Open Source Tech & the Fight Against Climate Change: The Whole Earth Catalogue, Revisited

Thursday, Sep 5
10:00 — 12:00

Open Source Tech & the Fight Against Climate Change: The Whole Earth Catalogue, Revisited

Sustain, Start,

This session is part of Techfestival: a 3-day festival in Copenhagen with 200+ events on humans and technology.
Interested? Great! Register to let us know you’re joining.

Open-Source Environmental Tech Solutions Looking Forward!

This session will explore the culture of the Whole Earth Catalogue; a pre-internet publication that captured the early tech utopianism in the 1960s, and how its values are being embedded into COACT, a new impact-tech incubator based in the hills outside Barcelona. Focusing on human-centred, environmentally sound, and open-source tech innovation, we will explore why the culture the WEC championed is so pivotal for today’s world, how COACT is building upon it, and examples of how open source technology can offer solutions to pressing environmental and ecological challenges facing our planet.

While the Whole Earth Catalogue advocated technology that empowers man and improves our relationship with the natural world, its lessons seem to have been mostly forgotten by the commercially driven culture of Silicon Valley. Now, COACT is founding a space to incubate the technologists, projects, and companies working within this value system to fix some of the world’s most pressing problems with open-source, distributed technology.

COACT founders Tristan Copley Smith and William Lloyd George will briefly explore the Whole Earth Catalogue and present COACT’s vision for a more equitable, diverse and open culture of innovation. They will show how, from a renovated monastery in the hills outside Barcelona, they are developing a space focussing exclusively on tech to conserve endangered animal species, provide low tech infrastructure to at-risk communities out of waste materials, and inspire citizens to participate in global reforestation projects (among other projects).

We want to dive into today’s crucial topic of Environmental Sustainability and explore how the Whole Earth Catalogue approaches open-source technology in relation to physical localities and the earth, just as we will ask, what updates and improvement will be needed in order for the WEC to be useful for the world/problems today.

Which aspects are still relevant today? How can it work as impetus for contemporary environmental tech solutions? What would the Whole Earth Catalogue of the 21st Century look like? 

Join the discussion and help co-create the answers!

Register here


Tristan Copley Smith (UK)

Tristan is an open-source evangelist, social entrepreneur and documentary filmmaker. With a passion for technology, sustainability and storytelling, he is on a mission to help humans create the tools we need for the world we want. Tristan is the co-founder of OSBeevies and COACT Lab.

William Lloyd George 

William has worked for over a decade in the clean technology sector with a focus on renewable energy generation in sub-Saharan Africa. His focus has been to find cost-effective solutions to our biggest problems. He is the co-founder of Acropora Capital and COACT Lab. 

Tina Ryoon Andersen (DK)

Tina is a project developer at The Danish Society of Engineers, IDA. She has co-initiated the open-source foodtech project Growstack in collaboration with the Copenhagen Foodtech Community, and was head of program for IDA’s festival: Respond – People, Planet and Technology. Tristan and Tina are in an early phase of the development of a multimedia project on The Whole Earth Project, its relevance and practitioners of today.

Next event is: Public Data Summit
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