Q & A about OSCEdays, entrepreneurship & innovation

@Lars2i and I received an email today from Andy Thomson, a colleague of @Gien.

Hi Lars & Sam

My name is Andy Thomson, I’m a: member of Stop Reset Go with Gien, a member of Enkel in Perth Australia where we held an OSCE days event earlier this year, and one of the first students to study the first ever CE focussed MBA (don’t worry I’m not your typical MBA student).

As part of my studies looking at Innovation and Enterprise in the CE, I have decided to explore the following topic:

A study of how and why the Open Source Circular Economy Days/initiative might be classed as a being innovative and disruptive.

I know you are both very busy, but I was just wondering if you had 5 minutes to answer a few question relating to the OSCE days? Simple bullet point answers would be great, or some links!!

One of the main reason for picking this topic is to help promote the OSCE concept to our very receptive and knowledgeable tutor, so that he can hopefully include some of the OS ideas as he looks to improve and update the course material for the next round of students.

@cameralibre: If we respond to requests like this in private emails, we spend a lot of time repeating ourselves and the information is only useful to a very limited group of people. To be more efficient with our time and maybe be useful to other people, I’m answering on the forum. I rushed through and didn’t have time to answer as much/as well as I would have liked, and I’m also missing a lot of links.
This post is a wiki, so anybody else from the OSCE team, feel free to add your own answers!

The questions are:
How did the innovation come about?

When and how?

@cameralibre: Via online calls, I think originally connected by @unteem in his role at Future of Waste - he knew @Alice_audrey @TechnicalNature & @sharmarval from FoW workshops and the Sustainability Jam. I don’t know how @unteem and @Lars2i knew each other…? Lars brought me in later as we have worked together for some time on OpenIt Agency

Then there was a formulation of a plan for an event, a name and website set up, a call for cities, a spamming of networks, and some helpful catalysers who helped get the right people involved. Through this process we met @Gien and many other key community members of OSCE.

How—if at all—was/is it funded?

@cameralibre: Very little - we had some very basic sponsorship for the international organisation from Suez and iFixit, and local events in London (Knowledge Transfer Network), Berlin (Veolia, Berlin Partner) and France (Suez). This paid for location rental and costs such as website hosting, materials etc.
However, the vast majority of the work was unpaid, Costs were kept low by coordinating local events (no accommodation/travel required), sharing knowledge amongst different local organisers, and using existing free & open source software solutions.

What were the challenges or barriers and how were they overcome?

Did you use any specific type of development process to get the initiative off the ground, if so what?
@cameralibre: Working in the open to reduce doubling up of work. (eg using the forum, rather than private emails)
Linking to existing information rather than recreating it over and over again - for example, providing information to participants on Posting a Challenge, Community Building, Documentation Templates etc

Do you see yourself as a form of entrepreneur (social+environmental, systemic) or something else (pioneer)?
@cameralibre: activist, artist, enabler… it changes depending on the situation.
the others can speak for themselves!

What are the reasons for this?
@cameralibre: to me the current use of ‘entrepreneur’ is too focused on monetary growth, and even ‘social/environmental entrepreneur’ still makes the social and environmental aspects take a back seat. To me financial sustainability is a necessity to achieve social/political/environmental change, but when the financial becomes a focus it distorts people’s decision-making. I find the term ‘artist’ usefully vague, you can fit a lot of activities under it, while also challenging the idea that you have to be exhibiting in galleries and selling on the art market in order to call yourself an artist.

How do you see the OSCE scaling up, what is needed?
@cameralibre: -It needs to be easier for participants to take part in, to understand and spread. There are many problems to solve here, from education resources to UX to storytelling.
-Some financial support to allow some people to focus on it (more) fulltime, and to pay people for specialized services, eg website design & development.
-Partnerships with other organisations to build larger projects (eg with academic institutions for research projects)

How do you envision the world to be in 2050, and how bigger role do think the OSCE will play—including the larger commons movement?
@cameralibre: I hope that within 10 years we will have attached the Open Source methodology to the Circular Economy concept, in a way that we can be well along the way to a functioning circular economy by 2050. Whether we still use the terms Open Source or Circular Economy, and whether our organisation is still around, is irrelevant. What is important is that the information, the work that we do now survives for others to learn from.

Do you think Innovation, disruptive innovation, enterprise and entrepreneurship are simply overused buzz words?
@cameralibre: Mostly, yes.
If so what words would you use from an open source CE perspective?
@cameralibre: I think that/hope that we enable people to build communities, to work together effectively, to have a positive impact on their local area and their planet and allow them to meet their potential as human beings. That may be by inventing, discovering and testing new ideas, building businesses, creating art, connecting people, educating themselves and others.


Super answers and great way to respond - as you say we can probably group these types of questions/ responses together in the forum, as well as add to where applicable. cheers!