Energy & Sustainability Maker News
Hack a Castle at this 5-Week Sustainability Camp in France

POC21 at Millemont Castle

A five-week Innovation Camp focusing on open source hardware and sustainability will take place in August at Millemont Castle, just ahead of this year’s UN climate summit in Paris. Proof-of-Concept 21 organizers are looking for makers to apply to participate in the camp. They want to identify 12 of the best open source solutions to supply basic human needs of energy, housing, food, mobility, and communications.

The camp will bring together 100+ makers, designers, engineers, and scientists who will join forces in an old French castle near Paris. Using a structured innovation process over 5 weeks, the camp promises to “deliver the proof of concept that an open, collaborative, and sustainable society can be built bottom-up by regular people.”

Benjamin Tincq, one of the organizers, explained to me that POC21 wants to help improve existing projects so that they can be made accessible for many more people. “Our process will focus on product design and development,” he said. They are intentionally starting with existing projects, rather than starting from scratch at the camp. Tincq said that one outcome of the camp is creating something “like an IKEA catalog,” which he described as a “catalog of sustainability projects that anyone can do, by either buying a project kit or consulting the plans to build it themselves.”

The Call for Projects application is open through April 24, 2015.

What we are looking for:

  • Open Source (Hardware) Products: We are looking in priority for open source physical products in the fields of energy, housing, food, mobility, communications, and circular economy. So either you already open sourced your hardware (and software) project or you are willing to experiment doing so during our innovation camp.
  • Prototypes Over Ideas: We are NOT looking for early stage concepts, ideas, or drafts, but projects that have developed a functional prototype or beyond (unless, in very specific cases, we estimate they bring tremendous added value to the process).
  • Availability For 5 Weeks: It is essential for the creative process we designed, to have stable project teams over the course of the five weeks. Therefore we ask you to stay with us for the full duration of five weeks. If for some reason this is not possible for you, please make sure to mention it to us, and we will look out for a solution.
  • English As Main Language: English will be our main language during the event and every participant must be able to speak it fluently.

Here is a slideshow providing additional background on the event.

[slideshare id=41442736&doc=poc21presentationen-141112011749-conversion-gate02]

Make: is a media sponsor of POC21.

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DALE DOUGHERTY is the leading advocate of the Maker Movement. He founded Make: Magazine 2005, which first used the term “makers” to describe people who enjoyed “hands-on” work and play. He started Maker Faire in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2006, and this event has spread to nearly 200 locations in 40 countries, with over 1.5M attendees annually. He is President of Make:Community, which produces Make: and Maker Faire.

In 2011 Dougherty was honored at the White House as a “Champion of Change” through an initiative that honors Americans who are “doing extraordinary things in their communities to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world.” At the 2014 White House Maker Faire he was introduced by President Obama as an American innovator making significant contributions to the fields of education and business. He believes that the Maker Movement has the potential to transform the educational experience of students and introduce them to the practice of innovation through play and tinkering.

Dougherty is the author of “Free to Make: How the Maker Movement Is Changing our Jobs, Schools and Minds” with Adriane Conrad. He is co-author of "Maker City: A Practical Guide for Reinventing American Cities" with Peter Hirshberg and Marcia Kadanoff.

View more articles by Dale Dougherty