Jakubowski isn’t selling a product; he’s selling a transformation in the way we live
You have no idea how any of the stuff around you gets made. To be truly empowered, should you be able to construct all your possessions from scratch? That’s the vision of the man behind this “open-source capitalism.”
Can you live in the modern world, and still personally make everything you need to survive? For Marcin Jakubowski, founder of the the nonprofit Open Source Ecology (OSE), it’s not really a choice; it’s the only way. Jakubowski’s answer is the Global Village Construction Set (GVCS), a crowd-sourced manufacturing system for the world to build, more or less at home, all the tools for a modern society.
After completing his PhD in fusion physics, Jakubowski grappled with a lack of “any practical skills to solve society’s most pressing problems.” Starting from scratch on a farm, he soon found himself broke, relying on others to fix and maintain his tractor and other equipment. So he started repairing–and then manufacturing–the equipment himself, posting the plans on the web as open-source blueprints.
“People think the economy is extremely powerful and efficient, but I say it’s quite the opposite,” says Jakubowski. “By open sourcing the economy, we can increase innovation tremendously.”
Jakubowski has now distilled his system into about 50 machines–from baker’s oven and a backhoe to a circuit maker and robotic arm–that he says can produce all the comforts and benefits of modern life. All of them, he says, can be open-source, modular machines people can build and maintain themselves with local materials and scrap metal. For now, about eight of the machines are prototypes, and several appear in the the GVCS “Civilization Starter Kit,” assembled by the growing community of engineers, makers, and enthusiasts through the OSE Wiki.
Yet machinery is the prelude to his true ambition: the blueprints for open-source capitalism. At a time when even our basic needs are manufactured with trade secrets in factories oceans away, Jakubowski thinks we can give away the plans of how to make things, collaborate on improving them, and shrink the scale of modern civilization back to something far more appropriate (for most things anyways). OSE is an early attempt.
“We are reducing the cost of business, reducing the barriers to entry, the cost of production, and opening up information flows,” say Jakubowski. “I would argue a small facility today can do what whole factories could do yesterday.”
via FastCoExist – Michael Corenᔥ
Bookmark this page for “open source capitalism” and check back regularly as these articles update on a very frequent basis. The view is set to “news”. Try clicking on “video” and “2” for more articles.