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"Make-it Yourself" Social Enterprise Book

A book of DIY designs for everyone to make themselves everything from a hammer to a bicycle, from a refrigerator back to a spade. Cheap, easy-to make designs with clear instructions that use local easy to access resources. Bamboo~? Case-studies are also included of successes and failures in social enterprise.

Photo of James McBennett
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Written by

"CALDAS BRICOLAJE" (DIY Guidebooks for social entrepreneurs)

It may not sound that hard to design a food cart or a bicycle fruit store, but it is much easier when you have a place to guide you and case studies to learn from. "You must learn from the mistakes of others. You can't possibly live long enough to make them all yourself."
- Sam Levenson

Several books are proposed that will be available on digital and print. The online book will take the form of a website with full screen media and video. Books will be in be both text only and full media form. Avi provides a great link to information, but I feel this needs to be better arranged. 

Titles will include. 

Harvard teach Business through the case-study. Tim Brown of IDEO said teaching is better achieved when we 'do' rather than when we 'see,' asking how many HBS MBA students can repeat their case-studies in practice? As the case studies are local, the case studies can be visited, experienced or even consulted with. Successes and failures are included. The two-way conversation is critical for me as nobody is a only a reader, everybody is a contributor.

How do you envision this idea making money?

I would think the book could be distributed for free on-line and the content could also be free. Personalisation and printed copies are sold at a price. Sponsored competitions are encouraged to generate high-end content and designs. As users seek materials, organisations can sponsor/advertise in the book where their product is mentioned. e.g. In "Make a fruit store on a bicycle, the entrepreneur would need fruit, a bicycle and metal (w/metal workshop) to make adjustments. These organisations can fund the project leading to further revenue.

How does this idea create social impact, particularly around improving health?

Looking at 'systems' that create social impact and platforms that bring hundreds (if not thousands) of ideas to life. DIY Guide to local healthcare would activate local ideas to local problems.

How does this idea add social value at every step of the process?

A DIY book on how to make things, contextually specific to Caldas would turn local residents into active citizens in their community armed with a book that helps them move an idea into a reality. The book must be produced by locals, for locals empowering the population of Caldas Johan: "local illustrators and photographers should all contribute with the artwork and instructional pictures. most parts could be locally-sourced."

What are the short term steps we could take to implement this idea tomorrow?

Ten ideas (sponsored), one pdf, send to all, print locally, distribute. TEAM Johan Avi


Join the conversation:

Photo of Avi Solomon

D-Lab has started putting out some great how to guides:
There's also a nice D-Lab Design Workbook that could be adapted to engage the creativity of local entrepreneurs in Caldas:

Photo of James McBennett

Love it! I saw her talk a long time ago and ted, but have never seen the website......THANKS SO MUCH!

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