towards a post-scarcity society

Posts Tagged ‘climate change’

LuciaStoves and Dual-Power Steam GenSets

In atlanta, Open Development, Tools on May 6, 2010 at 12:25 am

LuciaStoves are dual-use biomass gasification stoves that have 96% combustion efficiency. 10 litres of wood pellets produce only 50 milliliters of ash… truly. When running in char mode the stoves produce biochar which is the only feasible method of carbon sequestration currently available. Biochar from millions of households using these simple stoves could reduce emissions through avoiding emissions from inefficient stoves and burying biochar in soil as a soil amendment by 40 million tons a year. Or about the amount of emissions from a small first world country such as Ireland.

My buddy Iuval and I are building stoves like these for home use in Atlanta and the Southeast with ArkFab Labs.

Gasifiers like this can also be used to run steam powered gensets such as this one from Joe Carruth.

Things get interesting at 4:00, take a look, this video has 100k views for a good reason. These technologies have the power to free people from their dependency on fossil fuels and centralized energy conglomerates.


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

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.