Reinventing the Wheel- Open Source Circular Economy Days and unMonastery

Examining the so called life cycle of a product from the perspective of our current socio-economic system, it becomes apparent that attempting to achieve a zero waste supply chain demands nothing less than reinventing the wheel. The capitalist mode of production, from material extraction, to manufacturing, to distribution to disposal, adopts a wasteful linear process. This is not made unintentionally, but constitutes a structural reinforcement of this mode of economic and social organization. Taking into consideration some core principles upon which capitalism thrives (scarcity, inefficiency/waste, unsustainability) with characteristics that dominate the whole life-cycle process: intrinsic, planned, perceived obsolescence and proprietary design.
Environmental and social negative consequences are baptised as irrelevant externalities, and are not accounted for at all. The dominant incentives in our economic system, are incompatible with what could be considered as an Open Source Circular Economy. Thus, it is necessary to step back and consider the values that should dictate the whole life cycle of a product. Having as our general guiding principles, sustainability, abundance and efficiency, we will start a systems-thinking attempt to identify the values that have to be adopted in the material extraction, design, manufacturing and reuse/recycling processes in order to achieve an Open Source Circular Economy. Additionally, we will examine if these need to be adapted to a different mode of production: from a centralized mass-production to a distributed and appropriate one.

Organiser: Lauren Lapidge
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