System Upcycling: Using the infrastructure of a broken system to build a better world.

One of the ideas which sprang from our discussions around the future of waste was that of “System Upcycling”.

System Upcyclers look at how existing infrastructures and technologies can be put to better use, they look to take the elements of our “legacy systems” which are broken, wasteful or social destructive and buy them up with the intention of putting them to use, serving society in a more constructive manner.

System Upcyclers use crowdfunding models to raise the required funds to buy up businesses for these purposes. Publicly Traded companies, will be bought up by the crowd and where socially detrimental they will be adapted to create social value.

What would happen if we start purchasing company shares under a preagreed aim, for example buying up weapons companies to apply their technologies and knowledge for Humane causes (crowdfunding, meets flash mobbing, meets swords into ploughshares)?

When the dot com bubble burst it left behind an infrastructure that changed the world, what other bubbles should we pop?

Think this sounds far fetched? We don’t have long to find out, if it’s plausible.

Kosta Grammatis has begun a campaign to buy a satellite from Terrastar which has just gone bankrupt and move it to bring the internet to those who can’t yet afford it.

Image taken from www.buythissattelite.org

1 thought on “System Upcycling: Using the infrastructure of a broken system to build a better world.”

  1. I love this idea. The only other alternative is to wipe the slate clean and start again, and this isn’t really an option for those of us promoting sustainability. The intelligent application of resources is what’s needed. I feel this post is a drop in the ocean to this meme of upcycling – I am looking forward to exploring its uncharted seas.


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