Exploring the Contours of an Emerging 'Design Global, Manufacture Local' Productive Model

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* Article: Design global, manufacture local: Exploring the contours of an emerging productive model. V Kostakis, V Niaros, G Dafermos, M Bauwens - Futures, 2015

URL = http://www.p2plab.gr/en/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Futures.pdf


"This article aims to contribute to the ongoing dialogue on post-capitalist construction by exploring the contours of a commons-oriented productive model. On the basis of this model called “design global-manufacture local”, we argue that recent techno-economic developments around the emergence of commons-based peer production and desktop manufacturing technologies, may signal new alternative paths of social organization. We conclude by arguing that all commons-oriented narratives could converge, thereby supporting the creative communities which are building the world they want within the confines of the political economy they aspire to transcend."


From the Conclusions:

"In this paper, we attempted to make a contribution to the discussion on degrowth and resilient communities from a techno-economic perspective. It has been claimed that techno-economic paradigm shifts are never the result of technological forces alone, but also presuppose the creation of new social institutions, of new norms and value systems (Perez, 1983, 2009). Viewed from that perspective, resilient communities, the degrowth movement and peer production are complementary components of a paradigm shift away from an economic system based on the irrational exploitation of natural resources and the ecologically destructive magnification of production and consumption, towards one characterized by a radically different definition of the content of human well-being and happiness.

The model advocated here bears a lot of resemblance and materializes ideals that are core to the degrowth imaginary, such as “autonomy” or “conviviality” (see Kallis et al., 2014 for discussions on the work of Ivan Illich and Andre Gorz in relation to degrowth). Resilient communities provide not only a blueprint for the creation of self-sufficient communities but also a fertile ground for the application and further elaboration of the degrowth movement's strategies and policies for transitioning to a sustainable economy. In the context of this experimentation with alternatives, both resilient communities and the degrowth movement would be well advised to look into the mode of peer production and focus on a larger scale by following a global commons approach. This shift, along with the embrace of desktop manufacturing technologies, will allow the implementation of the DG-ML productive model, which could offer an alternative of how productive activities could be organized during the transition period to a more sustainable post-capitalist society.

Last, of particular interest for future research will be an evidence-based documentation of the sustainability aspects of commons-based peer production's convergence with desktop manufacturing technologies, as well as to advance their integration into a coherent mode of production and value distribution in the vein of degrowth."