Thursday, November 22, 2018

eco2FEST – Week 2: Building Society from the Ground Up


It was an ambitious second week of eco2FEST with workshops and conferences revolving around four different themes: Public Policies, Governance, Habitation, and Urban Agriculture. A lot of important questions were raised as citizens, entrepreneurs, and government officials worked through them all to find collaborative solutions.
Even when no concrete solutions were proposed though, the discussions set the stage for a more focused framing of these themes in the future.

Public Policies

At their most basic, public policies are the intersection between what citizens ask for and what governments can provide. It is this constant flux from one side to the other that creates the common ground of how society is run. Finding a common ground that’s truly for the benefit of the greater good, however, is a different story. This has been the root cause for countless of political struggles since the dawn of civilization.
For any equilibrium to be achieved, there has to be a balance of energy or power on all sides. And that starts with trust and a willingness to collaborate. Governments need to make a greater effort to seek input from citizens impacted by proposed policies while citizens need to take initiative to engage in constructive dialogue with government officials. Only then can innovative public policies take shape.
During the Public Policies segment of eco2FEST, Guillaume Lavoie – professor at ENAP and former city councillor of Montreal – observed that citizens have been asking their elected officials the wrong question about innovation. Instead of just seeking their support for innovation, elected officials should be asked, “What is your level of tolerance for disruption?”
Historically, governments often favour stability while businesses mostly thrive on disruption. But for overall progress to happen in society, it depends on government’s ability to stomach change.
Businesses have always been a step ahead of governments not only because they embrace change, but also because they actively seek out public opinion. If governments want to keep up, they have to do the same and go a step further by establishing units or processes that provide future projections based on current socio-economic trends.
This will allow governments to at least proactively prepare for future growth rather than reacting too late to realities on the ground. It will result in more opportunities for governments to engage in timely discussions with the public.
Besides examining the role of government, eco2FEST participants also considered the other side of the equation: how can we empower citizens with the notion that they have the right to express their opinions on how society is run?
Participatory democracy was brought up several times as a potential way for people to get in the habit of working together with the government. Of course, it means that the government has to transition to that concept and introduce how it works early in the education system.
Once citizens start to participate more and governments have a better pulse on what the needs are, what’s the best way to use crowdsourced data effectively to implement public policies? This was another sticky point in the workshop discussions last week.
For example, there’s a massive amount of urban traffic data out there compiled by both public and private sectors. But it’s been difficult to design mobility models and transportation systems based on that data because every source wants to protect its data for different purposes. On top of all that, there are privacy issues that people are rightfully concerned about.
The question then turned to regulation, which is sometimes a waypoint of implementation. For that, Guillaume Lavoie recommended not to jump straight to regulations before the subject is fully understood – that would be worse than not regulating at all. “The goal is to have the least possible, to access as much as possible,” he said.

Governance

Public Policies naturally lead to Governance. How do you build the consensus and the principles everyone has agreed on during the development of public policies into a long-term governance system? In short, as Agathe Lehel – Projects Promoter of OuiShare Québec – so succinctly put it, “How do you make sure that [governance] culture persists over time?”
Technology was consistently proposed as a possible solution. Technology can facilitate the processing of governance processes because of its dynamic ability to provide real-time information and instantaneous feedback.
One of the most promising technological applications in governance comes in the form of smart contracts in blockchain. The potential of blockchain as a governance tool is so strong that it has been adopted by businesses and even governments such as Estonia’s digital republic.
Blockchain platforms are designed to evenly distribute the power of governance and direction that decisions take. In that sense, members of the platform are simultaneously users, investors, and stakeholders. All these members are brought together from different cultures and values. The issue is how we make it work and achieve consensus.
Another concern raised in the discussion was maintaining decentralization. What we want to avoid is the consolidation of power in any extreme and not knowing who actually holds the power.
In response to the governance concerns of blockchain, Pascal Ngo Chu – co-founder of EOS/Steem Québec – pointed to EOSIO as an example. It is a blockchain platform that introduces a governance model. A constitution can be created first, which all other application systems must follow. From there, a democratic system can be established with voting tools for people to make decisions.
At the end of the day though, it’s the individuals who form the hub of a blockchain network. Yes, government needs to be involved in supporting the system, but the grassroots level needs to first demonstrate that it works even in a rapidly evolving society. However the platform is designed, governance has to be ingrained yet remain flexible enough for new directions.
We also have to remember that the platform is not the solution – it is a tool for governance and transparency that works so long as the human connection is stable.

Habitation

For all the talk about progress in society, it can’t go very far if the basic needs of the people aren’t met. That brings us to the theme of Habitation.
We’ve seen the steady rise of housing costs for years and it’s time we come up with creative solutions to combat that issue.
Many ideas were pitched at the eco2FEST workshops, including transitional use of vacant spaces. So rather than leaving undeveloped lots sitting empty, is there a way we can make use of them? The same goes for unoccupied buildings or infrastructure. What would a system that temporarily repurposes vacant spaces look like?
Housing cooperatives were also mentioned as proven working models, although everyone acknowledged that they do have some hurdles to overcome. These include setting up reliable conflict resolution systems as well as systems properly recognizing everyone’s specialties and contributions.
The most significant hurdle has to do with the public image of housing cooperatives. They are neither social housing nor places where everyone is expected to scrub the common floors together. Housing cooperatives are all about lowering the housing costs for their members. If that is what everyone ultimately wants, why is participation still so low?
It seems that housing cooperatives could do with more support from governments and more rebranding campaigns from the private sector.

Urban Agriculture and Food Sovereignty

Food is another basic need that needs to be addressed. And in an urban environment, it’s even more important that sustainable approaches are used.
It was fitting that communal food was served throughout eco2FEST, but especially so during the urban agriculture workshops. It ties in with the fact that it really does not require massive infrastructure to feed people.
What emerged from the discussions was the need for us to completely change our way of thinking when it comes to urban agriculture and food sovereignty. In a sense, we need to think big in small systems.
For instance, we can first change our concept of food consumption. Instead of consuming what we want, we can start by consuming what we want among what’s locally available. That would cut down on infrastructure being used to produce food for distant locations, along with all the transportation costs that come with it.
Douglas Jack, a sustainable community development expert, gave a presentation advocating people to take a 3D approach to agriculture. That involves considering the collaborative effect of plants occupying all height levels – from trees to fungi – that contribute to a healthier ecosystem. He also talked about various indigenous techniques for sustainable livelihood, the details of which he catalogued online for open-source sharing.
From his example as well as that of Jack SoRelle – who created the Plenty4All organization from scratch – there was a consensus that open-source sharing of agricultural techniques is an economically feasible way to establish grassroots-oriented solutions for communities all over the world.

As the second week of eco2FEST came to a close, it was apparent that there is a common thread that ran through these four themes: it all comes down to education.

It’s about learning how to let your voice be heard; it’s about teaching how to run an equitable society. It’s about learning how to live affordably together; it’s about teaching how to feed the world sustainably.

What inspired you the most from the conversations you’ve had last week at eco2FEST? What would you like to accomplish by the final week?

Winluck Wong is a freelance writer helping companies grow their businesses through blogging, web content writing, copywriting, and social media management. He gets excited about an eclectic mix of topics from business strategies and sustainable development to personal finance and life hacks. Follow his cheeky musings on Twitter and imagine how he can fit in your story on his website.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

eco2FEST - week 1: Collaboration in Motion

Last week marked the beginning of eco2FEST, a three-week journey to explore new forms of economy, sustainable open-source design, and more. Organized around nine themes, eco2FEST highlighted Mobility and Collaborative Economy as the first themes of the week.

Mobility

eco2FEST was aptly jumpstarted with the first theme, Mobility. Progress has always traveled on the
back of our ability to transfer ideas, resources, and people over great distances in the shortest amount
of time possible. The need for this ability to be efficient has become more pronounced in the growing
urbanization of society.

As ecosystems of urban jungles continue to spread, mobility is what will preserve their delicate balance and keep them thriving. Without mobility as the primary consideration in infrastructure design, cities run the risk of a drawn-out but inevitable decay.

It’s a well-recognized issue and many cities throughout the world have ventured ahead with innovative models of mobility. Take Barcelona and the Bicing program, for instance; London and its GATEway project; or Guangzhou’s Bus Rapid Transit system.

And we can do the same here. Montreal is the ideal city for mobility innovation and it’s evident when
the city hosted the Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) World Congress last year. The world came to us last year and this year, we’re demonstrating through eco2FEST that we’re ready to bring our ingenuity to the world.

The official launch of eco2FEST last week inspired a lot of frank discussions about the future of mobility in Montreal. Mobility entrepreneurs like Eva Coop and OuiHop’ met with local residents as well as citizen groups like Trainsparence. Together, this open forum invited everyone to give their input on major mobility issues such as the “last mile” problem, bike-integration solutions, and even specific issues such as mobility challenges in Verdun.

It is a promising start to eco2FEST. Jean-François Parenteau, the Mayor of Verdun, mentioned at the
eco2FEST press conference last Tuesday that he and his elected officials wanted the borough to shine
when it comes to a collaborative economy. It captured the intent of eco2FEST perfectly. This is our moment to take the lead by getting the private and public sectors together to collaborate on inclusive solutions that improve the day-to-day lives of everyone.


Collaborative Economy

As the conversation moved from Mobility to the second theme, Collaborative Economy, the ideas continued to flow. Although the participants in the workshops and roundtables were from different backgrounds, they all found common ground with these two statements:


  1. Access to resources can be very difficult for individuals; collaborative workspaces can meet this requirement as well as create opportunities and accessibility for entrepreneurs;
  2. Collaborative economy adds social and economic benefits within society.


Moreover, certain words came up again and again that showed how strongly they resonated with
everyone: inclusionparticipateequitygrowth, and empowerment. All these are values that a
collaborative economy strives toward.

It means less constraints from a traditional workplace and less emphasis on profit before all else. It
means more innovation and ecological results driven for and by the community. Above all, it means
genuine collaboration that goes beyond the family unit and reaches every facet of society.

What’s striking about the first week at eco2FEST was how deeply engaged all the participants were in the discussions that took place. Everyone had something of value to contribute and it’s all these ideas in aggregate that will make a difference as we co-build the society of tomorrow.

All this came out of just the first week. Imagine what we can accomplish next. Find out what’s
happening this week at eco2FEST on our schedule and participate!

What really spoke to you during the first week of eco2FEST? What would you like to see done differently in the upcoming workshops and conferences?

Winluck Wong is a freelance writer helping companies grow their businesses through blogging, web content writing, copywriting, and social media management. He gets excited about an eclectic mix of topics from business strategies and sustainable development to personal finance and life hacks. Follow his cheeky musings on Twitter and imagine how he can fit in your story on his website.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

MATRIOSHKA HUB DE MOBILITÉ





Pour une mobilité en réseau,
inclusive et soutenable



Actuellement, nos villes et nos territoires font face à de nombreux défis de mobilité, ce qui accélère l'innovation basée sur de nouvelles technologies, dans un cadre d’un développement durable. La démocratisation de l’internet permet l'intégration des offres de transports publics et privés qu’imposent les nouveaux besoins des citoyens modernes, et surtout de la nouvelle population jeune et très bien connectée. Le numérique et les systèmes intelligents engagent les citoyens dans la production et l’utilisation de services publics de plus en plus complexes. Également, les pratiques collaboratives dans l’espace publique sont en croissance dans nos villes modernes.

En réponse à ses tendances, une nouvelle approche a la mobilite a été proposée: la mobilité en réseau (OuiShare et Chronos). Cette approche répond aux besoins d’une mobilité de demain, car les moyens de transport du futur proche seront partagés, écologiques et seront nécessairement conçus en réseau. Cette transformation bouleverse l’aménagement urbain, la gouvernance et les services traditionnels associés à l’écosystème de mobilité. Pour y faire face, nous devons faire appel à l’innovation ouverte, faire preuve d’inclusivité et prendre en compte la proximité.

La mobilité en réseau amène la société d'aujourd'hui à faire face au besoin d’une mobilité à une échelle d’approche plus large. Nous faisons appel au cadre théorique de l’écologie du paysage (Carl Troll, 1939), qui a été traditionnellement utilisé pour l’analyse spatiale à grande échelle. Étymologiquement, le mot paysage réfère à l’agencement des traits, des caractères et des formes d’une portion de l’espace terrestre. Donc, le paysage est utilisé dans la géographie et l’écologie ou il peut jouer un rôle de medium entre la nature et la société, à l’échelle supérieure de l’écosystème.  (Bertrand, 1975; Baudry & Burel 1999). Le paysage est alors perçu comme un système d’un ensemble d’éléments interconnectés soit un réseau.

Ceci dit, la mobilité est de plus en plus comprise en termes de création de liens, d’opportunités et de synergies, plutôt qu’en terme de pure franchissement de distances. Autrement dit, la  reliance devient la valeur nouvelle de la mobilité, (Amar, 2010). Dans ce scénario de la mobilité, qui est pensé à travers le prisme de l’Écologie du paysage,  l’innovation ouverte et l’ecodesign deviennent des outils essentiels pour trouver des nouvelles solutions. Ces méthodologies s’appliquent bien à une situation complexe ainsi que transdisciplinaire et produisent des résultats favorisant des valeurs environnementales.
CONCEPTS D’ÉCOLOGIE DU PAYSAGE UTILISÉS::
Les “patches” / zonage. Arrangement spatial, ou patron paysager, peut se décomposer en tâches homogènes (Baudry & Burel 1999). Les “patches” jouent différents rôles: élément d’orientation, élément clé (donne accès à), dynamiseur (engendre des actions, vivre une expérience), ou hub de rencontre (par exemple permet la pause pour découvrir le quartier).
La Matrice. Constitue l’ensemble dominant du paysage qui englobe les “patches”. Elle peut être par exemple une matrice urbaine, rurale ou périurbaine. De façon représentative, elle peut aussi être une matrice culturelle, une distribution géographique des traditions.
Les Corridors. Sont des éléments linéaires dont l’ensemble forme un réseau lineal à travers la matrice, permettant ainsi de relier certains ‘’patches’’ entre elles, qui ont des fonctions importantes. Nous pouvons les voir comme des connecteurs d’idées, d’information, de connaissances ou comme des objets IoT (‘’Internet of Things’’). Ils assurent la connectivité entre les éléments.



Un bon exemple de corridor à Montréal est la nouvelle Promenade Fleuve-Montagne, qui crée un lien piéton entre le fleuve Saint-Laurent, au sud, et le Mont Royal, au nord, comme occasion de rencontres, lieu de pause, passages verts.

Métapopulation. Se caractérise par des mécanismes d’interaction entre groupes de populations séparés spatialement, reliées par multiples éléments (Gilpin & Hanski, 1991). Pour la mobilité en réseau, ces éléments interreliés peuvent être des connecteurs des populations au niveau ethnique, des âges, ou genres, qui peuvent réduit l’isolement géographique.

Métacommunauté. Se caractérise par des mécanismes d’interaction entre communautés locales, séparées spatialement, mais reliées par multiples éléments. (Levins, 1969). Le concept de la mertacommunauté, au niveau de mobilité en réseau, peut jouer un rôle de connecteur des arrondissements, des savoirs, des goûts et préférences, des intérêts. (Levins, 1969)

Théorie de la percolation. S’intéresse au processus physique de flux d’information à travers un réseau. Elle est appliquée par exemple pour accélérer le mouvements des objets (De Gennes, 1990): La Remise est, par exemple, une coopérative de solidarité à but non lucratif à Montréal, qui entrepose des outils d’usage commun (cuisine, menuiserie, artisanat, mécanique, jardinage, électricité, etc.), mis à la disposition de ses membres sous forme de prêts. Ce partage crée des liens sociaux en plus de diminuer le gaspillage.

Le Patches / zonage
La Matrice
Corridors
Métapopulation
Métacommunauté
Percolation
    
 
    
Ces concepts d’écologie du paysage peuvent être utilisés pour analyser la ville de Montréal et sa mobilité, faisant appel à des mobiliers urbains, des systèmes numériques et interactifs.

LES MOBILIERS URBAINS DANS L'ÉCOLOGIE DE LA MOBILITÉ

Différents mobiliers urbains autonomes en énergie ont été déjà utilisés dans le but d’une mobilité en réseau. Tel est le cas des abris pour les voitures ou vélos munis de panneaux photovoltaïques, ou des abribus pour les utilisateurs du transport en commun offrant une connectivité WiFi et des informations locales. Ainsi, les mobiliers urbains sont des créatures dans l’écologie du paysage urbain, avec un potentiel pour devenir des éléments clés ou des stations, offrant différentes utilités: hubs de rencontres, expositions artistiques, expériences interactives, bornes informatives ou de connexions. Ces stations peuvent aussi être reliées les unes aux autres.

Le mobilier urbain Matrioshka, dessiné par Quatorze, est un des exemples de mobilier urbain autonome en énergie, qui est maintenant en voie de commercialisation à Montréal. La Matrioshka offre la possibilité de recharger des appareils portables électroniques et de se connecter à l’Internet. Ce mobilier a été enrichi en lui ajoutant d’autres systèmes électroniques: écran, système de son, capteurs de présence et de mouvement, panneaux interactives, etc. Ces fonctionnalités permettent au mobilier d’être un espace convivial et un hub de convergence, d’occupation temporelle et événementielle. La Matrioshka peut aussi jouer un rôle éducatif, pour sensibiliser la population à la production de l’énergie renouvelable et aux enjeux environnementaux.
La Matrioshka a déjà été utilisée comme une station de travail mobile, un mobilier sonore et visuel éducatif et aussi comme élément artistique ou informatif. Maintenant, le grand défi est de passer d’une conception de Matrioshka comme mobilier urbain connecté, agissant au niveau local, à un objet ayant un rôle dans la mobilité en réseau.
Dans cet objectif, l'équipe Matrioshka propose une expérience de création avec une approche écodesign reliée à la mobilité, dans le cadre de la Foire Écosphère et de l'événement Eco2Fest de Ouishare au Vieux Port de Montréal, le 12 et 13 Août. Le but de l’activité est d’écoconcevoir de nouveaux usages et fonctionnalités du mobilier urbain Matrioshka, dans différentes scénarios de mobilité à Montréal, dans un contexte de mobilité en réseau. Pour faciliter le processus d’écodesign, les participants auront une session éducative portant sur des concepts reliés à l’écologie du paysage, ainsi que sur les technologies durables. Ensuite, ils travailleront à partir d’un parcours de mobilité qui contient des stations Matrioshka, dans des scénarios de mobilité active, covoiturage et transmodalité. Ce sera une excellente opportunité de participer dans un exercice d'écodesign, pour apprendre, pour s’amuser et pour rencontrer des gens intéressés à cette thématique. N’hésitez pas à participer et jouir de cette superbe experience!

Pour participer à cet événement cliquez ici.

Pour plus d’information sur le projet Matrioshka cliquez ici.

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Sunday, March 19, 2017

SENSORICA’s footprint in Open Science


SENSORICA is presenting at GOSH 2017 in Santiago, Chile. This is a short document that we prepared for this conference. See more of our involvement here.



Saturday, September 17, 2016

SENSORICA and health care

There is a growing recognition about the negative effects stemming from commodifying innovation through restrictive I.P. protection and exclusivity, especially in the medical field. Open Source Development methodologies in software emerged as the dominant form of collaborative innovation in the late 90’s and the trend has been spreading to a wider sphere of work. The IT infrastructure of today’s world enables peers to connect, share and collaborate on solving common issues through use of collective knowledge. Commons-based peer production is the term that defines such collaborative efforts by peers. The collaborators act as the stewards of commonly held wealth and assets which could be anything ; monies, knowledge, equipment, reputations, social capital etc.The beauty of such networks is that development for one project can be mixed and remixed to suit a variety of other needs. Traditionally, such endeavors have been part of a gift-economy where peers do not seek tangible rewards for their contributions. However, for larger scale and mainstream economic model, gift economy is not a viable method for development. The question, then, is how do we keep track of contributions to inform fair rewards?

That is where the Open Value Network model (OVN) comes in. An OVN is built around a core open source community, preserving its nature, and adds layers of governance, infrastructure and methodologies in order to make large scale, open innovation networks as predictable and accountable as traditional organizations, such as coops or limited liability corporations. In an OVN, contributions to a process, be it tangible items such as time and money or intangibles such as social capital, are recorded and whatever benefit is derived from this process is proportionally divided and distributed back to contributors. This makes open networks sustainable, by allowing the implementation of capturing and redistribution mechanisms. Networks have yet to gain public recognition, legitimacy and legality, but the jury is out already, the OVN model makes open networks fully capable socioeconomic agents.

SENSORICA is the first instantiation of the OVN model. It originated in Montreal, in early 2011. The initial focus of the network was to develop open source scientific research equipment using commons-based peer production methodologies. Indeed, most of activities are coordinated from the SENSORICA Montreal lab, a physical location where local affiliates can meet and work together. However, the Network Resource Planning (NRP) tools that Sensoricans have developed lays the foundation of a strong decentralized community without geographical borders. It allows tracking of the flow of resources through the entire system, at both micro and macro levels. NRP is the mainstay of all SENSORICA projects, and enables SENSORICA to practically implement the ideologies of collaborative and open innovation in a transparent and equitable manner.

The video bellow explains the idea in detail.



The wellness of societies and communities also depend on the innovation of its peers. Over the past few decades, the care aspect of communities has also been commodified. Healthcare and Education, the basics of human needs, have slowly been removed from the sphere of communities and instead, been handed over to closed and elitist institutions, including companies for profit-maximization. The result is a disjointed system where even these basic necessities are the purvey of the well-off. Moreover, in health care the quest for new cures and treatments is a quest for profits, and resources are mainly deployed in research and development (R&D) that promises good returns on investments. The illnesses of a few are forgotten. Just like with technological innovation, we, as a society, need to free knowledge and break down barriers to participation. For that to happen, Open Science will play a big part, meeting the requirement of creating open source scientific equipment and research methodologies that enable peers to do R&D on issues most important to them.


SENSORICA's position on Open Science



See more on Open Science on SENSORICA's website.

Guy Rouleau, the director of McGill University’s Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI) announced recently in the Science Magazine that his institute was going to steer towards Open Science.
“We think that it is a way to accelerate discovery and the application of neuroscience.” (…) “There is a fair amount of patenting by people at the institute, but the outcomes have not been very useful” (...) “It comes down to what is the reason for our existence? It’s to accelerate science, not to make money.”
SENSORICA has already taken concrete steps towards implementing this vision. One of the first projects undertaken by Sensoricans was the Mosquito, a force-transducer with ability to detect micron-scale movements, designed for applications in biomechanics at the cellular level. Today, SENSORICA has over 15 projects for open source scientific instruments in different stages of development, some of them being used in University labs (see the full list). However, the main potential lies in the ability of the community to build upon these and many other devices and repurpose them to fit needs in diverse fields.


SENSORICA's Mosquito system - by photo Daniel Brastaviceanu

Open source scientific instruments cost only of a small fraction to produce and to maintain, compared to their proprietary equivalents. This reduces the costs of innovation and widens participation in research. Professor Joshua Pearce from Michigan Tech University, and contributor to the SENSORICA OVN mentions in one of his papers:
A case study of a syringe pump with numerous scientific and medical applications is presented. The results found millions of dollars of economic value from a relatively simple scientific device being released under open-licenses representing orders of magnitude in-crease in value from conventional proprietary development. The inescapable conclusion of this study is that FOSH development should be funded by organizations interested in maximizing re-turn on public investments particularly in technologies associated with science, medicine and education.
During its six years in development, SENSORICA has prototyped formal relations with Universities and medical centers, demonstrating how the crowd and the institutional academia can successfully interface, opening wide and filtering participation in medical research, allowing discovery to go towards what matters to people, not just to Wall Street. The Mosquito sensor has been developed in collaboration with the Montreal Heart Institute and Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal, the Manipulators have been developed in partnership with McGill University. Numerous students have done their internship within the SENSORICA lab, not only practicing their technical skills, but also learning how to operate in a network-type, highly collaborative environment. See SENSORICA’s Interns webpage.
--> Lower cost open source scientific instruments lower the barrier to entry to medical research.
--> Interfacing institutional academia with open networks frees research topics from the narrow profit motive and speeds up innovation
In early 2015, SENSORICA partnered with Breathing Games to produce an open source therapeutic device for kids suffering from cystic fibrosis. But this project is very different. As we are designing the hardware device, we are also thinking about how the data generated from its use during therapy sessions will be managed. It turns out that the blockchain technology can truly revolutionize how therapy and medical care are administered, and how the medical data is managed, and SENSORICA has already embarked in blockchain applications development.
--> blockchain and other p2p technologies create the possibility of new health care services
The vision for SENSORICA is to demonstrate the economic viability and practical superiority of open innovation. Since innovation has been segregated from community for the better part of the last century, the possibilities of applications are endless. We are not claiming to have the solution all the problems that our health care system is facing, but our past experiences have allowed us to peer into a new realm of solutions, enabled by the new digital technology and the new socioeconomic processes it has made possible.

There is a lot of criticism for commons-based peer processes pertaining to their ability to deliver large scale solutions, while being self-sustainable. In other words, the conclusions point to the persistent need of traditional forms of organizing innovation, production and distribution, in order to fuel these new processes: one needs to have a paid job to contribute to open source development. The flaw in these arguments is that they analyse these new practices within the traditional capitalist paradigm. Commons-based peer processes are part of a new socioeconomic paradigm, which prescribes its own underlying theory of value and its own capturing and redistribution mechanisms. Saying that open innovation is unsustainable is factually false, even within the capitalist regime. Arduino, for example, is a very successful commercial operation relying entirely on open source hardware and software technology. Most successful 3D printing and personal drone commercial operations also rely on open source, as well as operations that provide blockchain applications. All these new and disruptive technologies are dominated by these new types of ventures who know how to steward open networks. Something is going on here, for those who have eyes to see. And all these organizations are only hybrids, in the sense that their structure have capturing mechanisms that function in a market-driven economy, while relying on commons-based peer processes for innovation. SENSORICA has data that shows, perhaps for the first time, how capturing mechanisms that are fully compatible with the logic of the p2p economy can be gradually introduced within this transitory economy, to become dominant in a very near future.

We do not have experience in pharmaceuticals. We cannot prescribe today a method through commons-based peer production to deliver a new drug, going through all the norms and regulations. The monetary costs associated with this type of ventures are huge, and if we transpose the challenge in an OVN setting it would require the deployment of an amount of resources and a complexity that we cannot sustain, at this point in time. But we do not see a hard barrier... As these systems scale, one day they will be capable of undertaking such challenges. Alternatively, we do have extensive experience with scientific instruments and less costly, and less regulated therapeutic devices. This is the path of least resistance for OVNs to infiltrate the care domain and gain strength. Joshua Pearce's conclusions show that once open source-based scientific instruments enter a market niche it totally disrupts it, putting traditional companies out of business, as they cannot sustain their operations at such low product prices. This trend is starting now with medical devices, like this 30$ DIY EpiPen example. Operating at lower prices, the monetary rewards an organization gets for the product, doesn't mean that we are going towards poverty. The zero marginal cost tendency, driven by open innovation, only makes sense in the capitalist paradigm. These new organizations pull other benefits from non-market-based sources, which are forbidden to traditional for-profit enterprises. We need a different type of accounting in order to determine the wealth of network-type organizations, one that goes beyond monetary currency, because innovation, production and rewards are more and more driven and organized by new types of currencies, by new types of symbolic systems, by current-sees [a concept proposed by Arth Brook].


Written by Abran Khalid and Tiberius Brastaviceanu


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The text has been remixed from a post for a book made by Tibi. Please see here for the original text.