Creating global prosperity without economic growth


The Post Growth Challenge – Outcomes

by Donnie Maclurcan on 11th March 2013

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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’s artist’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.

model showing a magnifying Fresnel lens commercialized in the 1980s as a device to place before small TV screens to make the objects they display appear bigger

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

This post was written by

avatar Donnie is a co-founder of the Post Growth Institute and an Affiliate Professor of Social Science at Southern Oregon University. He is presently writing two books: How on Earth: Our future is not for profit and The Not-for-Profit Handbook.

Donnie has written 24 posts on Post Growth Institute. Contact Donnie

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avatar Chris Baulman March 11, 2013 at 22:22

Hi Donnie

Fair dinkum?? I’ve never won ANYTHING in my life!! Not even a chook raffle! – and I’m 63 now.

I’m really chuffed!

I can’t think of a better way to start than to win a chance for support & promotion from people who want to “promote global prosperity without economic growth”… AND $25 is sweet too!

The platform I’ve been working on is up and we three (my long term associate and a computer student who has done programming) are ironing out some bugs before our next step along the way of “promotion”. We want to keep our outreach contained initially so as we can trial and refine it without annoying or alienating people who might want to use it. We don’t want to damage its reception by being premature or impatient.

I THINK our next step before promotion would be to make the platform cleaner to see and use (artwork/design) without changing any of its functions or wording which we have very carefully sculpted to uphold our values etc. .

Can you give me an idea of what types support might be available so we could make best use of that precious hour?

Chris Baulman

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