Entrepreneurs of cooperation
Before Social Security and the WPA, the Unemployed Exchange Association rebuilt a collapsed economy
These are just ideas for how we might functionally get something real done, have jobs, invade normally corporate places with our open source, decentralized methodology, and have some fun building cool stuff for the world!
We should build our items / products using the worker owned model, open source the design so people don’t actually have to buy them if they can build it out of locally sourced materials and are economically challenged. Consider it just part of the climate debt payment the developed world owes to the people of the world most hurt by climate change. We could also reduce the cost based upon our own decision at the time to build some stuff for people that really need it, basically make it by donation and help them find funding if necessary.
In the price of every item sold, I’d like to give a unit away to the Occupy movement worldwide as well as to our own local communities. Developing nations buy almost half of the solar power production capacity of the earth. Our market is potentially global. We can work with local communities about developing funding, perhaps even eventually forcing Mid American Energy to assess the cost of developing new electricity when they claim to need it and forcing them to admit that saving electricity by helping the community develop off the grid modular solar units it is a much cheaper, smarter solution than building a new coal fired power plant which run around 6 cents per kilowatt hour. Insulating homes was 3 cents per kilowatt hour in California so the law said they had to insulate peoples homes instead. Win win. With a small modular design, your bill is lower, your lights don’t all go off in a power outage and Mid American Energy still would have “new” power to resell at a profit.
All workers should share equally in the profit, no CEO, no janitor, no managers, just workers.
Periodic re-education should be included. Having an education budget to send someone to school is good. Each worker should have part in this if they want.
Coop goal to get health care for everyone by either helping people work the system or by eventually buying into a group health plan if necessary.
Activism becomes part of our work when we build socially and environmentally responsible items that free us from carbon fuels and empower us as workers, craftpersons and artists.
Ownership of everything by workers / coop members.
Rotating Co-facilitators instead of single visionary people (CEO’s) that have to run all over the place managing things, another benefit of open source decentralized models. Doing what we love is the glue that keeps the community together even if it does take a little longer, it’s worth it. We can operate from our highest principles when we feel fully empowered.
Here are a list of what I think are items that could be built easily that also change the world and would also be really useful to occupiers:
Solar Ovens: (I love these, you can make them out of anything, cardboard and plastic and foil if you want) http://www.solarovens.org/ the Solar Oven Society uses the same buy one and we send one to a developing nation for water purification, cooking, etc. I’m suggesting we use. They get $135 for one now. I’ve had one and I really liked it.
Solar laptop charging stations – these are not yet widely available on the market though you can purchase small solar powered lights and cell phone (not smartphone ready yet) chargers from Nokero: http://www.nokero.com/
Water Filters – these can be made out of clay and coffee grounds and fired with cow patties which burn hot enough to burn all the coffee grounds up and create a porosity that is also activated carbon and removes 99.9% of contaminants. I have a bit of experience in water purification and I believe small units with uv and solar power will be needed around the globe as we are forced to relocate 90% of humanity due to our lack of political will on preventing climate change and its disastrous effects. There are many simple designs for desalinization and purification of water.
Modular renewable lighting systems – Many people when they first look at renewable energy options they are daunted by the thought of spending $30,000 on retrofitting their house for solar electricity. In Illinois where the solar options are even higher due to lower number of average days of sunlight this is even more important. There are two problems with this approach. One, you shouldn’t try to fit the “average Americans electrical use of 2.5kw per month” into this retrofit equation. You should first consider all the possible reductions of energy use you can accomplish first. To simplify our approach, we can build small modular lighting systems that are both inexpensive and decorative and rather than build a huge system, we can approach this from a room by room basis and in the end your system is simpler, 12 volt, user serviceable in most cases, and far cheaper. With innovations recently in LED lighting the door is now open for some pretty simple yet beautiful solutions to our lighting needs. These products should be “dually” designed to also meet the needs of people in developing nations and our product line would then be in maximum demand, as well as being the lightest it can possibly be in terms of environmental impact, as well as long term coop sustainability and our own ability to create more worker opportunities here locally. This could probably be sold as a kit to be finally assembled by the purchaser.
Wifi Sweater Cam – livestreaming wifi sweaters because little brother needs to be watching too.
This is mainly just a creative umbrella for us to work within and trade our ideas and put them together and change the world by living in democracy and doing what we love and what is right.
Occupy the workers coop
Arduino – Arduino
Arduino is an open source project prototyping software / hardware platform / design community built a lot like what I’m suggesting we try and build. It just so happens that you can build the necessary charge controllers from these project boards which also can be wifi and lend themselves quite nicely to many of our designs which could easily be wireless and connected to your computer or just set up to livestream if you wanted… the crafty things you can do with the help of Arduino are virtually endless. Wifi livestreaming Sweater cam anyone?