The Post Growth Challenge — Outcomes

by Donnie Maclurcan

We recently ran our first Post Growth Challenge: offering US$100, free consultancy and promotional support for an idea our team judged as most likely to help advance the world(view) beyond economic growth.

What a fascinating range of ideas emerged! From Paul Greathead’s ‘off-the shelf domestic solar’; to Nicky Guy’s suggested distribution of seeds to create food banks; Alex Barker’sartist’s community ‘Ramp Up’; Katharine Stavrinous’ low carbon local fashion cooperative ‘ denne lille jord’ (this little earth); Arianne Stam’s idea to support ‘give away shops’ in Holland; Simon JM’s proposed energy, resource and finance co-operative; Andrew Mount’s stewardship-oriented association: The Chamber of Commons; and Rob Dietz’s idea to deliver his book ‘Enough is Enough’ to a selected set of young and upcoming U.S. Congressional Representatives and follow up by email and phone.

Please do get in touch with these changemakers using the links above if you want to support their work further.

And so, to the selected entrant: we’ve awarded $100, support and promotion to Correy Allen Kowall and his ‘self replication and ubiquitous resources’ project. Correy is designing a low-cost, accessible manufacturing process by creating a con-focal planar Fresnel lens using a manufactured original lens, recycled polylactide, and a bed of plaster or clay. He’ll push an original lens into a mold and then use that same lens to focus sunlight onto a crucible filled with recycled low temperature transparent polymer (milk jugs) which can then be poured into the mold. In plain language: he’s using an existing lens and renewable resources to create another lens that can focus light and be used as the basis for manufacturing. Correy goes on to explain:

This process has been selected because it constitutes the first step in any number of more elaborate processes that result in the production of useful goods or energy. A nearly identical process can be jump started using the first process but instead use sand to produce a glass Fresnel lens which can span a greater distance and consequently can generate more heat for casting objects, including similar glass lenses. The armatures that hold such a lens can be manufactured using the same technique simply by impressing them into a mold bed and heating and melting materials into the cavities left behind.

Ultimately, Correy hopes to develop a cast-able centrifuge, sieves to sort sands, and eventually a cowling and magnetic apparatus that can use mass-charge separation in conjunction with sunlight to crack hydrogen and oxygen from water. And that’s all before lunch time, of course 😉

We’ve also decided to provide a runners-up prize of $25, support and promotion for Chris Baulman’s plan to create a free and intuitive template for collaborative cooperative processes.

Thanks to everyone who participated or spread the word. For general help with establishing world-changing projects you may want to check-out: Idealist (USA); IdeaEncore (USA); SI Consulting (Australia); the Unreasonable Institute (Global); or the Awesome Foundation (global).

Image Credits:
By Almazi (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
By Rotor DB at en.wikipedia [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons

Originally published in March 2013. To Find out more about the Post Growth Institute, visit our website.




Guiding the way to a full circle, #postgrowth economy beyond capitalism.

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Post Growth Institute

Post Growth Institute

Writing by team-members, guest contributors, and Fellows of the Post Growth Institute (PGI).