I consider the POC21 project to be a pioneering endeavour of historical importance.
For five weeks in a French castle, scheduled to coincide with the climate change conference in Paris (COP21), a dozen maker groups got together to simulate amongst themselves a circular economy, based on the freedom to share knowledge, sustainable production techniques in harmony with the survival of the natural world, and an idea of fairness in distributing the fruits of our common work.
For me, this represents an instantiation of the highest hope for humanity at this stage, that we can pull off a transition to a mode of production and exchange, a way of producing and distributing value, that is compatible with the survival of the planet.
One incident stands in my memory. In conversation with the makers of an open source agricultural toolkit Aker, one of the members told me that they get regular orders to send the toolkits abroad, yet, they refuse, because the whole intent of the project is that people are enabled to produce locally. These are exactly the kind of generative mentalities and ‘businesses’ that we need. If this feeling is genuine, we have already won, the world-changers, those that are in the world we need to become, are already here. The true revolutionaries today, are those that are effectively creating the sustainable economy we all need.
Below you will find the one-year anniversary report of POC21, don’t miss it!
- Lead image by Stefano Borghi