Decentralize technology development from Silicon Valley!
I'm going back home to the family farm in rural Minnesota this summer. I want to teach Arduino workshops in these rural communities. I'm in the process of setting up inexpensive or free Arduino workshops 4-H and other organizations. This is one aspect of my project, Limbus Lab, that focuses on education that leads to individual empowerment without sending people into crippling levels of debt. The money would be used for ten Arduino kits to use in these workshops.
Emerging technology is hugely applicable in rural farming communities. Technology should be used as a tool. It is a difficult tool learn but I have watched how it can be used to empower individuals to feel more self reliant. That is the goal in teaching this technology, so people feel that they have more control over their lives. Within the U.S., I cannot think of a better group of people to have more impact on society as self reliant, empowered individuals than farmers. Agriculture is fundamental to our society and we cannot let technology control the farmers. We need to have the farmers control their technology.
How do we start? Reach the young farming kids and make this unintuitive and intimidating tool accessible through workshops that focus on playful exploration. Failing is expected and ultimately encouraged. There are no bad ideas. Allow them to be self directed in their exploration but provide enough support to keep them from giving up prematurely. I have been doing this at CCA, now it is time to leave the bubble of San Francisco and push it out into new areas and endeavors.
My hope is to bootstrap these workshops enough to make them free or very inexpensive but not have sponsorship from companies or organizations that will dictate what I do.
The more individuals from varying backgrounds we have exploring potential uses, the greater the chance we will actually create something meaningful. Most 24 year old developers making six figures are too far removed from the reality of the world to actually be able to create something that isn't just designed for themselves. The goal is to empower individuals to be more self reliant. We can take control over our own lives and not let it be defined for us.
Funded by San Francisco, CA (April 2015)