Open source hardware could be a revolutionary tool for unlocking our shackles to profit motivated, proprietary innovation. It has a vision to alleviate poverty through empowering decentralized and affordable, small scale production. Participants anywhere in the world can use the internet to access, improve, or adapt designs for local manufacturing and drastically increase the rate of innovation.
Open Tech Forever (OTF) is emerging to become a new force in open source hardware development by building an open source factory where it will produce open technology. OTF recently launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to raise $50,000 to build the facility, and they need your support. As a cooperatively-owned social enterprise, all of its innovation will be transparently documented in writing, graphics and video, and released under a Creative Commons license.
OTF’s mission is to “facilitate cooperation among the communities that live on the frontlines of suffering throughout the world, so that we can build enduring solutions to poverty and the destruction of the environment.” OTF co-founder, Aaron Makaruk explains, “An entirely new economic frontier stands before us, a world where innovation and wealth are mass produced as easily as a file is downloaded to a computer. Our goal is to use local, open source factories to outcompete companies that import unsustainable products manufactured in inhuman conditions and put them out of business – one locally-owned, open source company at a time.”
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Relocalizing manufacturing is one of the most significant steps we can take to prepare for the destabilizing effects of climate change and to empower local communities to build resilient, self-sustaining economies. OTF, with its passionate team of skilled engineers and radical mission, will be an exciting project to watch as it grows over the next couple years and a great cause to support through its first phase of development.