Humans have a tendency to invent new problems rather than solve old ones. As we build larger, more complex systems, we unearth global challenges around networks, compute resources and data. Have we neglected to see more elegant examples which existed all along? It is possible for even the most complex systems to be organized and simplified in ways that may not occur to us. In situations where we still search for the right algorithms, by turning to complex natural systems around us we can find the problem was solved long ago. What we think is a new protocol may in fact be one that has been tested and evolving over hundreds or millions of years. One invented for the early internet is incredibly similar to a strategy evolved by desert ants millions of years ago. And this is why it works. This talk will address these questions with examples of self-organization, decentralization and diversification from emergent phenomena found in nature. And close with what in Scala and functional programming particularly applies when composing systems in the face of these challenges.