hardware that can change people’s lives

We received a blog comment on our last post from Aaron suggesting we check out https://opensourceecology.org/ and the TED talk above by Marcin Jakubowski. Thanks Aaron – GREAT link! This is an inspiring Ted Talk and project about the potential for industrial sustainability on a small (and affordable) scale.

Taken from the ‘About’ page on Open Source Ecology’s website:

Open Source Ecology is a network of farmers, engineers, and supporters that for the last two years has been creating the Global Village Construction Set, an open source, low-cost, high performance technological platform that allows for the easy, DIY fabrication of the 50 different Industrial Machines that it takes to build a sustainable civilization with modern comforts. The GVCS lowers the barriers to entry into farming, building, and manufacturing and can be seen as a life-size lego-like set of modular tools that can create entire economies, whether in rural Missouri, where the project was founded, in urban redevelopment, or in the developing world.

And some quotes from the Ted Talk that are spinning around in my head:

“If we can lower the barriers to farming, building, manufacturing… then we can unleash massives amounts of human potential – that’s not just in the developing world”

“From what I’ve seen, this is only the beginning. If this idea is truly sound, then the implications are significant – a greater distribution of the means of production, environmentally sound supply chains and a newly relevant DIY maker culture can hope to transcend artificial scarcity.”

“A single-burned DVD is essentially a civilization starter kit.”

These kinds of initiatives make me excited and hopeful. There are a lot of things in this world that are not contributing to a healthy, sustainable future, but more and more often, I’m seeing signs of movement and momentum towards a better way of living and this kind of open source, community-driven initiative is exactly the kind of thing we need to see more of.