21 Technologies Decentralizing the Economy & Bringing Power Back to the People


posted
Categories: Tech

The world is becoming more centralized, increasingly focused on economies of scale and transferring wealth to a tiny elite at the top of the financial system.

Yet, at the same time, there is another movement that is actively working to decentralize the world.

The 21 decentralizing technologies and innovations in this list are all related to food, energy, water, shelter and waste and they are not designed to disconnect you from mankind, but rather, they integrate deeply with families, communities, societies, and all humans; in a bottom-up process rather than a centralized top-down structure.

Many of these technologies are open-source, some are high-tech and others are low-tech and low-cost solutions.

This list is far from exhaustive, in fact, the reader will discover that each of the technologies on this list is just the tip of a larger network of innovations. Thanks to the information available on the internet, the prospects of self-reliance has never been more real, and more achievable.

1. Space-Intensive Agriculture

Planting crops in rows has a long tradition, but the paradigm is being challenged. It has been discovered that by planting in two-dimensional patterns allows for more plant growth in small spaces without crowding the plants. It is a simple concept but has powerful implications. By increasing the effectiveness of growing space: cost, time, water, and labor is decreased while increasing production. All of this is accomplished without chemicals. The best known founder is Mel Bartholomew and his book Square Foot Gardening.


Reference: Space-Intensive Agriculture

2. Window Farms

A third of the world’s population lives in dense urban environments with no access to soil, yet, inspirational individuals have created window farms. This open source and do-it-yourself movement can add food to your plate and living spaces. The ways to adapt this technology are limitless and there is strong community support behind the project.


Reference: Window Farms

3. Vertical High-Rise Farm

Getting foods to urban areas is a problem that many are trying to tackle, yet it is a serious issue. Most cities only have food reserves of less than four days. Plantagon is a concept to bring high-intensity farms into the city without a giant eyesore.


Reference: Vertical High-Rise Farm


4. Polyface Farm

This is not a single technology but rather the gathering of many pasture based management practices and new technologies. Polyface Farm, run by Joel Salatin and crew, utilizes high-tech electric fences to mimic the natural grazing habits of animals that are impossible to replicate with full-time animal herders. The fences promote native grass growth and limit weeds. Plus, the cost is affordable compared to traditional barb-wire fences. These animals often get all their nutrition from the pasture, eliminating the need to sell to feedlots.


Reference: Polyface Farm

5. Cold Frames & Hoop Houses

Cold frames and hoop houses solve the problem of how to grow food in the winter without the expense of a greenhouse. Greenhouse plastic mixed with bootstrapping can yield a solar heated environment that keeps frost-hardy plants healthy even in extreme climates.


Reference: Cold Frames & Hoop Houses

6. Warka Water Collector

Water is the essence of life, and that is very true in arid climates. The Warka Water project, aims to utilize a simple net within simple structures to collect water. Not only is the technology easy to use, it can utilize local building supplies and construction skills to collect safe drinking water.


Reference: Warka Water Collector

7. Band-Saw Mill

Band-saw technology has existed for several decades but has become increasingly popular over the past five years. It allows for trees to be turned into quality lumber without a large investment. A single person can operate the mill and the equipment is easy to maintain. Small mills allow for environmental improvement to forests and a source of affordable lumber to those willing to roll up their sleeves and get to work.


Reference: Band-Saw Mill


  Page Turn