Opening Circular Memories

As you may have noticed, the OSCEdays is back!

Need a reminder of the types of things to expect this year? Here’s an overview originally posted on the The KTN Blog. Will be sharing some London-based activities soon as well as an update on some of the projects, places we’ve been and events and activities where we’ve been sharing and collaborating.

Open Global Collaboration for a Circular Economy

What happens when you open up an event and create a platform that enables people to not just take part but help to build, shape it’s identify and populate it’s content with their own wonderful projects, ideas, knowledge and experience. What’s more focus it on exploring open source principles for a Circular Economy following. Whether in the context of software, data, hardware, innovation, education resources or standards, the underlying principles of open source indicate ways of freely accessing, using, modifying, collaborating and sharing.

After laying the basic foundations, overarching objectives and framework, this is exactly what the Open Source Circular Economy days (OSCEdays) set out to do. Grassroots and voluntarily organised, local organisers came together from the 11-15 June in 33 cities spanning 25 countries around the world. In London the challenge-based weekend was pleased to be sponsored by the Knowledge Transfer Network.

Here’s a taster of some of the OSCE days activities that went on:

● Live Google hangouts with, for example,organisers in Helsinki sharing their circular Monopoly board game with participants in India

● A workshop at Philips Innovation Eindhoven – to learn from experts in open source and openly ideating wearable technology solutions and difficulties such  as LEDs embedded in clothing

● A five-day festival of open source and circular economy in Berlin with the development of a circular textile manual followed by  a diverse industry panel discussion

● A group of 20 open source and environmental enthusiasts descended on a small village in France, engaging the locals mapping local needs and building a bio digester

● An enthusiastic group of children in Bergen sang while creating artwork from recycled bottle tops

● A showcase of expert videos including Dr Conny Bakker, TU Delft on Gap Exploiters, Frank O’Connor compelling you to share more, David Li in Shanghai introduced concepts of ‘gongban’ and ‘guanzo’ and Kyle Wiens of iFixit set an open design challenge for designers to build reparability into products and design for the longest possible lifespan

● Presentations and discussions organised and hosted by Gien from Stop Reset Go in Cape Town and Johannesburg, on topics from circular product design, remanufacturing, biomimicry, global perspectives to system economics…

The list goes on and no doubt more amazing activities, insights, practical action and steps taken will continue to be shared over the coming weeks and months.

It was diverse, exploratory, exhausting and completely uplifting!

Our open source experts used their knowledge and experience to create documentation guidelines, enabling open collaborative development of the event and the embedding open source principles in the solutions. There is a lot that industry and others can learn from this approach, particularly in terms of transparency, collaboration and alternative business models  to move the circular economy forward. It has also highlighted some barriers and possible conflicting priorities in some suggested Circular Economy strategies, particularly around product ownership.

The actions taken during the days will take a while to be reviewed but summary documentation of the activities and challenges are available and can be openly accessed. The OSCE days are now looking at the next steps and continuing the spirit of co-development, collaboration, practical action and sharing progress in the coming months.

This article has been written by Erica Purvis and Dr Sharon Prendeville, local London OSCEdays organisers and part of the global team.

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