At a recent TEDx conference in Santa Cruz, CA, Chris Yonge presented on the emerging “open economy,” which is an economy that community design, community involvement, and even encourages you to copy the work of other open-source products. We’re showing the talk here because 3D printing is an integral part of the open economy.
His talk is actually titled, “How Four Elements will Transform Our Relationship to the Things that Surround Us.” These are the four elements required to move us to this creative, open economy:
- How we make
- How we design
- How we communicate
- How we finance
I won’t write up a blow-by-blow of his presentation, but will share his closing words, which summarizes his thoughts:
“This economy needs consumers, don’t get me wrong, but it also needs creative human beings, so when you go back, make something or invent something or write something or repair something. Because you can probably do a better, more valuable job than a designer who’s never met you factory making that product ten thousand miles away. And when you’ve done it you’ll have gained a tremendous freedom and you’ll have learned a great truth. After fifteen thousand years human beings are emerging from the cave. Very soon we will be able to make anything we can imagine and share it with the world go forth and create.”
I’m a believer in open source, and also a proponent of patents–each have their own place–so I was glad to hear him say that the open economy should not replace the current economy, but should enhance it.
The talk was given at TEDxSantaCruz held September 15, 2012, and it was one of sixteen talks that addressed the theme of “Open” on it’s second day. In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx, an offshoot of TED, is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience.
Chris Yonge has had an interesting career. He’s an architect by education, but his first gig was to become a furniture designer/maker and run a successful studio in Scotland for ten years. After moving to the US, he became a product designer, becoming ever more fascinated by 3D modeling, animation and production. He took those talents and began teaching animation at the School of Engineering at UC Santa Cruz. He’s also a partner in MakersFactory, a Santa Cruz company that helps innovators and artists produce their ideas using 3D printing and visualization.