Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Update from 2 Centers of Innovation Wales and Amsterdam

LM fans,

I have just come out of the innovation conference in the woods of West Wales and I am at my brothers on the way to PICNIC 10 in Amsterdam.

The past 5 days have been an amazing experience and the next 5 will prove to be even more. (...that is if you don't mind losing your luggage over the Atlantic for 5 days "whilst you live in the woods" :))

Seriously.

DO Lectures is the name of the event (http://www.dolectures.com/) and it brought together a group of speakers from across the world all focused on innovation, sustainability, and change. I have spoken at a number of lecture series, but this is really the one with the most impact and desire to make Change right now. I expect that comes from the efforts of Founders David Heiatt and Andy Middleton.

Some would think that cars have little to do with the conversation about sustainability and change, but we know differently and it was my job to convey this to the delegates (100 of them) and the other speakers (30 or so).

In short I believe that Local Motors was one of the top standouts in the woods. Of course, there was much head scratching as to why/whether the Rally Fighter was a good vehicle to start with, but even such a removed and distant crowd from the desert understood the implication of what we have achieved. This redoubles my commitment to choosing the most relevant and desired car in our next go around.

So much to debrief.

But AWESOME questions feedback and enthusiasm from the audience. I met at least 5 people who wanted to come build cars with their family or parents or kids, and I signed several young family members T-shirts who had been following LM for the past year. So Cool when you think that this is 1/2 way around the world, but our message sings through so clearly!

They want us to open a MF in Wales and the minister of Environment came especially to meet me to discuss this future possibility. As a result, yesterday morning I found myself in the office of Dr. Peter Wells at Cardiff Univ. who wrote the seminal papers on micro-manufacturing. I had read them 2 years ago, and was awestruck to be in his office. He knew us SO WELL and is going to be an advisor for the Company.

Wales, like Portland OR, Austin TX, and Phoenix AZ is a progressive region which has an intelligent and informed community that is desirous of good design and change and has a political climate to allow it to happen. Of course, we have our work cut out for us in Phoenix and cannot jump to another new city now, but this enthusiasm is building a serious case and support for Local Motors.

More to follow, but LM (as you know) has a HUGE and growing following.

Today I am in Amsterdam at PICNIC 10 and have already met two of the founders of Etsy (http://www.etsy.com/) and we shared notes about our experiences and I am blown away. Did you know they have 800MM page views per month??!!@#$%& So cool. I know that there were many that did not think that Making things and Making a network about it would amount to anything near the volume of digital sharing, but Voila!

Keep up the great work team, fans and fellow innovators, your efforts are really being watched around the world, and so many people are counting on all of our success.

I am so proud of you all and our special little car community that will change the world.

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