Open Source Knowledge is the Future
Let’s say you have some stunning land that you plan to grow fantastic things on – you are excited about your prospects. You look forward to seeing the fruition of your labours result in beautiful crops and so you begin to plan. A primary step would be to obtain the necessary tools in order to adequately carry out your mission, but what happens if the adequate tools for you and your plans simply do not exist?
Well, one of two things, either you are not able to overcome this barrier as there simply are not the options or resources available for you to develop the tools yourself, or you are fortunate. Fortunate enough to have the knowledge or access to the knowledge and capability needed to rise to the challenge and create sustainable options and hardware for yourself – essentially, you build your own tools that are suited to your needs. Your needs being your budget, the durability of the tools and hardware and the ability to properly maintain them.
Unfortunately, commercially available farming equipment produced and sold today is generally not created, manufactured and priced with these things in mind. Profit, and even more profit, due to the items being designed for obsolescence, is the main factor behind most commercially available hardware and tools. This is an unsustainable method of providing the tools needed for something even more vital than tools – food. Farming requires extensive equipment that is often out of reach of those who could use it to provide for themselves and others.
An organization called Open Source Ecology was founded by a person who had exactly the experience described above. Marcin Jakubowski, holding a phD in fusion energy, started his career with earth bound applications of his talents when attempting to start a farm. He found that the equipment he needed to sustainably launch his efforts simply didn’t exist, so he made it himself. From his efforts and realization that others across the world would have struggled with a desperate lack of access to hardware too, Open Source Ecology was born and became a foundation committed to sharing crystal clear plans of hardware that is essential for our modern way of life to exist.
This TED talk by Marcin Jakubowski explains the principles behind Open Source Ecology and how it has been structured with unlocking untold human potential in mind. The foundation hopes to achieve this through open source knowledge sharing and their “Global Village Construction Set” that comprises of the 50 machines the foundation has identified to be essential for modern life.
One brilliant point in their selection of plans is a DIY or do-it-yourself solar power source. The French branch of this international organization has released detailed plans for a solar power concentrator that is specifically designed for the individual craftsman. Because of this, a single unit produces around 5 kilowatts of power, but, more than one unit could be built and connected in order to create up to 50 kilowatts. The design is explicit with all needed materials and dimensions provided, the instructions are aided with images taken from the different building stages, and any recyclable materials that can be used in construction are encouraged. Even expected waste items are listed in order to provide the opportunity to plan for their reuse.
The plans offered for constructing this device even go into detail as to the skills needed to adequately construct the device and how many people should work together on the project in order to effectively complete it in a certain amount of time.
This device is aimed at the individual in need of an easily affordable and sustainable method of advancing their trade. The ability to take a further step in optimizing their craft or opening new avenues becomes a tangible reality with off-the-grid solar power. Take a look at the plans for yourself by clicking here.
Sterilization, extraction of essential oils and very importantly – water purification all become realities with this device. Water purification methods that are easily accessible, low cost and environmentally sustainable could and would change millions of lives in third-world and developing countries that currently grapple with a crushing lack of clean, safe drinking water.
The key difference between this method of water purification and many others that have been developed is that this solar power concentrator is multifaceted and can be built by anyone who has access to the plans and resources. Because it is something that can be built and doesn’t necessarily need to be provided, empowerment of communities can take place alongside the real-world benefits that this device will have.
In the words of Marcin Jakubowski, “If we can lower the barriers to farming, building and manufacturing then we can unleash just massive amounts of human potential.”