May 21, 2014
Back in March, we held a Tech Cocktail Sessions DC event at the temporary GE Garage in downtown Washington, DC. At the event, we got the chance to talk with Justin Fishkin, the Chief Strategy Officer of Local Motors, and Stephen J. Liguori, General Electric’s Executive Director for Global Innovation & New Models. The video below features Fishkin’s portion of that chat, wherein he gives the audience a better understanding of what Local Motors is, as well as talks about society’s move toward a third Industrial Revolution.
Local Motors provides the innovators with the tools to co-create new hardware solutions and bring them to market through high-efficiency, local micro-manufacturing. While the company has been focused on creating vehicles that are more localized (pooling together a community’s talents, needs, and resources), Local Motors has gradually moved into different verticals, utilizing the same collaborative efforts of the community. In the video below, Fishkin touches upon this localization of vehicles in the future, and his “Island Power” theory which claims that localities can utilize the resources from their communities, whether that’s human capital or local sources of alternative fuel.
More remarkable, though, is Fishkin’s declaration that we have moved into this Third Industrial Revolution. And, according to him, much of this movement is focused on and attributed to the ability of “machines that make” (from small 3D printers to large manufacturing machines) to communicate using data around the world. In the past, he notes that people had to go through apprenticeships to learn about a particular thing in order to make it for themselves; today, we all have easy access to digital data, which you can then transmit to, say, a printer in Tokyo to have the idea for your thing take on physical form. He also noted that while the Second Industrial Revolution required the use of huge production lines and scale in order for companies of the past to create something, the digital capabilities of today are enabling companies like GE to easily create one thing for one person without that kind of investment.
A third of the way into the video, Liguori chimes in and the two continue to talk about this merging of the digital and physical worlds. Fishkin also talks Local Motors’s relationship with automakers, 3D-printed cars, entrepreneurship support on the East Coast versus the West Coast, and FirstBuild, the joint initiative with GE aimed at reinventing American manufacturing. Watch the video below:
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