencies that are such a topic today. Bitcoin and all the cryptocurrencies run on decentralized systems and, as such, they work very well.

Cristina: What strategic developments would benefit from this model?

Stefano Mancuso: We could build any type of organization inspired by the plant world. There is an American multinational company called Morningstar that works this way, it has no manager. It is fully distributed and works great. The way we have approached society in our history is not the only one. 99% of the life of this planet uses a different system.

Cristina: Why does it make sense to imitate living creatures that apparently don’t move?

Stefano Mancuso: Plants see, plants hear, plants sleep, plants are able to communicate, and have social relationships.

Cristina: How can we imitate their behavior?

Stefano Mancuso: Plants produce resources, animals consume them, therefore we imitate plants when we produce and consume the least amount of resources possible. We can transform our organizations, it’s not written anywhere that they must necessarily be pyramidal. Let’s make them distributed – we would reap the benefits in no time.

Cristina: It’s up to us to decide whether we want to behave like animals or plants. Occhio al futuro

On air April 27, 2019