Once upon a time… Part 3

Once upon a time in a hackerspace really not that far away…

Every day Norman Hacker and Dorien Hacker turn up to their local hackerspace and work together to build a flying ostrich quadrocopter.

One day a misguided MSc student tries to evaluate Norman and Dorien’s potential contribution to innovation for sustainability.

Because of that the student struggles for months to define innovation for sustainability, eventually settling on a notion that incorporates the innovation of conventional products, services and business models… but also entire systems of production and consumption, and the values and practices embedded within them.

This leads the student to spend a week ‘undercover’ at a hacker camping festival in the Netherlands, down and out in hackerspaces in Amsterdam and London, and learning to lockpick on a converted East German fishing vessel moored in Canary Wharf.

MS Stubnitz, converted East German fishing vessel moored in Canary Wharf. Taken over by hackers for the day.

Until finally he learns the shocking truth: sustainability is not hackers’ biggest concern!!!

Nonetheless, he finds that the values and practices demonstrated in locally rooted and globally interconnected hackerspace communities – hands-on, self-directed experimentation and learning, free sharing of ideas and tools, informal organisation and a critical and global outlook – embody alternative ways of innovating, organising, learning and producing with clear potential for sustainability.


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