Proposed by Jeanette and Karen Chan (Swarthmore College, PA, USA) the symposium “Large-scale biological phenomena arising from small-scale biophysical processes” was selected for the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) Annual Meeting in January 2023, and was further selected to feature as a society-wide symposium. It will feature a cross-disciplinary slate of speakers on such topics as the organization of tissues and multicellularity, planktonic survival in patchy marine resource landscapes, and bacterial growth in soils and porous media.