How To Fix The World & Grassroots Innovation Takes Root - Instructables in Forbes
Grassroots Innovation Takes Root
by Peter Hoy
The next great wave of technology maybe something that you invent yourself. Really.
Most of the big commercial technology companies do all they can to hide the complexity of their products under shiny tamper-proof surfaces. They believe consumers don't want to read manuals. The fewer buttons the better. Think Apple, automakers and most consumer electronics makers.
But there's a subversive movement building, too, led by self-proclaimed do-it-youselfers. They want to reinvent the gadgets in their life, much like software hackers have reworked code. They don't all have expert technical skills, but they have a passionate desire to reshape technology in their own rough image.
What makes their dreams possible is easy access to open-source software, cheap microchips and wide-open collaboration on the Web. It's the manufacturing-sector version of desktop publishing.
How To Fix The World
by Quentin Hardy
Saul Griffith (above) is only 34 years old, but he's already helped create enough technologies and companies to last a lifetime. A short list includes a cheap way to prescribe and create corrective lenses in the developing world, a wind energy generation system using massive high-altitude kites and a human-powered energy project.
His greatest creations, however, may be a popular comic book series called HowToons, designed to help kids think like inventors and, with Massachusetts Institute of Technology pal Eric Wilhelm, a Web site called Instructables, created to spur collaborative invention among adults.
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