TED Talk

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Marcin Jakubowski explains the Global Village Construction Set in his TED Talk.

Can't see the video below? Try: http://www.ted.com/talks/marcin_jakubowski.html. Short link for sharing: https://bit.ly/2kyYsvn

Want to know more? Explore the Global Village Construction Set tech tree.

Want to contribute? Start here

Other Links

  • TEDx in French that mentions the Global Village Construction Set - see minute 8:20 at [1]


Open Source Ecology - TED Fellows Talk - 4 Minutes

This is the final talk that Marcin delivered at TED, with cadence notes.


slideHi, my name is Marcin. I'm a farmer – technologist / from Poland now in the US / I started a group called slideOpen Source Ecology - and we took on a very big, hairy, audacious goal. We identified the 50 most important machines that allow modern life to exist – the basic tools that we all - rely on - every day / whether we know it or not / everything from a Tractor slide to an oven slide to a circuit maker slide. Then we create an open source, DIY version that anyone can build and maintain at a fraction of the cost. slide

We call this the Global Village Construction Set. slide

Is this reinventing the wheel? Yes. Let me tell you a story.

I finished my 20's with a Phd in fusion energy slide and I discovered - that I was useless / I had no practical skills / The world presented me with options and I took them, slide I guess you would call this the consumer lifestyle.

So I started a farm slide in Missouri / and I learned about the economics of farming. I bought a tractor slide // and it broke slide / I paid to get it repaired slide/ then it broke again slide / and pretty soon / I was broke, too slide. I realized that the truly appropriate - low-cost tools / that I needed / to build a sustainable farm and settlement - just - didn’t - exist yet.

I needed tools that were slide robust / slide modular / slide highly efficient / slide low cost / slide made from local or recycled materials / slide and, that were designed for a lifetime - not obsolescence. I realized slide I'd have to build 'em myself.

I did just that / slide and I tested them / I found that industrial productivity - can be achieved - on a small scale. // I posted all the slide designs, schematics, instructional videos, and budgets onto a wiki. slide Then contributors from all - around - the world began slide showing up - prototyping new machines slide - during dedicated project visits slide / To date, we prototyped slide 8 of the 50 machines / and now the project is beginning - to grow on its own slide

We know open source has succeeded with software slide and with tools for managing knowledge slide / and creativity. Despite a lot of early skepticism / it's beginning to happen with slide hardware too.

We're focusing on hardware - because it’s hardware that can slidechange - people's – lives - in such tangible - material ways. If we can lower the barriers to farming - building - and manufacturing - then we can unleash massive amounts of human potential. slide

And not only in the developing world. slide We’ve seen lots of excitement from American farmers / makers / and builders - who can use our free published library to start a construction business slide - a parts factory - an organic CSA - or just to sell energy back to the grid. / Our goal is to publish slidea library of instructional material so complete / so clear / that a single burned DVD - is effectively a civilization starter kit.

slideI’ve planted a hundred - trees in a day. I’ve pressedslide five - thousand - bricks in a day from dirt beneath my feet. I’ve slidebuilt a tractor in 6 days. I'm fairly certain this is just the beginning.

If this idea is truly sound, then the implications are significant: slideA greater distribution of the means of production, environmentally sound supply chains, and a newly relevant DIY Maker culture that can hope to transcend artificial scarcity. We're asking the question, what - are the limits - to - getting - technology - right? // Thank You. slide


TED Talk views spreadsheet - [2]


  1. This remains at one of the top 10 TED Fellows Talks in 2020. [3]
  2. http://zze.st/best-ted-talks/ rated this TED Talk as the most highly-rated TED Talk from the thumbs up on the TED YouTube Channel. (If go to TED Youtube channel you sort all their videos according to the rating - you could do it at the time when the above article was written - author assumes that rating is formed by thumbs up/down from YouTube viewers.