My name is Matthias Ansorg. What I have discovered in my various explorations of and experiments with autarky-enhancing technology is that this is a largely unexplored area with a high potential for creating a resilient and sustainable civilization with modern comforts and only the essential complexity. This is certainly no silver bullet as there will not be total autarky on the household or city level in the foreseeable future. I’m mentioning it as a complementary approach to the problem of complexity: instead of only using better mental models to understand and deal with complexity, we can also discard it and “start from scratch”. We can reconstruct our world, including the technosphere and social relations, to conform to principles of good systems engineering (hiding of complexity, public and private interfaces, reusability, redundancy and so on).
I want to elaborate shortly on three aspects that seem especially important for such a reconstruction:
Proximity: I see that as an essential property of resilience and economic fairness in a future society, and it fits right in with my own notion of local autarky and PayCoupons, our innovation for local economic exchange. Proximity and local production should not be confused with anti-globalization: all knowledge should be globalized, for proper global collaboration. So it’s rather in the realm of alter-globalization.
System Thinking: Above, I proposed systems engineering as a complementary approach to system complexity, and a local and fully circular economy (“autarky”) as a possible outcome. It requires to design whole systems and their interfaces. As a practical example in the realm of IoT, I like the idea of “systems that automatically generate a fixed, public discussion URL for each item.” That would be a good entry point to share user-generated knowledge about using an item/type of product, to report issues and contribute to its development in an open-source manner, and to interface with a lending system, second-hand offers of the product, etc…
Affect: That’s really interesting to me as it shows a gap in my designs for local autarky so far. I have no idea though what kind of changes could incorporate a space for emotions and conflict into local autarky tech — I might not be the right person to have that idea, but then somebody else will be.
Join the conversation
You will get
A copy of this months’ digest (magazine) and opportunities to make meaningful new connections across shared interests:
- Access to other contributors via the community forum
- Ticket to an invitation-only session at our 2021 international conference
- First access to future community digests and event invitations
How is this financed?
This Community Journalism project and publication is part of the NGI Forward initiative. Launched by the European Commission in the autumn of 2016, NGI stands for Next Generation Internet. It has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 825652 from 2019-2021. You can learn more about the initiative and our involvement in it at https://ngi.edgeryders.eu
Where does this lead?
The contents of Edgeryders “Internet of Humans” NGI Forum and the Community Journalism project are analysed using the SSNA method. The results are then sent to EU lawmakers to be incorporated into policy recommendations. It will also inform a conference at the end of the project and selected articles and contributions will be published in book form as the “Next Generation Internet - Edgeryders Digest”. The authors of the selected articles who agree to them being published in that book will also be invited personally to the final conference.