POC21 Innovation Community

eco hacking the future

a project by Open State & Ouishare

POC21 is an international innovation community

POC21 is an international innovation community, that started as an innovation camp. The camp brought together 100+ makers, designers, engineers, scientists and geeks. Late summer 2015, we have joined forces in a stunning french castle to prototype the fossil free, zero waste society. Our ultimate goal was to overcome the destructive consumer culture and make open-source, sustainable products the new normal. Over the course of 5 weeks we developed 12 sustainable lifestyle technologies and built an international community of innovators and supporters, that continues to grow.

The POC21 Documentary

FILM - Proof Of Concept: 100 Geeks, 5 Weeks, 1 Future

REPORT - The POC21 Innovation Camp

In 30 seconds. What is POC21 about?

POC21 was a 5-week innovation camp to build a new generation of sustainable products that are sexy like Apple and open like Linux.

  • WHY?

    Climate change, resource depletion. and the third industrial revolution
  • WHAT?

    Open source products and solutions for sustainable living
  • HOW?

    The Innovation Camp: a 5-week innovator's residency
  • WHO?

    100 participants = projects + mentors + supporters
  • WHEN?

    August 15th - September 20th 2015, then diffusion, exhibition and catalogue in fall 2015, up to the UN Climate Summit (COP21)
  • WHERE?

    A beautiful castle near Paris, a mobile exhibition and everywhere

The Vision (written in 2015)


Climate change and resource depletion represent a dire threat to our ecosystems, our societies and economies. Scientists say our civilization is nearing collapse, unless we operate a swift and radical transition toward a low-carbon and low-resource economy.

Next december, twenty thousand diplomats will converge toward Paris for COP21, the 21st U.N. climate summit, in what is announced as yet another very last chance to save us all. But over the last 20 summits of this kind, the worldwide CO2 emissions have in fact doubled.

Solutions have been studied and talked about exhaustingly, but our problem is not the knowledge about how to build a better world: it’s to make people feel and experience the “more beautiful world our hearts know is possible” (Charles Eisenstein).

So instead of a Conference Of Parties, we propose a Proof Of Concept: A proof of concept of the disruptive impact that collaborative production, open source and the maker movement can have on mainstreaming the means of sustainable living.


Many pioneers have already started to build the fossil-free, circular and collaborative society we need. They have developed open source products and solutions for renewable energy, tools for urban farming, low-energy and resource efficient housing, or even sophisticated electric vehicles.This new breed of open sustainable products shares the following attributes:

  • they share freely the information required to make them, improve them, and distribute them, allowing for maximum diffusion, replicability and adaptability to local needs
  • they are long-lasting, robust, modular, easy to repair, upgrade or dismantle, with less consumption of raw materials, to close the loop of material flows
  • they can be manufactured locally, with more sustainable supply chains
  • they foster behavioral change, from passive consumer to active architects of a truly sustainable lifestyle
  • they enable new economic models that share value fairly
  • Building this new product category now lies in the hands of citizen producers, in the post-industrial paradigm of distributed fabrication, also referred to as “the new industrial revolution” or “the zero marginal cost economy”. Open source blueprints are shared globally on the web, while the products are locally manufactured in Fab Labs and makerspaces that are popping up everywhere.

    We believe that such open sustainable products have the potential to scale into mainstreaming, and become the new normal: “sexy like Apple but open like Wikipedia”.


    Though organized in vibrant communities, these innovators building these products, haven’t had the momentum yet to unite and formulate their ideas into a compelling message ready for the mainstream.Our objective is to create a space and long-term process that will unite these pioneers and bring their efforts into a mainstream audience:

  • From nearly 200 applicants we are selecting the 12 most-promising open source productsin the areas of energy, housing, food, mobility, communications and circular economy
  • During a 5-week innovation camp this summer, we provide the 12 selected teams with the space, time, tools, resources, creative support and the best expertise from world-class mentors to bring their projects to the next level and prepare for massive reachout Overall,100+ makers, designers, engineers and social innovators will join forces during this unique process.
  • Together, we present the results as a holistic “demo exhibition” that will weave the 12 projects and their products into a an appealing, mainstream catalogue. Both will be showcased to the world this fall, ahead and during the U.N. conference on climate change in Paris (COP21).
  • All this is just a kick-off to build permanent spaces for open-sourcing sustainability, set-up a functioning marketplace to “buy, build or upgrade” the products and spread the outcomes to multiple stakeholders through the diversity of partners we've already won.

    The 12 Projects

    Below is the list of the 12 projects that made it to the POC21 innovation camp. Please click on the picture to get more information about the project team, their work during the camp, and the final prototype

    $30 Wind Turbine

    low-cost and easy-to-build recycling solution for individual energy harvesting


    kits for urban gardening

    Kitchen B

    modular kitchen reducing energy and waste


    pedal driven tractor as a fuel less alternative for big industrial machines


    reusable water filter for bottles


    energy saving kettle

    Open Energy Monitor

    tool for visualizing domestic energy consumption


    permaculture and aquaponics greenhouse


    solar concentrator to provide thermal energy


    real-time shower looping system minimizing water and energy usage


    modular and portable solar-powered generators to power remote areas

    Velo M2

    multi-functional cargo bike capsules

    Team, Mentors & Advisors

    To realize POC21 OuiShare and OpenState combined expertise in new economies, strategic design, open source and the maker movement, together with a track record in communications, workshop facilitation, and organizing large-scale events such as leading collaborative economy festivals, or the first innovation camp in Europe.

    To build the next generation of open sustainable products, a handpicked selection of high-profile mentors and talented supporters joined for a few hours to a few weeks. They supported the community with their multidisciplinary skillset ranging from product design to digital fabrication, permaculture, engineering, hacking and coding, organizational consulting or storytelling.

    We are still thankful to have a growing number of inspiring individuals from diverse backgrounds, supporting and endorsing our work.


    POC21 was a collaborative journey, and we are super proud to have had a strong network of partners at our side that supported us.

    Enabling Partners

    Technical Partners

    Academic Partners

    Community Partners

    About Us

    POC21 was a proof of concept for a sustainable tomorrow, enabled by a new breed of open, low-resource products that are “sexy like Apple, but open like Wikipedia”. It was made possible by the combined expertises and networks of OuiShare (Paris) and OpenState (Berlin).

    Open State

    builds the prototypes and new narratives of a truly sustainable lifestyle. In their former life as campaign consultants and designers, the team has gathered over 10 years of experience in social change communications for Amnesty International, WWF, Ben & Jerry’s, the German Green Party or Wikipedia.


    is a think-tank, do-tank and global community of pioneers building a collaborative and open source society. Founded in 2012 as a non-profit, OuiShare has 20 local chapters in Europe, Latin America and North Africa, and organizes OuiShare Fest: an annual conference uniting 1000 collaborative pioneers in Paris.


    During the camp a media team published video snippets and photos of the daily life in the camp. Check the media archive on Vimeo and Flickr.

    Get in touch