As a co-founder of this OpenBiofabbingLab initiative, I (i.e., Vittorio Milone) went to the #36C3, ie the 36th Edition of Chaos Communication Congress from the 27th to the 30th of December: the event took place in Leipzig (Germany) and it is the biggest meeting in Europe -one of the largest in the world- for hackers and science and technology innovators and enthusiasts, with an estimate of about 17.000 participants. It was for sure impossible to follow through all the hundreds of talks, seminars etc, so I had to make a choice by focusing on the things that seemed closer and more useful to our present effort.
Thus, the title itself of 36C3 significantly being “resource exhaustion”, I came into contact with various groups of “hackers against climate change” demonstrating a series of educational prototypes on the matter, took part in very interesting presentation of a group dedicated to open soil research and made friends with people from what seemed other valiant initiatives.
One of them is Global Innovation Gathering, a network of empowering initiatives mainly organized in so-called developing countries: the r0g agency for open culture, which I visited the day after the end of 36c3 in their offices in Berlin, is also part of this network.
Another example is Luftdaten, a group from Stuttgart (Germany) operating thousands of air quality sensors and Cadus, a crisis response makerspace based in Berlin featuring prototypes such as the Life Sensor, an open source vital parameter monitor for ECG, oxygen saturation, pulse and blood pressure.
Finally, I had the chance to follow an interesting workshop on the so-called Fairphone 3 and similar product concepts, i.e. modular phones with some replaceable parts and an ethical approach to manufacturing all over their production chain.