Critical Path Commons
Beginning in the 1920s, Buckminster Fuller proposed radically different business models for meeting fundamental needs. This included a World Grid to provide abundant, almost free renewable energy for all earth citizens and the geodesic dome for low-cost housing. With this precedent, the Critical Path Commons will work to protect strategically chosen mission critical technologies, methods, and intellectual property (IP) in the Commons. It will encourage open data, open science, open design, open licensing, and open innovation systems for regeneration – a freemium core – above which commercial products and services can built. The Critical Path Commons builds on the important prototyping work of the Co-Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth.
Today’s business-as-usual ways of financing and developing products won’t bring many “climate-essential” solutions into broad use at rates that match the scale and speed we need. And they foreclose maximizing the use of human ingenuity to incorporate improvements from anywhere/anyone. BFI is collaborating with We Can’t Wait on a Climate Invention Incentives Pool, where intellectual property is placed in a holding company controlled by a single not-for-profit institution that charges licensing fees, through which those who contribute original IP or significant improvements receive generous royalties. This will be a carefully developed institution drawing from the experience of patent pools.