The French network FabMob is a forward-thinking initiative, aiming to become the “European Accelerant for Mobility Ecosystems”. Just like our Open Source Lab, FabMob strives to scale innovation through networking with partners and stakeholders from different domains. They also invite projects and feedback from experiences to be collected and shared among the FabMob community as resources. I am especially taken with their description of why it is necessary to implement networks and communities working on opening the mobility ecosystems:
- Mobility is not the early web. Hundred of millions of people all over Europe already commute, travel and get deliveries every day.
- Regulations, energy distribution and centuries-old infrastructure create much more friction to innovation. Lone innovation programs won’t scale dealing with just a dozen entrepreneurs at a time.
- Startups are not a silver bullet either. Incumbents, regions, cities and lawmakers are key. Software is not eating mobility, digital culture is.
Currently, they are establishing a FabMob ecosystem in Africa. Plassat says: “FabMob can be replicated almost anywhere. We can help to create a FabMob: network, tools, open resource database, … FabMob is open source and a neutral stakeholder.” In 2016 FabMob has published a guide on Open Source & Mobility highlighting how they work and what principles they follow. We have definitely put it into our lab library and hope you will do too!