towards a post-scarcity society

ArkFab Innovation Foundation

In atlanta, Open Development on February 28, 2010 at 9:57 pm

We now live in a complex world. Over the past 200 years globalization has
increased our interconnectedness while industrialization has increased our interdependencies. The global division of labor between and within nations has created
a diversity of economic and social roles for humanity never before seen and by
compelling us to leave our natural habitats the city now claims the majority of
Homo sapiens. Humans and the environments we fundamentally rely on for our
survival are now struggling to keep up and adapt to the difficult implications of
these changes.

Sustainable technologies offer an opportunity to aid the transition towards
more resilient communities but physical hardware alone is not sufficient. Successful
adoption, operation and maintenance of sustainable technologies in at-risk
communities requires both the physical hardware and the local competences of
individual and social capacity, knowledge and know-how.1 Providing these
communities economic and social access to the technologies they need to improve
their resilience is arguably the most critical problem in the field of sustainable
development. We must renovate or establish organizations that better coordinate
and leverage the innovative, entrepreneurial and adaptive power of all individuals
especially those individuals who are most at risk.

The ArkFab Innovation Foundation harnesses an emerging global network of collaborative expertise and open source sustainable technologies development to provide local entrepreneurs access to the tools and resources they need to rapidly adapt their communities to continuously shifting landscapes of risk in our complex society. The Foundation’s community innovation system stimulates commons-based peer production in at-risk communities with cost effective local ArkFab Innovation Centers. These community innovation centers are comprised of

  • ArkFab Power, a locally sourced carbon-negative power generation system
  • ArkFab Lab, a digital flexible fabrication prototyping, manufacturing and cloud supercomputing facility and the
  • ArkFab Endowment, a revolving loan fund that provides mesofinance start-up capital for new for-profit environmental enterprise while funneling incoming returns on investment towards research and development grants, educational and vocational programming, and local not-for profit social enterprise

By building a global network of distributed ArkFab Innovation Centers that provide access to the resources potential entrepreneurs and innovators need we create a system of community innovation that will generate locally relevant and culturally and economically appropriate technological and business. The ArkFab Innovation Centers focus primarily on developing local knowledge and financial independence with programming with our local partners that encourages entrepreneurship, small business development, cutting-edge vocational training, and high-tech infrastructure development for the community. For example, we work with local technical colleges to provide vocational training in small-scale flexible digital fabrication and design and small ecological manufacturing business management.

See the full executive summary at Scribd: ArkFab Innnovation Foundation Executive Summary

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