Idea for new Co-operative. Looking for potential people to help


#1

After taking part in the conversation that started here, https://twitter.com/ProfPearce/status/1048154989678526464 I’m looking to set up a Co-op that provides and maintains a library of Open-Source HardWare designs.

While i am willing to provide some of the funding to get it off the ground, i don’t have the full range of skills necessary to set this up.

Would anyone else from CoTech be interested in taking part?


#2

There are folks who have been looking at better models for open source hardware design sharing for some time, who might be worth talking to.

Humanitarian Makers had a joint project with FieldReady.org and Makernet looking at this amongst other issues - working out what features and governance would be needed for designs used in life-saving and life-sustaining work. Final report - https://www.humanitarianmakers.org/single-post/2018/06/26/Full-Report-Connecting-Networking-for-Critical-Human-Needs [disclaimer: I helped raise the funds for this work, previously worked with Field Ready, and remain an advisor to Humanitarian Makers] There was a consultation exploring existing platforms which is probably a useful resource.

Part of the (early) vision was for a platform that could be collectively owned/operated by a group of NGOs and similar groups, so that it could be sustained as an important resource for humanitarian and development purposes, and not operated at the whim of a commercial group.

I don’t know if the work is being taken forward now the original project has finished - it may be limited by funding. Could be a good place to start from.

Best,


#3

This is interesting, I work part time for a hackspace/arts charity, (and Webarchitects), in both we do all open source designs, but I never thought about a repository for hardware designs.

“models for open source hardware design sharing for some time, who might be worth talking to” is clearly a good idea to avoid duplication of effort and maybe multiplication of resources.

I tend to direct people to https://www.instructables.com/ but not sure on their policy, it’s run by Autodesk Inc…


#4

I’m unclear what the business model would be?


#5

I assume they’d go for a subscriber model, to keep it online as a resource, allowing people to add content? Would just take a few interested people (there are 1000’s)


#6

A subscriber model would probably be the best solution, with open read-access for everyone else.

To quote the tagline that someone came up with from London Hackspace, “By sharing expenses, we can afford bigger and shinier toys’n’tools, that we wouldn’t be able to afford as individuals.”

I’d like to apply the same approach towards the maintenance of the digital infrastructure that i need.

Many heads make thinking light.


#7

We won’t be making a ROI from the infrastructure.

We’ll be using the Digital Infrastructure to provide the necessary support to the things we are making, which is where we will be getting the ROI.

We are not going to make a profit from making the tools, but from the expanded capabilities that the tools will allow us to have by using them.


#8

I dug out the MakerNet consultation link - https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/14PzPnYegDfWMXrxY6MIuu3Tunu3d3eM4u1vF6MGv0Mw/edit#gid=1843165256

That shows the wide range of file sharing tools out there. Instructables is down as ‘know how sharing’ (separate tab), as opposed to ‘file sharing’. It shows that there’s a lot of projects out there, but comparatively few have traction or a sustainable business model, which is a challenge for longer term knowledge maintenance.

Best,

Laura


#9

Thank you for the link. :smiley:

Some chewy references in there. :smiley:

I also just joined the WikiFactory Alpha-test.


#10

I was just going to mention WikiFactory - it’s not a co-op, but it is open source and run by the other half of CoTech member UnitedDiversity LLP :wink: (my good friend Tom Salfield).