A dream makers' and fabbers' pad

Lion's bed head by Monkeys Workshop in Colorado.

100k Garages is a Mesh-web-enabled sharing-platform that pairs people who want to make things (Makers) with digital fabrication tools (Fabbers). Many projects are small businesses that sell unique items, like the bed head above. But 100k Garages, a team-up of ShopBot Tools and Ponoko, has big plans.

Using grass roots enterprise and ingenuity this community can help get us back in action -- to modernize our public infrastructure, develop energy-saving alternatives, or simply produce great new products for our homes and businesses. There are already thousands of ShopBot CNC tools in garages and small shops across the country, ready to locally fabricate the components needed to address our energy and environmental challenges and to locally produce items needed to enhance daily living, work, and business.

Less than a two-years old, 100k Garages has won praise from its community and the press and is rapidly knitting together garages near you. Read the rest

Bare feet barely covered

Shoes are bad for you. Thus sayeth the science. A study published in the journal Foot entitled "Shod Versus Unshod: The Emergence of Forefoot Pathology in Modern Humans?" concluded that Zulus, who often go barefoot, have healthier feet than shoe-wearing Europeans. So did pre-shoe wearing people 2000 years ago, as their skeletal feet attest. But what about the consequence of stepping in... whatever? Paperfeet, a "Mesh" company that makes one-of-a-kind, signed and numbered, minimalist shoes from recycled billboards, offers one step forward -- if taken for the right reasons. One post on their site reads, "Are people just lonely animals with fancy shoes? I hope that's not why you buy paperfeet." Read the rest

Fallen Fruit

LA public art project, Fallen Fruit, started by mapping public fruit--fruit trees growing in or over public property. Since then, the interests of this Meshy project "have expanded from mapping public fruit to include Public Fruit Jams in which we invite the citizens to bring homegrown or public fruit and join in communal jam-making; Nocturnal Fruit Forages, nighttime neighborhood fruit tours; Community Fruit Tree Plantings on the margins of private property and in community gardens; Public Fruit Park proposals in Hollywood, Los Feliz and downtown LA; and Neighborhood Infusions, taking the fruit found on one street and infusing it in alcohol to capture the spirit of the place." Los Angeles maps of fallen fruit ripe for the taking Public Fruit Jam at Machine Project in LA, August 3 Scavenging power from trees It's urban vegetable foraging season! Read the rest

Fabric salad

Bon Bon Kakku allows people to design, sell, and vote on fabric designs they like. It's a "Meshy" business -- a shared space for encouraging crowd-sourced design. With her design, Vesa Savikko of Helsinki advises, "Create your own burger." Read the rest

Making sharing irresistible

The "Mesh" describes businesses and organizations that share stuff, fueled in part by the mobile web & social networks. Mesh lifestyles and businesses embrace a world in which access to things trumps owning them. In my book, The Mesh: Why the Future of Business is Sharing, I talk about dozens of these new outfits, and why they are growing at such a prodigious rate. There are a couple of thousand more at www.meshing.it.

Well-known examples include car & bike sharing, (Zipcar , B Cycle & GetAround) and vacation home-sharing services. (AirBnB & VRBO). But there are lots of more surprising ideas brought to market -- fashion & craft exchanges, tools libraries, p2p energy, co-working, rooftop farming, p2p money lending, technology driven by sharing, and support for the arts. Mesh companies leverage billions of dollars of investment in tech and physical infrastructure, and are relatively inexpensive to start and run.

For many people, the Mesh will provide opportunities to generate extra income (through "meshing" your possessions on sites that help with all the details), and to save money by only accessing goods and services only when you need them, rather than aspiring to own one of everything. In the next decade, I predict, this model will conspicuously shape how we think about our lives and work and will shake-up the buy-and-throw-away economy. (hint: it already has) By re-using, repairing, and recycling goods, the Mesh also makes sense as the global population zooms toward 9 billion persons. Meshing It Read the rest