Updates From The Kevin Rohan Memorial Eco Foundation (KRMEF)

M·CAM's partnership in Nepal has shared with us the Foundation's 2011 Progress Report. 2011 included biodynamic activities, the completion of construction on the community library, and work with the University of Virginia. You can view the report HERE

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GE's Electric Vehicle Solar Carport

Comissioned in May of 2011, GE has built one of the largets Electric Vehicle Solar Carports, located at their Plainville, CT headquarters. This carport generates enough energy to fully charge up to 20 Chevy Volts, according to GE Energy's website.

This entire carport, powered by the sun, was created on the idea of " turning ordinary parking lots into an opportunity to not only reduce energy costs, but also generate revenue from selling the excess energy generated by carport installations." By taking advantage of the free energy resource of the sun, GE's EverGold Solar Solutions, these carports generate more energy than it uses and stores the extra energy for future use. 

Could Open Source Technology be used to create solar carports in other countries? Check out the Global Innovation Commons and see!


The construction of GE's Solar Carport in Plainville, CT.

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Earthbag Houses: Building Homes From the World Around You


Created by Dr. Owen Geiger, Ph.D. in Social and Economic Development, Earthbag Houses are an economical solution to building affordable homes in areas all over the world. Working with the goal of promoting natural building, sustainable design and development, through research, training, education, and consulting services, Earthbag homes use the material we “stand on” to create these unique homes, that can also double as safety shelters.

Combining sandbags and plastic bags filled with sediments from the earth, they arranged in layers or as coils. The earthbags are stabilized with cement, lime, or sodium carbonate and are filled on spot, varying from site to site. These eco-friendly homes are built on a foundation of rocks and secured with barbed wire to allow for an earthquake resistant infrastructure.

Earthbag Homes, with their unique design and building methods, have started to appear all over the world. How could we use the Global Innovation Commons to spread this knowledge to communities in need of affordable housing? Lets dive in and find out! 


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The Life of The Commons: Another World is Possible Beyond The Market And State


The Global Innovation Commons is being featured in a new book, The Life Of The Commons: Another World Is Possible Beyond The Market And State. The book features not only Dr. David Martin topic, "Emancipating Innovation Enclosures: The Global Innovation Trust" but also peices by David Bollier and Antonio Tricarico. Currently the transcript is available only in German, but in 2012 it will be available in English. 

German Text Translated: The "Occupy" movement carries a sense of unease on the road - worlwide. It represents profit maximization in the pillory and the policy on a censure motionThe sobering diagnosis: market and state have failed. People lose control over their own lives. Worldwide, prices for water, soil and foodwhile the market and they scarceIPO flushed - flanked by government free trade agreements.


Goods, which are alllike oceans and forests are ruthlessly carried to market. Also,knowledge and ideas, our most important productive resources are available in abundance. But they are treated as scarce commodities.
From life and diversity for all is so wealth for the fewTherefore, it is not surprising that experience the Commonsthe idea of the commonsa renaissance - not least since the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2009 for Elinor Ostrom.
The Commons are more important than ever: they are not based on the idea of scarcity, but they draw from the wealthCommons are productiveThey do not produce primarily for the market, but for the people - and they solve specificproblemsIf people have the freedom to organize themselves and to cooperate, the common use of goods and promote social cohesion and responsibility to protect our livelihoods.
This volume, with contributions from 95 international authors from academia, government and civil society practice introduces a modern concept of the commons,the basic assumptions of classical economic theory is radically and goods inquestion and provides a guide for a new policy.


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The New Global Innovation Commons


As users can see, The Global Innovation Commons has gone through a face lift to make it more acceptable to international collaborators. However, Global Innovation Commons users will still have the ability to create many different experiences using the site.

Discover/Contribute: The 'Discover' and 'Contribute' tabs are two sides of the same coin.  Starting in 'Discover', users will be able to view all current contributions to the GIC including Public Domain Patent Repositories, Challenges, Ideas, and Trade Credit Offsets.  Each section contains a short overview of what you will be able to find or contribute.  Contributions can be made directly to Under the GIC Framework, the Commons requires that any knowledge or value gained from the Commons must be replenished.  All contributions will show up in the 'Discover' section.

Patent Repository: The public domain patent repository has been updated from the first version of the Global Innovation Commons.  Follow the pathway through any of the subject header portals to view public domain technologies in the topic areas of agriculture, clean energy, water and world health that have been indexed by enforceability within each national boundary. 

Around The World: Around The World is a section which provides the GIC community with a platform which can quickly respond to large scale events.  Many times during a natural or man-made disaster, resources and value are constrained by markets, access, distribution or border issues.  The Around The World platform displays public domain technology compilations which can be used to engage situations, innovators and companies quickly.  It also allows the community to innovate and share solutions in a commons platform available to all.

Blog: The Blog is where we display the most recent community content related to our four main topic areas of agriculture, clean energy, water and world health.  Materials on the blog may include work being done outside the commons but relates strongly to the intentions of the community.

Integral Accounting: Integral Accounting is an all-inclusive approach to accounting for specific value attributes.  As we move into an era of commons creation, we look at the concept of "resources" and replace the term with attributes.  Any "resource" in current terms is enclosed and accounted for without appropriate attributes.  For example, is a barrel of oil actually equal to $75 of fiat paper currency?  What else is a barrel of oil?  We measure the barrel in context, add attributes and, agnostically as possible, account for what is taken, what is removed, what is replenished, how it is used over time and how all of the value systems describe the attribute.  Representation of value is possible using more units than currency.  Accurately and creatively accounting for all-in costs and benefits will allow for a reduction of friction and increased productivity.  

Explore the site and please feel free to send any feedback to 


Other notes about site usage:

Note about PDF's:  When exploring the patent sections of the site, some patents will have PDF files of the actual patent and some will not.  Any patent with no associated PDF will read "Broken PDF". 

Note about patent data:  The Global Innovation Commons included all of the data that was currently accessible on every patent that was loaded.  Patents issued by the U.S. and E.U. offices are more likely to be fully documented, however this is not always the case.  Soon we will be adding fields for patent metadata.  Community members will be able to enhance or supplement patent information at that point.

Note about patent categorization:  We have had many users of the Global Innovation Commons ask the question, "Why are patents categorized in the way that they are?  Some patents don't seem to fit certain categories?"  The answer is, sometimes they don't.  First, we selected the higher level categories to help users sort through the large amount of data on the site.  Different perspectives can lead to different results.  However, we realize that sometimes patents don't exactly fit one category.  For example, should we categorize a hydro-electric patent as water, clean energy or agriculture?  It depends on perspective.  Someone interested in water may see it affecting rivers, fish, and water supply for an area.  From an energy perspective, the water is creating an energy source.  A farmer may be affected by the sedimentary output or water displacement.  In short, many technologies fall into many categories. 

Note about patent relevance:  As users sort through patent lists, sometimes patent titles look out of place.  For example, in water filtration, it is not uncommon to see patents for ice makers and refrigerators.  While these technologies and patents seem distant, we have assembled the list of patents and technologies not based on titles, but based on all components of the short, we look 'under the hood'.  Modern refrigerators and ice makers contain pipes, tubes and hoses that link the device to the house's plumbing.  Water comes in and is filtered before being dispensed in the door or on the to becoming an ice cube.  The component of a filter may be one of many components of a broad patent.  These technologies can be singled out and applied in the commons.

We compiled our lists with the aim of inclusion.  In our example, we did not exclude filtration mechanisms in refrigerators because such mechanisms may be very relevant in certain situations (such as remote villages needing a small portable filter).  Therefore, when a patent or technology seems out of place, click past the title, read the claims and descriptions, and explore how components of the technology may fit into your project.

Note about search vs. query:  A search takes place when a user seeks to find a desired result.  A query takes place when a user asks a question and is agnostic to the result.  The Global Innovation Commons contains multiple tequiniques to sort through data including search and query.  We, however, recommend query - this allows commoners to see what they never saw before and learn what they never knew was there. 

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World Water Week: Water Conservation Summit



 Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, located on 14 islands connected by 57 bridges holds its annual World Water Week, a summit that is hosted and organized by the Stockholm International Water Institute, SIWI, which discusses the global water issues since 1991. 




This past August, the 2011 World Water Week discussed the theme of “Water in the Urbanizing World,” which included seminars on re-shaping society for water saving, meeting adaptation demands for water, along with many others.

 This weeklong event provided people from all over the world with information on why water conservation is so important and how we can help. By tracking our “water footprint” and becoming aware of how much water we use during everyday tasks, such as dishwashing, baths, and showers, we can take small steps in the path of world water conservation.

How do you think the Global Innovations Commons could help with water conservation? Click and discover a solution.




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Wacky Technology Wednesday: Tanning Printing and "The Art of Solar Printing"

Featured this week for our Wacky Technology Wednesday is the Tanning Printer, a solar powered printer that doesn't require the use of ink catridges. By using the innovative technology of tanning the paper, which is the process of actually sun-tanning the paper! The idea may seem futuristic, but the this Tanning Printer is something that could be an eco-friendly solution to the way we see printing. Using the same concept of burning paper through a magnifying glass, the Tanning Printer, saved the energy through refracting the lights rays and tans the paper.

By using the heat produced by the sun, Tanning Paper creates enough energy to run without an adapter or electrical charge, as well as produce its own ink. The printer works in a easy 3-step process. Beginning as you feed the paper into the machine, both warm at a similar pace and prepare for printing. Then, the "header," which helps with refraction of the light, moves from left to right actually tanning the paper. Lastly, the paper is unloaded revealng a beautiful, clear image. 

This innovative technology removes the need of ink cartridges, which inadvertently create environmental pollution during the purifying process, runs on solar power energy, and comes in a sleek and stylish design. All of these things make the Tanning Printer an amazing idea for Wacky Technology Wednesday!


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Global Innovation Commons Featured on Worldwide Tipping Point & Community Currency


Recently, The Global Innovation Commons has been featured on Worldwide Tipping Point & Community Currency.

Worldwide Tipping Point, written by Todd Goldfarb, was created looking for a quantifiable measure for the global awakening. Through interviewing various types of people ranging from anthropologists to business gurus Goldfarb looks to “help make sense of this unique period of time we are living”.

Worldwide Tipping Point interviewed The Global Innovation Commons’ creator and featured contributor, Dr. David Martin. Goldfarb describes The Global Innovation Commons as “changing the world from the bottom up”.

Listen to the entire interview, HERE.


The most recent feature comes from Community Currency. Community Currency, is written by Carol Brouillet, the co-founder of the International Media Project, which produces Making Contact, a half-hour radio program "committed to investigative journalism, in-depth critical analysis, the promotion of civic participation and the dissemination of educational material". Her blog looks at the differences between money and real wealth in an attempt to take a "step towards a new system which serves huamn needs". 

Brouillet’s interview of Dr. David Martin, on The Global Innovation Commons will be aired on Thursday December 1st at 2:00pm EST. You can find the article about her upcoming interview, HERE

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EMAS: Mobile School for Water Sanitation

For over twenty years, EMAS, or Mobile School for Wter Sanitation, located in Bolivia, has had one goal, "to provide access to safe drinking water, to as many people worldwide."  Based on concepts and technologies that begun with founder Wolfgang Buchner, EMAS is based on the principle of "helping people help themselves." 

Focusing on providing access to healthy drinking water, this group believes that the education of people with simple methods and low material costs in their home countries is vital to accomplish their goal. EMAS works towards establishing contacts with interested individuals, groups and organizations, which would allow them to spread their technology concepts worldwide. On their website, they provide vitrual courses, that allows you to put their "media theory" into play and build your own drinking water and sanitary installation. 

With growing progress in the recent years, these technologies have proven to be a positive attribute into developing countries and have been found to be safe and feasible. With the idea of helping people help themselves, EMAS sounds like something the Global Innovation Commons could help out with! Lets make a connection between the the two and bring safe drinking water to everyone.

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A Glimpse into the World's Technological Future

We've all seen movies with amazing "technology of the future", but no one would have ever guessed that we would be alive to see these techno-gagdets come to life. Microsoft recently posted a concept video which shows glimpse into out technological future. Kurt DelBene, President, Microsoft Office Division, estimated that the technology in the video, which featuresnew interfaces, all digital and interactive, could be open to the public within the next five to ten years. To read more about this new, innovated technology, click here.


How could Global Innovations Commons use this technology? Lets look further and find out!

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