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Speculations in anthropology and tech for an uncertain future

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We live in uncertain times. Never before has a species had such a devastating impact on Earth. First through potential nuclear armageddon, now through human-made climate breakdown. Similarly, many innovations and technologies have made us more connected than ever, but we are equally more separate and disconnected. Finally, not only our natural climate but equally so our political and scientific climate are on fire. What to do?

It is exactly in these uncertain times, changing times, that we might dare to dream collectively, together, on how we might move beyond the current mess we have found ourselves in. It is time to stage the revolution and commit ourselves to a more equitable world that respects planetary boundaries, embraces biodiversity, energy, water, wellbeing, society, and culture.

In this talk I will look at the role that technology plays, and could play in, making such dreams a reality, and how new tools and paradigms developed under the moniker of the makers movement and maker spaces, open-source and low tech have the potential to remake the shaky ground (physical, conceptual — dare I say — ontological) on which we stand.

Can technology, AI, the internet, open-source software and hardware really be of much help here? And why are anthropologists and engineers uniquely positioned to help? Let’s find out!

https://www.anthtechconf.co.uk/keynote/roelof-pieters

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Speculations in anthropology and tech for an uncertain future

  1. 1. Speculations in anthropology and tech for an uncertain future Roelof Pieters
 roelof@sunshinelab.com
  2. 2. @graphific roelofpieters
  3. 3. @graphific roelofpieters Anthropology Computer Science 
 AI
 “hacking" Mixed all the way &
 [Product] Design
  4. 4. 580 GtCO2 420 GtCO2 330* GtCO2 280* GtCO2 180* GtCO2 130* GtCO2 Data source: IPCC SR15
 *: own linear projections from SR15 Remaining carbon budgets from 2018 for chance of avoiding 1.5C warming.
  5. 5. DOOM HOPE SO THERE'S BUT THERE’S ALSO
  6. 6. Drawdown (“solutions")
  7. 7. Drinking water from sun & air graphene/perovskite solar cells
 (sun & rain) (flexible/transparent)  Multi spectral cells Salt storage Kinetic storage Redox flow batteries Printed batteries
  8. 8. New Zealand India Switzerland Ireland Belgium United States Germany Canada France United Kingdom Colombia EU Pakistan
  9. 9. 2008
  10. 10. 2009
  11. 11. 2010
  12. 12. 2011
  13. 13. 2012
  14. 14. 2013
  15. 15. 2014
  16. 16. 2015
  17. 17. 2016
  18. 18. 2017
  19. 19. 2018
  20. 20. FUTURE
 PROJECTIONS
  21. 21. to go! 6 MORE
  22. 22. to go! 5 MORE
  23. 23. 1 billion people without access to electricity globally1 740 million est. people expected to gain access to electricity from off-grid solar by 20225 ~2+ billion people without access to reliable electricity globally7 urces: 1 World Energy Outlook (IEA, 2018); 2 The Transformations of Power (Wood Mackenzie, 2017); 3 Energy Access Outlook (IEA, 2017); 4 Energizing Finance: Understanding the Landscape (SE4ALL, 2018); 5 O hting Global, 2018); 6 Scaling Up Energy Access through Cross-sector Partnerships (PWC, 2013); 7Energy Poverty Factbook (AT Kearney, 2018) 400 million people gained access to electricity from off-grid solar solutions from 2010-20173 $37 billion USD est. annual spend by low- income customers on basic energy needs globally6 pe est. new conne off-gr grid so 2 $624 billion USD est. total capital outlay required to reach universal energy access by 20304
  24. 24. unequal access
  25. 25. expensive access
  26. 26. unreliable access
  27. 27. Results of survey of OGS companies on highest potential productive use appliances 
 (Off-Grid Solar Market Trends Report 2018, January 2018, 
 International Finance Corporation, GOGLA, Lighting Global )

  28. 28. Results of survey of OGS companies on highest potential productive use appliances 
 (Off-Grid Solar Market Trends Report 2018, January 2018, 
 International Finance Corporation, GOGLA, Lighting Global )
 “market opportunities” “investment opportunities” “new markets” “value stacking added services”
  29. 29. Results of survey of OGS companies on highest potential productive use appliances 
 (Off-Grid Solar Market Trends Report 2018, January 2018, 
 International Finance Corporation, GOGLA, Lighting Global )

  30. 30. Results of survey of OGS companies on highest potential productive use appliances 
 (Off-Grid Solar Market Trends Report 2018, January 2018, 
 International Finance Corporation, GOGLA, Lighting Global )

  31. 31. If no one will… DIY!
  32. 32. ref: IDEO no more SUSTAINABLE
  33. 33. https://www.designlife-cycle.com/apple-earpods
  34. 34. REAL designing for? SUSTAINABILITY
  35. 35. OPEN? is it #1
  36. 36. “Mesh Potato”, rowetel.com
  37. 37. https://wiki.opensourceecology.de
  38. 38. https://wiki.opensourceecology.de
  39. 39. https://openenergymonitor.org
  40. 40. https://www.opensourceecology.org/
  41. 41. https://www.sci-hub.tw
  42. 42. EASY? can we make it #2 to start?
  43. 43. SIMPLE? can we keep it #3
  44. 44. Ernst Friedrich Schumacher 1973 Joshua Pearce 2011
  45. 45. TOGETHER? can we make it #4
  46. 46. (images: courtesy of Waag FabLab)
  47. 47. THOUGHTFUL? can we be #5
  48. 48. WHOLE EARTH designing for the
  49. 49. “Life-centric” Life Centred Design: contributing to all living systems in a way that not only “does no harm” but actively helps them survive and thrive.
 — Cassie Robinson, Beyond human-centred design, to? More-than-human centred Design: “growing in a new way where we add health and vitality to the places that we all share.”
 — John Thackara, Good Growth
  50. 50. Life I claim that this quality is not merely the basis for a distinction between beautiful things and ugly things. It is something which is detectable as a subtle distinction, in every corner of the world, as we walk about, in the most ordinary places, during the most ordinary events. It is a quality which changes from place to place and from moment to moment, and which marks, in varying degrees, every moment, every event, every point in space.
 
 — Christopher Alexander, The Nature of Order vol I: The Phenomenon of Life
  51. 51. fairphone.com https://www.fairphone.com/en/impact/source-map-transparency/
  52. 52. MODULAR? Is it #6
  53. 53. Cardboard CNC, James Coleman, Nadya Peek , https://archive.monograph.io/james/m-mtm,
  54. 54. Universal Construction Kit, 2012, Golan Levin and Shawn Sims
 http://flong.com/projects/free-universal-construction-kit/
  55. 55. LOCALLY? can we produce it #7
  56. 56. (left image: courtesy of OpenDesk) Open Fabrication
  57. 57. (left image: courtesy of OpenDesk) Open Fabrication
  58. 58. Fablab Iceland Fablab Aalto Fablab Kenya Fablab India
  59. 59. REUSE Can we #8 it?
  60. 60. RepRapable Recyclebot,
 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2468067218300208
  61. 61. Solar powered 3d printer
 https://www.academia.edu/20326034/
 High-Efficiency_Solar-Powered_3-D_Printers_for_Sustainable_Development
  62. 62. AFFORDABLE? Is it #9
  63. 63. http://opensourcelowtech.org/wind_turbine.html
  64. 64. $300 $30 $2-5 SUSTAINABILITY COST
  65. 65. EMPOWER Does it #10 the community?
  66. 66. https://freifunk.net/
  67. 67. https://www.muv2020.eu/ https://waag.org/en/project/making-sense
  68. 68. AI? does it do (#11)
  69. 69. No it doesn’t…
  70. 70. “There are no computer models, no satellites, no radars, no hockey stick graphs that can help us chart our way toward the kind of civilisations we urgently need to build. We have to do that work together.” 
  — @EricHolthaus
  71. 71. A manifesto for open making 1. open (“free") 2. easy to start (low barriers) 3. simple (low-tech!) 4. together / collective / playful 5. thoughtful / life-centric 6. modular / remixable 7. locally producible 8. reusable / circular / recyclable / sustainable 9. affordable / appropriate 10.community oriented empowerment Design should be:
  72. 72. SOME EXPERIMENTS
  73. 73. A manifesto for open making 1. open 2. easy to start 3. simple / “low tech" 4. together 5. thoughtful / “life-full” 6. modular & remixable 7. locally producible 8. reusable and recyclable 9. affordable & appropriate 10.community & empowerment Design should be: √ √ ? √ √ √ √ ? ? ? √√ √ √
  74. 74. GreenSolutions • Open Source • Collaborative • Decentralised Design • Local Manufacturing A Public Repository and Community
 For Open Sustainable Design http://greensolutions.cc 
 Sign up for the mailing list for updates / help out! Roelof Pieters
 roelof@sunshinelab.com
  75. 75. When: Tomorrow 4 Oct Time: 9:00-15:00*
 Where: TBD
 Who: anyone who wants 
 to come, meet, talk, 
 mingle unconference = participant-driven meetings, sessions, workshops: creates space for peer-to-peer learning, collaboration and creativity. A Get-together for
 Climate Unconference Sign up at greensolutions.cc and we’ll send you the address this evening :)
  76. 76. Tnx for listening!

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