towards a post-scarcity society

Open Source Appropriate Tech Development and Climate Change

In Open Development, Soft Technology on December 23, 2009 at 8:58 pm

Some of you who are following the UNFCCC climate negotiations may know that there is currently an impasse between “developed” (i.e. US & EU) and “developing” (i.e. China and India) over intellectual property rights and the transfer of technologies for climate change mitigation and adaptation. I put quotes around develop* because it begs the question of who is “developing” and what we’re “developing” towards.

I think that open source R&D, licensing and commercialization of what the UNFCCC calls “environmentally-sound technologies (EST)” can provide an alternative to the proprietary intellectual property licensing vs. compulsory (state-mandated) licensing of EST for diffusion and absorption of these technologies in deprived communities in both developed and developing nations.

I released my working paper on Open Source Development and Climate Change with a paper, “How Open Source Development Can Resolve the North-South Intellectual Property Conflict in UNFCCC Negotiations: A Bipartisan Technology Transfer Pathway” yesterday and I would like to hear what people think about my arguments and proposals.

In it I propose an Open Development Fund to be administered by the UNFCCC to provide grants to networked collaborative research and development immunities like the Factor E Farm in Missouri that create “environmentally-sound technologies” that provide for greenhouse gas mitigation and climate adaptation as part of an overall bipartisan (Annex-I and G77+China) proposal for Open Source Development. This fund would make equity investments or mesocredit business loans in local businesses that commercialize the open sourced technologies developed by communities affiliated with the fund. In this respect the necessary economic and information linkage between target communities and research communities would be fostered.

One way or another I want to build a p2p development fund, be it either through an international governmental body, like the UNFCCC, which could provide for an immediate flush of funds or through an independent non-profit which would spend many years building up the endowment it relies on to provide funding.

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