The Case Studies Index charts the efforts of organisations and networks responding to ongoing and emergent crises. Expanding over time, the index is intended as a way of sharing our research, and of helping others visiting EXTINCT.LY to discover new initiatives. We hope to further our research into the topic of extinction by offering a resource that can bring disparate groups together, and begin to bridge communication between artists, thinkers and engineers.
AMEG is a group of determined scientists, engineers, communicators and others, dedicated firstly to establishing what is really happening to our planet (especially in the Arctic) using the best scientific evidence, and secondly to finding effective and affordable means to deal with the situation, thirdly to communicating these matters.
AMEG's declaration states:
"Governments must get a grip on a situation which IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, has ignored. A strategy of mitigation and adaptation is doomed to fail. It will be impossible to adapt to the worst consequences of global warming, as IPCC suggests. The Arctic must be cooled, ASAP, to prevent the sea ice disappearing with disastrous global consequences. Rapid warming in the Arctic, as sea ice retreats, has already disrupted the jet stream. The resulting escalation in weather extremes is causing a food crisis which must be addressed before the existing conflicts in Asia and Africa spread more widely. Dangerous global warming and ocean acidification must be prevented by reducing the level of CO2 in the atmosphere, especially by improved agricultural practice, thereby addressing the food crisis at the same time. This is an unprecedented opportunity for international collaboration for common purpose. There is no excuse for procrastination. We must see action now."
Appropedia is a green living wiki for collaborative solutions in sustainability, appropriate technology and poverty reduction. It is an open site for all matters of international development and aid, encouraging the sharing of information and collaboration with others in order to lighten our ecological footprint and live rich, sustainable lives.
Guided by the use of sound principles, appropriate technology and the sharing of wisdom and project information, Appropedia allows anyone to add, remove, or edit content on topics such as construction, energy, food/agriculture, health, medical devices, solar and transport.
Often described as an "appropriate technology wiki," Appropedia is much broader than that - stakeholders can come together to find, create and improve scalable and adaptable solutions. This can include sharing information and collaborating with others on how we can live in harmony with nature and our environment in developed countries, or discuss, e.g., low cost technologies for use in the developing world. In its earliest stages, Appropedia was a collaboration between passionate people from the United States and Australia, before quickly expanding to become a global project.
BITNATION provides a full range of services traditionally offered by governments. Among these are: a cryptographically secure ID system, blockchain based dispute resolution, marriage and divorce, land registry, education, insurance, security, diplomacy and more, through a fully distributed platform.
The extra-governmental approach of BITNATION is motivated by the idea that "Only a free and dynamic market of governance services can produce the highest quality at the lowest cost, as well as constant innovation for its customers" (Susanna Tarkowski Tempelhof, Founder and CEO, BITNATION).
BITNATION is BORDERLESS: it does not care where in the world you are from, where you live, or what passport you hold. Everyone has the right to enjoy high-end, competitive governance services. BITNATION is DECENTRALIZED: it operates on the Blockchain - a cryptographically secured public ledger distributed amongst all of its millions of users around the world, to ensure peer-to-peer autonomy. BITNATION is VOLUNTARY: dedicated to the open source philosophy, and provides a platform for users to develop their own governance functions, or fork the code and create a brand new governance system.Contracts made through BITNATION are not currently recognized by governments: Recognition will grow organically over time, in tandem with mainstream adoption. When Bitcoin was first invented it wasn't recognised as a currency, until a significant amount of people started using it as a currency - the same is likely to apply in the case of BITNATION - although the recognition may be quicker since there are already a significant percentage of contracts and disputes being arbitrated by private courts around the world.
Detroit Water Brigade is a volunteer-led alliance of compassionate citizens of Detroit and their international allies working to bring emergency relief to families facing water shut offs while advocating for an income-based Water Affordability Plan in Detroit.
The Detroit Water and Sewage Department is conducting mass water shut offs in Detroit Michigan which will affect over 120,000 account holders over a 3 month period at a rate of 3,000 per week. This accounts for over 40% of customers who are using the Detroit Water system and has been dubbed a violation of Human Rights by various organizations. 70,000 of those accounts are residential accounts which could amount to anywhere from 200,000-300,000 people directly affected. Without water, the threat to the health and safety of Detroit residents becomes immediate, the resulting negative effects of mass water shut offs begin just 2 days after shut off and can become endemic in just 60 days time.
When taking the scope into account (120,000 water accounts or 300,000+ people) the implications become clear; this is a disaster zone and immediate relief and preparation is needed.The eight ways in which DWB is making an impact are through: drinkable water provisions; rainwater collection; cold weather gear; publishing and writing helpful information packs; advocacy and awareness; network distribution hubs; resource delivery; online DWB network.
Ethereum is a platform and a programming language that makes it possible for any developer to build and publish next-generation distributed applications.
Ether, Ethereum's cryptofuel, powers the applications on a decentralized network. Ethereum can be used to codify, decentralize, secure and trade just about anything, from intellectual property to smart property.
Ethereum makes use of one of the lesser known innovations by Satashi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous person or group of people who designed and created the original Bitcoin software. When Nakamoto set the Bitcoin blockchain into motion in 2009, two radical and untested concepts were introduced. Bitcoin as a currency unit has taken up the bulk of public attention. However, there is also another, equally important, part to Satoshi's grand experiment: the concept of a proof of work-based blockchain to allow for public agreement on the order of transactions. Attention is starting to shift toward this second part of Bitcoin's technology, and how the blockchain concept can be used for more than just money.
What Ethereum intends to provide is a blockchain with a built-in fully fledged Turing-complete programming language that can be used to create "contracts" for encoding arbitrary state transition functions. Simply by writing up the logic in a few lines of code, users will be allowed to create systems such as domain names, decentralized exchange, financial derivatives and on-blockchain identity and reputation systems. Another important area of inquiry is "smart contracts" - systems which automatically move digital assets according to pre-specified rules. The logical extension of this is decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) - long-term smart contracts that contain the assets and the bylaws of an entire organization.
The Extinction Symbol asks you to create or replicate the symbol wherever you can. The symbol represents extinction. The circle signifies the planet, while the hourglass inside serves as a warning that time is rapidly running out for many species.
The world is currently undergoing a mass extinction event, and the Extinction Symbol is intended to help raise awareness of the urgent need for change in order to address this crisis. extinctionsymbol.info is a website offering the extinction symbol in various dimensions to freely download for non-commercial purposes.
Geeks Without Bounds is an accelerator for humanitarian projects, mentoring good intentions to a state of deployment.
Composed of an international coalition of technologists, first responders, and policymakers, focused on improving access to communication and technology. They focus on work in communities with limited infrastructure thanks to violence, neglect, or catastrophe. They are known for organizing hackathons for humanitarian technology, and help prototype projects turn into long-term initiatives through their Accelerator for Humanitarian Initiatives.
Geeklist #hack4good unites the world's leading minds to build solutions to humanity's greatest problems.
It is built around an international hackathon coordinated by Reuben Katz and Dan Cunningham of Geeklist. Prior to the hackathon, in 33 cities all around the world, ambassadors stood up to organize the hackathon in their respective cities.
#hack4good is an international hackathon, where creatives, designers and developers build solutions for humanity's biggest challenges. In 48 hours, teams brainstorm, design and develop solutions tailored to the needs of knowledge experts (NGOs, governments) who lack technical expertise. These knowledge experts bring in challenges from the field and depend on the theme of the hackathon.
In the previous hackathon the theme was Climate Change and over 1000 participants built over 100 apps to help solve issues related to Climate Change. The theme is different every hackathon and always serves social good.
Many of the world's languages face serious risk of extinction. Efforts to prevent this cultural loss are severely constrained by a poor understanding of the geographical patterns and drivers of extinction risk.
The authors of the paper "Global distribution and drivers of language extinction risk" quantifies the global distribution of language extinction risk and identifies the underlying environmental and socioeconomic drivers.
The research presented shows that both small range and speaker population sizes are associated with rapid declines in speaker numbers, causing 25% of existing languages to be threatened based on criteria used for species. Language range and population sizes are small in tropical and arctic regions, particularly in areas with high rainfall, high topographic heterogeneity and/or rapidly growing human populations. By contrast, recent speaker declines have mainly occurred at high latitudes and are strongly linked to high economic growth. Threatened languages are numerous in the tropics, the Himalayas and northwestern North America. These results indicate that small-population languages remaining in economically developed regions are seriously threatened by continued speaker declines. However, risks of future language losses are especially high in the tropics and in the Himalayas, as these regions harbour many small-population languages and are undergoing rapid economic growth.
The aim of the Hackerspace Global Space Program is to coordinate between hackerspaces to enhance cooperation and reduce reinvention of the wheel.
Hackerspace Global Space Program proposes an organization enabling collaboration amongst scalable grassroots community units. Aims include expanding humanity's reach and presence beyond Earth's orbit, as well as improving our chances here on Earth by spurring the innovation needed to solve global challenges, resource constraints and the need to get along in an increasingly crowded environment.The technical approach is to support and fund Hackerspaces to function as local community hubs, carry out research and public engagement activities, conduct long term strategic foresight and planning to coordinate large scale international projects with the local hubs and lastly, to identify and expand areas of mutual relevance between terrestrial and space activities.
Hackerspace activities include leadership and technical workshops for youth, while the mission of Hackerspace Global Space Program includes finding appropriate external partners, and applying principles from strategic foresight and planning for the central leadership to coordinate large scale international projects with local hubs and project partners. Hackerspaces currently doing space related projects include Noisebridge, San Francisco, which welcomes everyone to use their resources, including an electronics lab, machine shop, sewing/crafting supplies, two classrooms, a conference area, library, darkroom, and kitchen.
The Hexayurt is a simplified disaster relief shelter design. It is based on a geodesic geometry adapted to construction from standard 4x8 foot sheets of factory-made construction material. It resembles a panel yurt, hence the name. The hexayurt is integral to the Networked Domestic Disaster Response project, which focuses on public coordination of disaster relief efforts.
This offloads the responsibility largely from the state or government, which unites several cheap and readily available technologies to perform tasks that have been historically left to highly trained teams with expensive apparatus.
The plan outlines a system of cellphone-accessible databases which would collocate raw materials, displaced people, host families and volunteer building teams to rapidly provide temporary accommodations for people made homeless by a natural disaster or man-made circumstances. The plan has been positively reviewed by the American Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The Hexayurt building's design is in the Buckminster Fuller lineage of using contiguous triangles to maximize the load-bearing ability of simple structures. For constructions made from light material the panels can be joined by tape. For heavier builds made out of OSB or plywood, metal brackets or wooden blocks can be used. The instructions are available on Appropedia (Appropedia is used as the wiki for the hexayurt project) and are released as public domain by the inventor Vinay Gupta.
The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team applies the principles of open source and open data sharing for humanitarian response and economic development.
Free, collaborative maps are uniquely valuable to humanitarian work, especially in places where base map data is often scarce, out of date, or rapidly changing. OpenStreetMap is a project to create a free and open map of the entire world, built entirely by volunteers surveying with GPS and liberating existing public sources of geographic data.
The majority of the activities of HOT occur remotely. When an event occurs the first thing that happens is a search for existing data and available satellite imagery. During this time also responding organizations are contacted to determine their needs. Someone from HOT is assigned during each response to coordinate the effort. This person makes sure everyone knows when new resources are available as well as where to focus efforts. Sometimes after this type of response work in country begins. An example of post disaster work is in Haiti, after the January 2010 earthquake there was much remote activity to gather OpenStreetMap data.
The MIT CityFARM is an anti-disciplinary group of engineers, architects, urban planners, economists and plant scientists exploring and developing high performance urban agricultural systems.
The future of global food production will mandate a paradigm shift from traditional practice to resource leveraged and environmentally optimized urban food growing solutions. Through innovative research and development of hydroponic, aquaponic and aeroponic production systems, novel environmental, diagnostic and networked sensing, control automation, autonomous delivery and harvest systems, data driven optimization and reductive energy design; MIT CityFARM methodology has the potential to reduce water consumption for agriculture by 98%, eliminate chemical fertilizers and pesticides, double nutrient densities and reduce embodied energy in produce by a factor of ten.
By fundamentally rethinking “grow it THERE and eat it HERE” to “grow it HERE and eat it HERE”, researchers at MIT believe we will dramatically reduce environmental contamination and depletion while creating jobs for a rapidly urbanizing global workforce and increasing access to diverse and affordable nutrient dense produce in our future cities.
OpenBazaar is an open source project to create a decentralized network for commerce online - using Bitcoin - that has no fees and cannot be censored.
It puts the power back in the users - hands. Instead of buyers and sellers going through a centralized service, OpenBazaar connects them directly. There are no fees, no one can censor transactions, and you only reveal the personal information that you choose.
OpenOil believes that oil and gas production can benefit the citizens of producing countries more effectively, and the damage wrought by governments, often as a result of the prize to be obtained by controlling natural resource wealth, can be mitigated and reversed.
OpenOil is developing a network of corporate relations in the oil, gas and mining industries. Together with iilab they are developing a tool that can be used to facilitate investigations into the major corporate players in the extractive industries of certain countries including Nigeria, Tunisia and Mozambique.
Open Droplet is an open source, open hardware water measurement sensor that is networked and easy to use.
Water is one of the world's most stressed resources. Usage has shot up by more than double the rate of population increase, meaning we are guzzling more water per head than ever before.
Off the back of some of our preliminary research, one key component of what we are planning to do with Open Droplet is to provide context to the data collected by individual sensors. This will involve a two-way flow of data between individuals, and utilities and public bodies who are responsible for the water infrastructure. This turns Open Droplet into more than just a water sensor - it's a means of understanding how individual water flows fit within the overall water infrastructure.
The Open Source Beehives project is a network of citizen scientists tracking bee decline.
It uses sensor enhanced beehives and data science to study honeybee colonies throughout the world. All of the technology and methods, from the hive and sensor kit designs to the data, are documented and made openly available for anyone to use.
The Open Source Beehives project has developed two open source beehive designs; the Colorado Top Bar and the Barcelona War. Either hive can be freely downloaded, installed to a CNC router machine, and cut from a standard 4x8 sheet of material, such as plywood. Both hives have been designed around natural beekeeping methods to lower stress factors on the colony, minimise exposure to artificial materials, and allow the bees more control over their living environment. Add in long description.
Open Source Beehives is run by Jon Minchin, Tristan Copley-Smith, Aaron Makurak, Seneca Kristjonsdottir, Garrett Burrg, Chris Borke, Patrick Beseda, Scott Piette. They welcome new collaborators to help develop the project.
Open Source Ecology is a network of farmers, engineers, architects and supporters, whose main goal is the manufacture of the Global Village Construction Set.
Focused on developing open source industrial machines that can be made for a fraction of commercial costs, with all designs shared freely online. The goal of Open Source Ecology is to create an open source economy - an efficient economy which increases innovation through open collaboration.
The current practical implementation of the GVCS is a life size LEGO set of powerful, self-replicating production tools for distributed production. The Set includes fabrication and automated machines that make other machines. Through the GVCS, OSE intends to build not individual machines - but machine construction systems, so that new machines can be built from existing machines, the GVCS is intended to be a kernel for building infrastructures of modern civilization.
Outernet is a project that aims to improve internet connectivity in poorly served areas. In its most recent practical form, it includes an object known as Lantern - an autonomous library able to freely receive (but not transmit) data from any spot on the globe.
Lantern is a small, solar-charged device that continuously receives radio waves broadcast by Outernet from space (Outernet is like the radio station and Lantern is like the radio). Lantern turns the Outernet signal into digital files, such as webpages, news articles, ebooks, videos, and music. The majority of accessible content is user driven - determined by a process of suggestions and requests - while the rest is comprised of a ‘Core Archive’ of educational material and disaster updates. Additional sponsored content is always presented as such.
Lantern can receive and store any type of digital file on its internal drive. To view the content stored in Lantern, users simply turn on the Wi-Fi hotspot and connect to Lantern with any Wi-Fi enabled device. All that’s needed is a browser - Outernet is free to use and all data consumption via Outernet is anonymous.
Outernet’s long term goal is to assist the formation of communities of web users with access to a neutral resource that can educate and empower. Its primary audience is those who live in places where internet connections are liable to go down (anywhere in the world when a disaster occurs) or in places lacking the infrastructure required for a higher online population. It is the best known alternative to plans by Facebook to increase one-to-many broadcast style connectivity in Africa by means of drones, or balloons in the case of Google’s ‘Project Loon’.
The RoboBee is a tiny robot capable of tethered flight, developed by a research robotics team at Harvard University.
The culmination of twelve years of research, RoboBee solved two key technical challenges of micro-robotics. Engineers invented a process inspired by pop-up books that allowed them to build on a sub-millimeter scale precisely and efficiently. To achieve flight, they created artificial muscles capable of beating the wings 120 times per second.
The goal of the RoboBee project is to make a fully autonomous swarm of flying robots for applications such as search and rescue and artificial pollination. To make this feasible, researchers need to figure out how to get power supply and decision making functions, which are currently handled via a tiny tether to the robot, on board.The 3-centimeter (1.2 in) wingspan of RoboBee makes it the smallest man-made device modeled on an insect to achieve flight. Inspired by the biology of a bee and the insect's hive behavior, Robobees researchers aim to push advances in miniature robotics and the design of compact high-energy power sources; spur innovations in ultra-low-power computing and electronic "smart" sensors; and refine coordination algorithms to manage multiple, independent machines.
Sea Shepherd uses innovative direct-action tactics to investigate, document, and take action when necessary to expose and confront illegal activities on the high seas.
Established in 1977, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) is an international non-profit, marine wildlife conservation organization. The mission is to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world's oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species.
Sharing To Accelerate Research - Transformative Innovation for Development and Emergency Support
STAR-TIDES is a research effort at National Defense University that promotes sustainable support to stressed populations - post-war, post-disaster, or impoverished - in foreign or domestic contexts, for short-term or long-term (multi-year) operations. The project provides reach-back knowledge on demand to decision-makers and those working in the field. It uses public-private partnerships and whole-of-government approaches to encourage unity of action among diverse organizations.
Tesla Motors, Inc. is an American company that designs, manufactures, and sells electric cars and electric vehicle powertrain components. Tesla's CEO, Elon Musk, has said that he envisions Tesla as an independent automaker, aimed at eventually offering electric cars at prices affordable to the average consumer. The company also has an initiative to build free solar charging stations across the US.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced in a press release and conference call on June 12, 2014, that the company will allow its technology patents be used by anyone in good faith. Future agreements to be made are expected to include provisions whereby the recipients agree not to file patent suits against Tesla, or to copy their designs directly.Reasons expressed for this stance include attracting and motivating talented employees, as well as to accelerate the mass market advancement of electric cars for sustainable transpory.