Released under the GIC Framework
The following articleby The Foundation for Biotechnology Awareness and Education focuses on how certain crops can be grown in such a way that they are drought resistant. These crops are grown by farmers and are genetically modified with the hope that they will be fully developed within four to five years. Dr. David Dennis is the chief executive of Performance Plants Incorporated and stated that some crops are already being tested for their drought resistance. Oilseed rape and maize are two such crops that are currently being tested in field trials within the United States. Climate scientists who are skeptical towards this drought resistance technology predict that global warming will make land in developing countries less productive and hard to use, therefore limiting the chance for the drought resistant technology to work. However, those in support of these genetically modified crops believe that different drought resistance varieties can eventually adapt to global warming. This company is not just focusing on drought resistance technology, but also on effective water usage, heat tolerance, and increased biomass technology. Dr. Dennis stated that his company would make this drought resistance technology available to farmers in developing countries so that they can also reap the benefits. Lets see how much of Dr. Dennis' technology is already in open source in The Global Innovation Commons.
To view the Drought Resistant Technology Section HERE
To read the article HERE
Water-sharing pacts are not the most common form of water systems. India signed a treaty with Pakistan in 1960 that sets aside 80% of the Indus-system waters, which has been the largest water-sharing pact in history. This was an ambition and unwise move considering the dependency India has on the Tibetan Plateau with approximately twelve rivers that run through China. Beijing has not expressed the same generosity in terms of water-sharing and is building large dams that prohibit rivers to flow into other counties such as India.
The Supreme Court is currently reviewing and discussing the water dispute. The Vajpayee-era National River Linking Programme has officially been ordered to take affect after 10 years of waiting. However, whether it will really happen is in question. It is an optimistic plan that if successfully executed will provide India and Pakistan with substantial water access. This information was collected from a previous article, India’s Looming Water Crisis, written by Brahma Chellaney.
What most people do not know is that The Global Innovation Commons began as "Water For India". Over the past three years the GIC platform has evolved but can still help India how it was first intended to. Lets take a deeper look at how open source water technology in India can help get millions fresh water.
To Read The Entire Article: http://chellaney.net/2012/03/01/indias-looming-water-crisis/
Companies Love to Say They Innovate, but the Term Has Begun to Lose Meaning
Recently, Leslie Kwoh from The Wall Street Journal wrote about company's innovation habits and if they really are innovating or if "innovation" is just another buzzword with little to no meaning. Below is her story.
Got innovation? Just about every company says it does.Businesses throw around the term to show they're on the cutting edge of everything from technology and medicine to snacks and cosmetics. Companies are touting chief innovation officers, innovation teams, innovation strategies and even innovation days.But that doesn't mean the companies are actually doing any innovating. Instead they are using the word to convey monumental change when the progress they're describing is quite ordinary.
Like the once ubiquitous buzzwords "synergy" and "optimization," innovation is in danger of becoming a cliché—if it isn't one already."Most companies say they're innovative in the hope they can somehow con investors into thinking there is growth when there isn't," says Clayton Christensen, a professor at Harvard Business School and the author of the 1997 book, "The Innovator's Dilemma." A search of annual and quarterly reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission shows companies mentioned some form of the word "innovation" 33,528 times last year, which was a 64% increase from five years before that. More than 250 books with "innovation" in the title have been published in the last three months, most of them dealing with business, according to a search ofAmazon.comAMZN-1.29%.
The definition of the term varies widely depending on whom you ask. To Bill Hickey, chief executive of Bubble Wrap's maker, Sealed Air Corp., it means inventing a product that has never existed, such as packing material that inflates on delivery. ToOcean Spray CranberriesInc.CEO Randy Papadellis, it is turning an overlooked commodity, such as leftover cranberry skins, into a consumer snack like Craisins. ToPfizerInc.'sPFE-0.76%research and development head, Mikael Dolsten, it is extending a product's scope and application, such as expanding the use of a vaccine for infants that is also effective in older adults. Scott Berkun, the author of the 2007 book "The Myths of Innovation," which warns about the dilution of the word, says that what most people call an innovation is usually just a "very good product." He prefers to reserve the word for civilization-changing inventions like electricity, the printing press and the telephone—and, more recently, perhaps the iPhone. Mr. Berkun, now an innovation consultant, advises clients to ban the word at their companies. "It is a chameleon-like word to hide the lack of substance," he says. Mr. Berkun tracks innovation's popularity as a buzzword back to the 1990s, amid the dot-com bubble and the release of James M. Utterback's "Mastering the Dynamics of Innovation" and Mr. Christensen's "Dilemma."
The word appeals to large companies because it has connotations of being agile and "cool," like start-ups and entrepreneurs, he says.Technology concerns aren't necessarily the worst offenders.AppleInc.AAPL-0.77%andGoogleInc.GOOG-2.22%mentioned innovation 22 times and 14 times, respectively, in their most recent annual reports. But they were matched byProcter & GambleCo.PG-0.38%(22 times),Scotts Miracle-GroCo.SMG-0.67%(21 times) andCampbell SoupCo.CPB-0.24%(18 times). The innovation trend has given birth to an attendant consulting industry, and Fortune 100 companies pay innovation consultants $300,000 to $1 million for work on a single project, which can amount to $1 million to $10 million a year, estimates Booz & Co. innovation strategy consultant Alex Kandybin. In addition, four in 10 executives say their company now has a chief innovation officer, according to a recent study of the phenomenon released last month by Capgemini Consulting. The findings, based on an online survey of 260 global executives and 25 in-depth interviews, suggest that such titles may be mainly "for appearances." Most of the executives conceded their companies still don't have a clear innovation strategy to support the role.
Jeff Semenchuk, who was namedHyatt HotelsCorp.'sH-0.53%first chief innovation officer in August, says there is "nothing fluffy" about his job. The hotel chain recently interviewed hundreds of guests and concluded that "we're all kind of stuck in the past," he says of the industry. He oversees experimental initiatives at eight newly designated "lab" hotels around the world. Among his projects: a new process that has an iPad-toting concierge meet guests at the airport and check them in. Innovation is hardly a new term. The word, which derives from the Latin nouninnovatus, meaning renewal or change, appeared in print as early as the 15th century, according to Robert Leonard, chairman of Hofstra University's linguistics program. As companies have sped up product cycles, the word has come to signify not just doing something new but also doing it more quickly, he says. Campbell Soup, for example, says it is trying to bring new products, from soup flavors to skillet sauces, to market more quickly than its competitors do. "Ideas can be copied much more quickly today," says Vice President and General Manager Darren Serrao.
Mr. Christensen classifies innovations into three types: efficiency innovations, which produce the same product more cheaply, such as automating credit checks; sustaining innovations, which turn good products into better ones, such as the hybrid car; and disruptive innovations, which transform expensive, complex products into affordable, simple ones, such as the shift from mainframe to personal computers. A company's biggest potential for growth lies in disruptive innovation, he says, noting that the other types could just as well be called ordinary progress and normally don't create more jobs or business. But the disruptive innovations can take five to eight years to bear fruit, he says, so companies lose patience. It is far easier, he adds, for companies to just say they're innovating. "Everybody's innovating, because any change is innovation." Some die-hard users of the word innovation admit that they're tiring of it. Sealed Air's Mr. Hickey, who notes that his company has been using it in corporate filings since at least 1980, is considering dropping the word in company materials. Next up? "Inventive."
"Inventive is a mind set; innovation is a thing," he says. "We'll be heading the pack."
—Melissa Korn contributed to this article.
Write to Leslie Kwon firstname.lastname@example.org
In 2008, Science Daily documented researchers from The University of Georgia who were using what they saw as the latest advancements in science in order to create a new biomass technology that would dramatically increase the yield of ethanol from different types of non-food crops. Some of these crops were switch grass, Napier grass, Bermuda grass and different forms of waste. The researchers believed that producing ethanol from renewable biomass sources like grass is a great step forward because they are available in large quantities. Bio-based ethanol production is a very intense process, so it does possess some challenges. Researchers stated that the biggest challenge to this production is the efficiency of converting stalks and leaves into simple sugars. Although it may seem like this process could eventually hurt the environment, the article clearly states that this technology is environmentally friendly so opponents should not be worried about chemicals escaping into the greater environment. Eventually, the team was hoping that biomass technology could help meet local demands for ethanol so that it can serve the greater public. Over the past three to four years there has been continual development in the biomass research and development space as people are looking to move away from liquefied natural gas. However, what most of these researchers don’t know is that a lot of this technology was patented in the late 1980’s-early 1990’s making most of it open source today! Lets check out the Global Innovation Commons Biomass Technology section to learn more!
You can read the 2008 Science Daily Article HERE.
Commons: For a New Policy Beyond Market and State will be released in German in April by Transcript Publishers. David Bollier and Silke Helfrich plan on presenting the book at the McPlanet Conference in Berlin on April 21st. The formal German book launch will be on Monday May 7th in the heart of Berlin at the Heinrich Boll Foundation. The English edition, will be published in September by Levellers Press. Both books will be published under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license. The book contains 73 essays on almost everything from commons-based abundance and free software to hand enclosures and P2P urbanism. It shows a remarkable international diversity of commons projects, activism and theoretical thought.(School of Commoning) Dr. Martin, founder of M-CAM Inc, contributed to the book, writing a chapter about Open Innovation and The Global Innovation Commons. For more on this book: http://bollier.org/blog/just-published-new-german-anthology-commons
The following is a Huffington Post Blog Article written by Daniel B. Ravicher, Executive Director of the Public Patent Foundation. The Public Patent Foundation is a not-for-profit legal services organization whose mission is to protect freedom int he patent system.
America's patent system dates back to the founding of our nation when it was expressly included in the Constitution. To be sure, a patent system can provide many great benefits to society. However, patents also pose a great threat to society because the issuance of a patent makes it illegal for any American to do whatever is claimed by the patent. Thus, it is critically important to the success of our patent system that it maintain high patent quality and ensures only deserving patents are issued.
As Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1813,
"Considering the exclusive right to invention as given not of natural right, but for the benefit of society, I know well the difficulty of drawing a line between the things which are worth to the public the embarrassment of an exclusive patent, and those which are not."
The Supreme Court has continually acknowledged the importance of maintaining high patent quality, saying just a few years ago that, "the results of ordinary innovation are not the subject of exclusive rights under the patent laws [because w]ere it otherwise patents might stifle, rather than promote, the progress of useful arts."
Unfortunately, the American patent system today is suffering from extremely low patent quality. Every Tuesday the Patent Office issues 4,500 patents after spending, on average, less than a couple of days in reviewing the merits of each patent application. When asked to reconsider the merits of patents it previously issued, the Patent Office concedes that the vast majority of them have questionable validity. When patents end up in court as a result of patent owners suing alleged infringers, a large percentage of the time those asserted patents are found to have been improperly granted. The result is a polluted patent system littered with trash patents that impede technological development.
In the video below, I explain why patent quality is so low in America today, describe in detail the ways in which low patent quality is harming Americans, and propose mechanisms for solving the low patent quality problem.
To view the video: http://youtu.be/nfH8iyNjpYo
One of the fundamental challenges in the twenty-first century is the maintenance and disposal of waste. The majority of products have a life cycle. They are created, purchased, and have a planned obsolescence. Once the products break down, can no longer be repaired, or become obsolete, then they must be disposed. If the creation of waste is unchecked and untreated, it creates problems of pollution, which lead to corrupt ecosystems. Landfills provide an insufficient solution. To solve the problem and live sustainably, one must convert waste into new components and products.
Two of the most challenging components of waste management are recycling plastics and e-waste. Plastics are inorganic and do not decompose. However, they are an integral part of most industries from building and construction to transportation. Plastics are also a part of e-waste. This is an encompassing term for electrical devices no longer in use. These devices include, but are not limited to, computers, cell phones, and domestic appliances. They are comprised of parts which are reusable, valuable and should not be tossed in landfills. The recycling of plastics and e-waste is the important finale to a product’s lifespan and allows a new product to be made.
To view the set here: http://www.globalinnovationcommons.org/discover/special-report/waste-management
Lisa Jacenich has been producing textured art since 1997 and has become well known for her felting. Her work has shown up in private collections, fashion shows, and boutiques around the world. In 2011, Jacenich met up with Ken Dabkowski, M-CAM team member focusing on innovation literacy, which resulted in the connection between Jacenich and Tsend Enkhtuya through the Heritable Innovation Trust program. This relationship has led to the development of three felting business incubators in the Uverkhangai Province in Mongolia. Through the implementation of mechanized felt processing, Jacenich and Enkhtuya hope to demonstrate how small businesses can work together to effect economic development. To read more about her project click Here.
<b>CHARLOTTESVILLE,VA & FAREA MODEL VILLAGE, PAPUA NEW GUINEA- One week ago a team from M·CAM Inc. returned back to Charlottesville, Virginia having launched another example of humanity’s untapped potential. They successfully helped a team in Papua New Guinea to create the first privately owned community water utility project in the country. The following is a recap of the adventure by team member, Katie Martin.</b>
The story goes like this. One day it hits them, the perfect idea to fix [insert massive worldwide problem here]. They schedule meetings, talk to investors, draw up a strategy, and things start coming together; at least for now. One of them gets the flu, another gets a promotion at work, someone else decided to move and has to put their kids through private school. In all of the madness the idea gets lost. “There’s not enough funding!” “I just don’t have the time.” “They’ve got me working on this new project that requires my full attention.” “No one will take us seriously.” Alas, another great idea gets pushed aside to the chaos of life and a group of people goes hungry / without water / dies of curable disease. This is not that story. I don’t want to spoil the ending but, this is a story about aligning resources and empowering a community of people from all around the world to bring drinkable, cholera-free water to a community of 5,000 displaced peoples in Papua New Guinea.
“Why Papua New Guinea?” you may be asking yourself. The real question is, why not? When people talk about Papua New Guinea, most of them have no clue where it is or ask why you’re going to Africa. The few who actually have a glimmer of context immediately jump to the mid-twentieth century fables of Margaret Mead and her contorted representation of the country. They could not be more inaccurate. Papua New Guinea is a conglomerate of islands to the north of Australia. The “main island” and setting for our story is the Eastern half of the island Papua New Guinea shares with Indonesia. It is a tropical country with a climate and environment that looks like any postcard of paradise would. It is a place rich with resources, beautiful people, abundant agriculture, and Jurassic Park-like views. Unfortunately, most of the world only sees one of these things and, I’ll give you a hint, it’s not Jurassic Park. For years and years, Papua New Guinea has been disenfranchised and exploited for its natural resources. Gold, copper, silver, gas, oil, you name it, there is some one some where claiming it and contributing to the loss of this paradise. This is where our story begins
Aided by “development bank” misinformation and opaque business negotiations, Esso Highlands Limited, a subsidiary of ExxonMobil Corporation, received a license to be the latest addition to the legacy of the exploitation of Papua New Guinea and its resources. Bolstered by their off-take agreement with Sinopec Limited in November of 2009, Exxon agreed to sell millions of tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG), relocating millions of dollars to investors’ wallets and thousands of people from their homes. Thousands of highlands communities have become “Exxon refugees”, forced to move to coastal regions with different temperatures, food, air quality, and access (or lack thereof) to drinking water. Imagine being taken from your home and forced to live some where that is reversed in every way. Though it is possible to thrive for a short time in a new environment, over time these environmental changes become detrimental to the health and well-being of every displaced individual. While there are many displaced persons scattered throughout the country of Papua New Guinea, somewhere between ten and fifteen thousand have descended upon the capital of Port Moresby, many living in houses on the water because there isn’t enough land area to house them all. These encampments have no gardens, no potable water, no sanitation, and have no prospect of having these issues addressed.
Fast forward to 2011. Enter M·CAM, Inc., David Martin, and Clemence Kanau. For about six years, M·CAM and David Martin, Founder and Chairman, have been working on a broad spectrum of community engagement projects in Papua New Guinea. In May of 2011, Martin met with Clemence Kanau, who is planning to run for Parliament in an attempt to build a new sense of identity for Papua New Guinea by demonstrating a type of policy which would address the real needs of the communities. One way he has demonstrated his genuine care for the people of Papua New Guinea is through the creation of the Farea village (a model village just northeast of the Port Moresby airport). If everything went according to plan, Farea would be the new home of the five displaced communities: the Kafe, Okapa, Lufa, Asaro, and Marawaka; each with their own unique customs and culture.
<b>"Most people see a place for what it lacks rather than what it has and, as a result of these preconditioned value judgments, we overlook the value inherent in every human community. –David Martin"</b>
Keeping what the community had in abundance in mind, Kanau and Martin worked with the displaced elders and together came to the conclusion clean water was the critical building block upon which Farea could thrive.
So what exactly was their solution? Utilize Farea’s abundant wind currents and construct a windmill powered water pump. The deal would be structured so the windmill would be the basis for water utility. Income from the utility would be allotted to maintain operation of the current windmill, pay utility employees, invest in additional pump and windmill technologies, and begin a savings to fund the implementation of a future water pump in another community. By structuring the project this way, Farea would become the first private sector water utility in the country.
After reading a blog post detailing the project, David’s parents, Aaron and Ruth Martin, decided to answer the call to step up and helped by offering to financially support the windmill. “Our intention is to give back to the people what is theirs. Everybody should share the abundance equally,” says Aaron Martin. M·CAM then contacted and partnered with Aermotor, a company founded in 1888 based out of San Angelo, Texas, to shift this idea into a reality. Aermotor agreed to supply the windmill, which would convert wind energy to mechanical energy to pump water, for simply the cost of materials as their contribution to this story. Since Aermotor representatives could not be on the ground in Papua New Guinea, a small delegation from the Farea project traveled to Texas to learn how to construct a windmill. The team consisting of David Martin, Ken Dabkowski, Edward West, Kim Smith, and Ditrick Dunn all learned the details of constructing Aermotor’s 20 foot windmill, which is only slightly different from the actual 33 foot Farea windmill. After returning to Virginia, Ken Dabkowski compiled all the pictures, video, and audio from their time in Texas into a comprehensive instruction manual, and video. A Windmill Technology book was also compiled by Ken, Andrew Trabulsi, and the M•CAM analyst team. Now all the U.S. team could do was wait; wait until the PNG team confirmed the windmill had arrived, it had been unloaded from the ship, that it had made it to the work site, and water had been located.
In January of 2012, the U.S. team received word the time to head to Papua New Guinea had arrived. In early February, Aaron, Ruth, Colleen, and Katie Martin, Dylan Korelich, and Greg Smith left for Port Moresby with tools, instruction manuals, and videos in tow. They left the snow flurries of the East Coast for the sweltering heat and humidity of the South Pacific.
After a total travel time of 38 hours, the team arrived in Port Moresby. Upon their arrival, the team was greeted with a customary Eastern Highlands welcome and mumu (a traditional celebratory meal). Following the celebration, Clemence Kanau addressed the U.S. team, people from the Farea village, local police, and an elected representative of the district explaining the project and welcoming the group. Aaron Martin discussed his background and expressed his gratitude for the warm welcome and his excitement to begin construction. After much merriment and good food, the group settled into their host house and prepared for the next day.
The next day David Martin and Dustin DiPerna arrived and the team was now complete. They made their first trip out to the site. Luckily, the rain had held off the night before making it possible to maneuver down the dirt road and across the river. Upon their arrival to the site, David addressed the group (now consisting of five representatives from each village of Farea, the group from the States, and numerous onlookers), explaining the project and what was to come in the next week. He also explained the role of the unknown beneficiary, Ruth’s Uncle, John Parsons. Having no children of his own, Uncle John distributed his estate among his nephews and nieces. It was this inheritance which provided all the funding for the project. Uncle John had also been stationed on the battleship supporting U.S. troops stationed on Gunner’s Hill, the hill directly behind the windmill during World War II.
And so the manifestation of the windmill began. Fan blades were assembled, the tower constructed, the remaining parts carried to the site (including the 2,000 pound motor which was carried by eight men for roughly ¾ of a mile), the footer holes dug, leveled, and cemented; all in a matter of days. The team working on the windmill, utilized teamwork to repair the road to the windmill site, improvised on parts of the construction which were not covered in the instruction manual, and became a seamlessly integrated group of people working together towards a common goal and enduring the same hardships, if only for a week.
On day three, the group was faced with their toughest challenge: hoisting the tower without a crane. In a true test of strength, the group came together and manually erected the tower. Some pushed, others pulled, and some even lifted and stabilized using logs, but after a precarious half an hour, the tower was standing. As the group gathered around the tower in true astonishment and awe, a storm which had been hovering on the horizon unleashed a vivid rainbow across the sky.
But with each success came more hard work. The theme of the night was, “How do you raise a 14 foot fan weighing over 2,000 pounds 33 feet in the air, without a crane?” Luckily, all of the physics and mathematical equations never made it into practice because Clemence and Theresa Arek (aka “T”) found a crane which would brave the treacherous mud filled road to the site. As David and Tevien, the Chairman of Farea, climbed to the top of the tower to guide the fan onto the pump, everyone watching held their breath in anticipation for a suspense filled hour. Once the fan slid into place, the crowd erupted with joyful cheer! After a local merchant agreed to make a pump component which was lost en route, all of the final touches were complete and the village of Farea had water!
The following week, Farea celebrated with a Sing Sing (a traditional celebration of singing and dancing accompanied by a customary meal). Aaron and Ruth were honored by being carried into the site atop decorated chairs amongst a procession of approximately 2,000 men, women, and children. Following the beautiful celebration, the windmill was officially christened, and the ribbon was cut as David and Tevien climbed the tower, spun the fan, and water flowed!
<b>“People who have not heard of this little struggle in a lonely grassy spot in the hills behind ATS settlement will one day benefit and its all thanks to this group of selfless people. God bless the Martins and the [M·CAM] team. May God also bless Clemence Kanau and a lady only known as ‘T’ for their love and compassion for the less fortunate within our communities. Our lives are better because such caring people never stand by and watch when help is needed.” -Eddie Moses, Sunday Chronicle </b>
Read more about the Papua New Guinea Model Village Project <a href="http://www.globalinnovationcommons.org/discover/special-report/papua-new-guinea-windmill-water-project">HERE</a>
View pictures from the Model Village Project on our <a href="https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.361216917241993.84568.183430595020627&type=3">Facebook Page</a>.
The following is taken from Inverted Alchemy blog post entitled "Songs of Farea". Read more HERE
Beyond the paved road bordering Jackson Field, left down three miles of mud and gravel, through the river crossing, right at the peanut patch and through the last half mile of waist high grass now stands a triumph of humanity. If our myths tell us of a tower erected on a plain where, when humanity came together to climb to the gods, a threatened deity “confused their language”, we now have a tower where tribes of many languages came together and made a little heaven on Earth! As I stood one last time atop 10 meters of steel side-by-side with my dad, Aaron and looked across the treetops to soak in the last views of this past week’s efforts, thunder and lightning danced just beyond the hill that looked down on us. And walking through the downpour on the mud filled trails with Greg Smith, Dylan Korelich, my bride of nearly 25 years, Colleen, and nearly 40 villagers from the Eastern Highlands, I could hold, for a moment, the knowledge that every myth that has separated us from each other and Heaven from Earth is just that – a myth. For when people choose to come together to address humanity’s most intractable challenges and sweat and bleed and toil together all the heavens can do is clap.
Together with my parents, Aaron and Ruth, a team totaling 9 of us (the aforementioned plus: Katie Martin; Dustin DiPerna; Theresa Arek) became woven into the fabric of one of Papua New Guinea’s newest communities – Farea Model Village. Hosted on S.K.’s expansive land to the east of the airport and built on the vision of Clemence Kanau and Tivien Aya, five tribes dislocated from the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea now have water. Shipped from the generous team at Aermotor in San Angelo Texas via California and Singapore, a 5 meter windmill now is pumping water to hydrate the land and its new inhabitants. Using M•CAM’s Sovereign Technology Credit Obligation fusion business model, this community now owns a water utility that will sell water services to an estimated 5,000 people – many of whom are displaced from their ancestral homes by Exxon’s LNG project. The proceeds of this utility will be placed in trust to reinvest in expanding additional water projects (including the building and acquisition of similar windmills) to equally situated groups throughout the country.
This project, the first of its kind in Papua New Guinea, was also supported by Ken Dabkowski, Edward West and Andrew Trabulsi together with the M•CAM and Fusion Lab teams. To be in Farea yesterday was to see raw, unrestrained joy – from the tears of joy when the water flowed to the loud songs and dances that turned the once quiet land into a land echoing with the chorus of humanity.
Many themes will flow from this week’s events but, for now, join us in singing the Song of Farea and celebrate the land where water now flows!