An edited Spanish version is now online of Adrian Smith’s blog about the Lucas Plan and movement for socially useful production originally posted in English on the Guardian newspaper site. Adrian will be talking about this grassroots trades union initiative from the 1970s at a meeting of the Network of Engineering, Social Justice and Peace at Hotel Bauen in Buenos Aires on Sunday 17th August. He will also be presenting this historical research to the ESOCITE/4S conference also in Buenos Aires later the following week, and at the EASST conference in Poland in September. Hotel Bauen is an appropriate venue, since it was recuperated by workers after the crisis in Argentina in 2001, and continues as a worker-controlled enterprise.
The movement for socially useful production in the UK pioneered arguments and practice for participatory design and the democratisation of technology. This included setting up a series of community-based prototyping and product development workshops that anticipate FabLabs today. You can read more about this history here.