Open source ecology: Towards the open source economy

Thursday, May 15, 2014 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm EDT (GMT -04:00)

Speaker: Marcin Jakubowski, PhD

A video of the presentation can be found below.

Marcin Jakubowski, Ph.D.


Where consumption has become our major daily activity, we rarely ask what it means to ‘produce’ something. Open, collaborative development promises to revolutionize the way the economy operates by shifting the focus from profit-making proprietary production to meaning-making participatory production. Access to prior work and crowd-based contributions allow companies to innovate faster and a greater number of producers to foster a broader and more diverse ecosystem. We also can (re)shape the artifacts we use and in this way shape our own experiences. What are the mechanisms by which this happens in practice in our lives and in our work? What began a couple of decades ago as the open source movement is now extending into open source hardware, open product development, and open enterprise. How will these collaborative trends lead to a more efficient, satisfying and meaningful system of production? In his presentation, OSE founder and TED fellow Marcin Jakubowski will discuss the current state of the Global Village Construction Set, challenges that lie ahead, and how he aims to develop a collaborative platform for accelerating innovation.

Speaker biography

Marcin Jakubowski is the founder of Open Source Ecology, an open collaborative of engineers, producers, and builders developing the Global Village Construction Set (GVCS). The GVCS is a set of 50 most important machines that it takes for modern life to exist everything from a tractor, to an oven, to a circuit maker. Marcin is producing open source blueprints so that anyone can build and maintain machines at a fraction of what it costs today. His goal is to create a life size LEGO set of powerful, self-replicating production tools that can decentralize production to build modern prosperity in local economies. He imagines the raw power this gives to people to tap autonomy, mastery, and purpose towards rebuilding their communities and solving wicked problems. Marcin believes that true freedom the most essential type of freedom starts with peoples’ individual ability to use natural resources to free themselves from material constraints to unleash human potential.

He founded Open Source Ecology in 2003 in order to make closed-loop manufacturing a reality. The mission of Open Source Ecology is to create a collaborative economic platform that optimizes development, production, and distribution via open source collaboration to accelerate innovation to unprecedented levels. These ideas are being tested at the Factor e Farm (e as in the mathematical constant) in rural Missouri.

Marcin has been called an innovation stuntman, a disruptive hero, was recognized on the Enrich List, and gained the distinctions of a 2012 TED senior fellow, a 2013 Shuttleworth foundation fellow, and a 2013 White House Champion of Change. The Global Village Construction Set was recognized in Time Magazine’s Best Inventions of 2012.

He came to the U.S. from Poland as a child. He graduated with honours from Princeton University and earned his PhD in fusion physics from the University of Wisconsin. After receiving formal education, he found himself useless in solving wicked problems, and started a farm in rural Missouri which was to become the birthplace of the GVCS.

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