LOCATION: Oaxaca, Mexico
SUMMARY: Procesos Proambientales Xaxquixe (PPX) has created a methodology for micro-industrial sustainability by implementing alternative energy technologies adapted to materials from local waste streams. This system fosters a trans-disciplinary network of small enterprises, or Ecoclusters, composed of trained local specialists who share knowledge and resources to enrich communities and economies.
"1. The exploitation of natural resources impacts marginalized communities and small businesses first and hardest. Large, medium and small industries have contributed to the degredation of natural resources, meeting energy demands by utilizing inefficient combustion and inappropriate disposal of wastes. The consecuences of these practices is being felt hardest within small communities where they face the imminent depletion of natural resources, a large spike in energy costs and a crippled profit margin. This could soon mark the end to their livelihoods.
2. No increase in the standards of well being amongst poor and marginalized communities in Mexico. Over 600,000 micro-enterpreneurs live in extreme poverty. Little substantive research nor investment flow to this sector, despite the fact that artisanal production accounts for approximately 10 million jobs, produces 1% of the country's total GDP and is part of the massive number of small and medium-sized enterprises that compose 99.7% of Mexico's private sector.
3. No access to creative solutions for those at the base of the pyramid. The poorest communities and smallest enterprises are stymied by a lack of access to training and new ideas that could inspire and support them to build their own creative technology solutions to growing energy challenges.
Like many countries in the Global South, Mexico's governing body fails to serve 100% of its population. At best, the government makes decisiones based on superficial understanding. This leads to shortlived solutions that often fail to harness local knowledge, nor facilitate self-sufficiency within the major stakeholders of the system. An endemic paternalistic approach to governing pervades, creating dependent communities with little capacity for resilience and self-reliance. At worst, it is a government overwhelmed by corruption that channels resources and support to few, and creates a giant funding gap for early stage and small scale enterprises and communities exploring alternative approaches to their big challenges.
The third sector in Mexico finds itself operating with good intention, but in an isolated, uncoordinated and dispersed fashion. Lack of cross-sector communication and collaboration in the non-governmental sector obstructs the ability to better potentiate existing resources (people, ideas, investment). There is a sense that ""Everyone is trying to help, and working to exhaustion, but something is missing"". The missing link: coordinated efforts towards creative solutions, co-created within the communities where they will be implemented, with local materials and talents."
SOLUTION: "PPX supports small enterprises that use heat-treat processes to create artisanal products (Ex: mezcal, glass, ceramics). PPX: 1-researches funding to, 2-co-create alternative technology solutions tailored to needs that a) lower energy consumption, b) thereby lowering costs and raising profit margins and c) decrease environmental degredation locally. Indirect impacts include: a whole systems approach to experimentation and problem solving, and increased tendencies to innovate.
Our larger strategy comprises:
Stage 1: Created: Studio Xaquixe, a local model workshop (equipment, team, business/whole systems approach).
Stage 2: Created: PPX, a non-profit laboratory arm, to adapt green technologies based on local systems and resources. Partnered with research centres, universities and multi-disciplinary specialists (engineers, architects, designers...) to harness local knowledge and expertise towards context-specific, lasting, energy solutions.
Stage 3 Current stage: Evolving PPX 2.0, a skills training center and consultancy to closely support clusters of small enterprises and specialists to co-design equipment, combustion and waste systems that achieve lower energy consumption and costs, decreased environmental damage and inspire an innovative and self-reliant mindset.
Stage 4: PPX 3.0: Regional platform for support, knowledge sharing, and inspiration to increase cross-sector collaboration and experimentation in the region and compliment PPX's work to best achieve thriving artisanal enterprises and communities."
CONTACT: Christian Thornton, [email protected]