BUILDING THE MOST
REPLICABLE CELL OF
A SUSTAINABLE SOCIETY.
Climate change and resource depletion represent a dire threat to our ecosystems, our societies and economies. Scientists say our civilization is nearing collapse, unless we operate a swift and radical transition toward a low-carbon and low-resource economy.
Next december, twenty thousand diplomats will converge toward Paris for COP21, the 21st U.N. climate summit, in what is announced as yet another very last chance to save us all. But over the last 20 summits of this kind, the worldwide CO2 emissions have in fact doubled.
Solutions have been studied and talked about exhaustingly, but our problem is not the knowledge about how to build a better world: it’s to make people feel and experience the “more beautiful world our hearts know is possible” (Charles Eisenstein).
So instead of a Conference Of Parties, we propose a Proof Of Concept: A proof of concept of the disruptive impact that collaborative production, open source and the maker movement can have on mainstreaming the means of sustainable living.
Many pioneers have already started to build the fossil-free, circular and collaborative society we need. They have developed open source products and solutions for renewable energy, tools for urban farming, low-energy and resource efficient housing, or even sophisticated electric vehicles.This new breed of open sustainable products shares the following attributes:
- they share freely the information required to make them, improve them, and distribute them, allowing for maximum diffusion, replicability and adaptability to local needs
- they are long-lasting, robust, modular, easy to repair, upgrade or dismantle, with less consumption of raw materials, to close the loop of material flows.
- they can be manufactured locally, with more sustainable supply chains
- they foster behavioral change, from passive consumer to active architects of a truly sustainable lifestyle.
- they enable new economic models that share value fairly
Building this new product category now lies in the hands of citizen producers, in the post-industrial paradigm of distributed fabrication, also referred to as “the new industrial revolution” or “the zero marginal cost economy”. Open source blueprints are shared globally on the web, while the products are locally manufactured in Fab Labs and makerspaces that are popping up everywhere.
We believe that such open sustainable products have the potential to scale into mainstreaming, and become the new normal: “sexy like Apple but open like Wikipedia”.
PIONEERS OF A
Though organized in vibrant communities, these innovators building these products, haven’t had the momentum yet to unite and formulate their ideas into a compelling message ready for the mainstream.Our objective is to create a space and long-term process that will unite these pioneers and bring their efforts into a mainstream audience:
- From nearly 200 applicants we are selecting the 12 most-promising open source productsin the areas of energy, housing, food, mobility, communications and circular economy
- During a 5-week innovation camp this summer, we provide the 12 selected teams with the space, time, tools, resources, creative support and the best expertise from world-class mentors to bring their projects to the next level and prepare for massive reachout Overall,100+ makers, designers, engineers and social innovators will join forces during this unique process.
- Together, we present the results as a holistic “demo exhibition” that will weave the 12 projects and their products into a an appealing, mainstream catalogue. Both will be showcased to the world this fall, ahead and during the U.N. conference on climate change in Paris (COP21).
All this is just a kick-off to build permanent spaces for open-sourcing sustainability, set-up a functioning marketplace to “buy, build or upgrade” the products and spread the outcomes to multiple stakeholders through the diversity of partners we´ve already won.