This wiki article is the anchor for Bloom’s ongoing topic of Distributed Manufacturing and Bioregional Production, or more simply, Localized Production. Every six months we host a webcall on this topic featuring movement leaders, and we document the projects and practices that are shared during it. We might eventually break this out into specific wikis on each topic, as there is so much happening within each of them. Enjoy these absolutely inspiring projects and practices. We encourage you to find the ones happening in your region or start one, and you’re always welcome to start a local Bloom chapter to help bring people together around localized production where you live.

Reports and transcripts from calls so far: August 17 2020, with guests Kevin Carson, Josephine Watson, and Lorenzo Kristov.

 

Regional Agriculture

These are simply a handful of organizations we’ve come across. There are surely similar groups all over the world. In Africa there are regenerative agriculture and permaculture farming networks that teach families and neighborhoods to do smallholder ag and rainwater catchment instead of monocropping. In South America and North America, there are networks supporting Indigenous communities to acquire seeds that their ancestors would have traditionally grown for food sovereignty. There is also a whole field called “landscape restoration”, where people create integrated crop businesses to bring back forest or degraded lands, in collaboration with NGO’s and corporate sponsors.

Organizations

3D Printing & Micro Manufacturing

      Networks of makers use 3D printing to localize production of common manufactured goods. There are people connected with Bloom who are making apps to connect these kinds of products to help people transition to localized economies in affordable ways that build relationships among neighbors and across a region.

FYI it’s possible to 3D print with hemp plastic, technically biodegradable if you have access to a commercial composting facility that gets hot enough to break it down.

 

  • Open Source Ecology – open source industrial machines
  • Open Source Medical Supplies
  • OpenStructures is a framework to allow interoperability between different projects. It’s like a common design language so that people can easily federate different local manufacturing projects. 
  • MakerNet – helping Makers and Makerspaces thrive and evolve into an interconnected ecosystem of skills, tools, resources, and ideas
  • Lulzbot – 3D printer using open source software and hardware

 

[forthcoming blog post] Vision for converting malls to local maker oases – community use centers with food, healing and arts cooperatives, and shared toolsheds.

Electricity

 

Organizations

  • Democratising Energy with Lorenzo Kristov, electrical engineer who works with city and state agencies, power companies, and citizens to transfer ownership of power to neighborhood and civilians.
  • Our Power Campaign – one of the things this campaign does is push against the installation of new fossil fuel plants in low income communities of color, and install community-owned solar plants instead.
  • Geli – decentralized energy storage solutions

Cooperatives

Cooperatives are a form of business that encourages community ownership over resources and self-sovereignty with labor relationships. They’re an excellent way to support localized production, and they can federate together to reduce risk and pool purchasing power, etc. Usually in a cooperative, each worker has a vote in the direction of the company. It tends to make healthier and more effective relationships between managers and employees, reducing inefficiencies and improving culture as well as equitable financial dynamics. Cooperatives are also more resilient to collapse. If a business is going under, one option is to convert it to a worker owned cooperative instead.

Organizations

  • Cooperation Jackson – commons space local economy with micro manufacturing, community land trusts, etc.
  • Mondragon – federation of worker cooperatives based in the Basque region of Spain, and internationally

Recycling

Precious Plastic – neighbourhood scale plastic recycling – transform plastic into useable objects