From open source to maker economy and collective welfare
“Collective intelligence gives a return when ideas circulate freely, nobody seize them and everybody help to develope them. In that way the passage from open source to maker economy and so to collective welfare can be realized.”
Massimo Moretti, WASP’s founder, has no doubt: he choosed a long time ago the way of shared knowledge.
“Ideas that circulate – continues Moretti – are several, they’re often magnificent, thrilling. The real frontier is to transform ideas in a shared project which is useful for everybody”
Is it what is happening, for example, with new arm braces?
“Exactly. The first design can be downloaded by everyone from Thingiverse and it was made by a young american designer, Andreas Bastian. He developed the concept of thermoforming PLA after having printed it plane.”
Than, what happened?
“The Bastian’s project has been discovered by +Lab, a center of research of Politecnico in Milan. +Lab was the first who had the intuition and the ability of grasping the potential of this project. And it properly emphasized it (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:403001)”.
What was the role of WASP in the partnership with Rizzoli?
“ When the project arrived in our studio, some researcher from Rizzoli were there. They saw it and they found it interesting. Than they gave their contribute transforming it further, depending on the characteristics they needed in First Aid center.”
What’s WASP contribute?
“We gave to Rizzoli researchers the informations they needed to produce the arm braces in a fast and accurate way. We started a research for a bigger extruder and a greater amount of deposited filament: a dedicated printer for arm braces, which will allow to realize them in a few time and a low budget.”
We can say that the development od this project had many partners involved.
“Yes, it is exactly as you said and everybody must be quoted, because each one is a link in the chain from idea to solution. Nobody is the owner of the project, nobody can claim the intellectual property, but each one has his authorship.”
Rizzoli’s willingness to insert itself in a procedure like this wasn’t so obvious.
“An institution which is a medical center of excellence has the humilty of making full use of the shared knowledge that can be found on the net, and this is very important. It is important at the same way that these informations can be completed from the experience that only excellence institutes like Rizzoli can give.”
What will be the next step with arm braces?
“Rizzoli’s researchers said that they will share their work in open source, respecting all the parameters which are necessary for a collective evolution. We thank their researchers for the willingness to walk this path. When their work will be published on Thingiverse another hospital, maybe on the other side of the world, can give a contribute itself and make another step towards sharing knowledge.”
You always insist on this word: sharing.
“The kind of knowledge which generate welfare can’t be private.
Too many companies with a great economic power develop technologies which they patent and in that way they make it inaccessible for most of people. When advanced knowledge will connect with shared knowledge it will be a spontaneous blooming of accessible practices, which will evolve through the collectivity in several ways, it will be impossible to patent it or anticipate it. A common benefit which can generate not only an healty society but also jobs, starting from common people.”
A few time ago these systems were watertight.
“ It’s true. The world of ‘conventional research’ couldn’t get in contact with open source world, for an image problem. These patterns are breaking. Right now other things matter: true things, working and functional things.
What’s the new approach which guide the technological evolution?
“The concept is making things, concretely. Making with what you have, with the shared knowledge, the evolution which grows from the below. The maximum return with the minimum cost”
Is patent time finished?
“The concept that it’s important to spread is that nobody is the owner of this knowledge, nobody can claim the property. The sharing is the way to avoid patents and appropriations. Nobody can patent these informations because they have been shared, but everybody can use them.
What are the prospects?
“This new approach gives us wishes for a better world, where everybody works for a collective purpose. Everybody will have the opportunity to access to technologies that improve the quality of life, even without great financial possibilities.”