If you don’t know about ‘Frugal Innovation and the Bottom of the Pyramid (BoP)’ here’s a quick précis.
Basically, there 4 billion people on the planet living in a spectrum of relative-to-absolute poverty. That within that BoP 4-billion, sits approximately 1 billion people living on under 2 dollars a day ($730 per year).
So just over a decade ago the late Prof. C.K Prahalad proclaimed that the best way to tackle poverty at the $2 dollars a day BoP, is to fight it by turning it into a profit centred market-space. A worldwide market worth 7.3 trillion dollars!
Prahalad Hyperlogic is this: if you innovate life subsistence and enabling products and sell them at a price the BoP can afford and still make a return, then you set off a virtuous circle. People at the BoP begin you climb the wall of the Pyramid and out of crisis.
Well that is the first step in the BoP innovation equation.
A further step is slightly – or fantastically - more ambitious: to innovate systems of technologies and tools that build basic infrastructure development that supplies clean water and foods, habitats and agriculture systems, etc, that the BoP can invest in through micro-loans and community pooling investures.
Well, it never ceases to amaze me on my research into Innovating to enable the BOP, and I recently came across these guys: ‘Open Source Ecology (OSE).’
‘Open Source Ecology is a network of farmers, engineers, and supporters that for the last two years has been creating the Global Village Construction Set, an open source, low-cost, high performance technological platform that allows for the easy, DIY fabrication of the 50 different Industrial Machines that it takes to build a sustainable civilization with modern comforts. The GVCS lowers the barriers to entry into farming, building, and manufacturing and can be seen as a life-size Lego-like set of modular tools that can create entire economies, whether in rural Missouri, where the project was founded, in urban redevelopment, or in the developing world.’
OSE was founded by Marcin JAKUBOWSKI in 2003 and true Hyperinnovator. His ambition is ‘closed-loop manufacturing a reality.’ His main focus is ‘evolving to freedom by eliminating resource scarcity as the main force behind human relations - with the wise use of modern technology adapted for human service.’
And this is OSE strategy.
‘The Global Village Construction Set (GVCS) is an open technological platform that allows for the easy fabrication of the 50 different Industrial Machines that it takes to build a small civilization with modern comforts. Key Features of the GVCS: Open Source – Low Cost Modular – user Service able – DIY – Closed-Loop Manufacturing – Heirloom Design – Flexible Fabrication.’
‘A modern, comfortable lifestyle relies on a variety of efficient Industrial Machines. If you eat bread, you rely on an Agricultural Combine. If you live in a wood house, you rely on a Sawmill. Each of these machines relies on other machines in order for it to exist. If you distill this complex web of interdependent machines [Hyperinnovation] into a reproduceable, simple, closed-loop system, you get these:’
‘The GVCS 50’ in development; 50 tools to realise their goals.
3 examples:3D Printer: an additive manufacturing technology where a three dimensional object is printed by laying down successive layers of material, just like a printer except in 3D.
3D Scanner A device that can generate a 3D digital scan from a real-life object, where the file can be used to reproduce the object in 3D with a device such as the 3D printer or CNC Precision Multimachine.
Linear Solar Concentrator an infinitely-scalable, linear device which concentrates solar radiation onto a linear target for generating heat or steam to produce electricity.
Click here to see full list.
‘Download the CAD data here and the entire set of CEB Press documentation can be found here, in addition to the assembly videos. Please watch and download them and drop us a line to let us know what you thought. Were the videos easy to follow along? Think the instructions fell short? Were they useful? Do you have suggestions for how to make them better? We look forward to your feedback.’
OSE Guys, I am truly humbled.