Marcin Jakubowski is being honored as a Champion of Change for his accomplishments as a crowdfunding pioneer.
I started a group called Open Source Ecology that is working on the Global Village Construction Set (GVCS). The GVCS is a modular, low-cost, DIY, high-performance platform that allows for the easy fabrication of the 50 different machines that it takes to build a small, sustainable civilization with modern comforts. This is a big, hairy, audacious goal, and you can learn more about it in my TED Talk on starting civilization from scratch.
To develop this platform, we are using crowd-based development, and our roots lie in crowdfunding. When I started the project, I quickly ran out of funds, so I turned to the crowd for support. When we wanted to build one of our machines, we simply documented all of our work, published our plans on our wiki, and set up a crowdfunding basket where people could contribute to the specific project over the internet. We now have a base of about 500 “True Fans” who support our work with small donations.
We have grown tremendously since the TED Talk put us on the world stage, and our next step is to develop pilot projects so that our work can be replicated all over the world. We want our work to be adapted to the unique conditions of wherever our machines are built, and our open platform allows this to happen.
We are also developing our collaborative design methods to accelerate innovation. With the internet tools available today, and the ability to prototype things rapidly with tools such as 3D printers, we can reach unprecedented rates of innovation and development. We invite you to join us in our Design Sprints, where we are breaking the barriers to collaboration on developing new designs, and creating the next industrial revolution—the open source industrial revolution.
Marcin Jakubowski is Founder of Open Source Ecology.