I have a fantasy...
Of a place for learning and doing and saving the world with a combination of high and low tech. It would be a place where the "maker philosophy" would be spread. Instead of focusing on how bad the world is, we'd focus on how to take the world into the next phase.
There would be a cycle of the year, with different sorts of classes throughout the year, led by people who are passionate about what they are doing. There would be workshops over weekends and longer term classes, for different subjects or different situations: after school programs for kids, late morning "drop-ins" for homeschooled teens and high school dropouts, once a week garage-geek-style project nights for the environmentally conscious and more...
It wouldn't be *just a* place for education, either. It would be a place where you could buy easy-to-build or easy-to-use things that would help you be more sustainable, too. There would also be some consulting to be done, eventually, to help people who want to make their homes, apartments, and homesteads more environmentally friendly and to find alternate ways to do the things that they are doing today.
Perhaps there would be a two key areas of focus: water conservation and reduction in the reliance on fossil fuels. That covers just about everything out there. I mean, how do you grow plants in your home to reduce food miles? How do you build bikes such that pedal power becomes a viable option for more than just 20-somethings in Tel Aviv? How do you build off-grid ovens? Off-grid washing machines? Off grid electric generators that don't rely on petroleum or any other "new fuel"? How can you use recycled parts to build new computers, new robots, new tools we haven't imagined yet? And how can you power them sustainably?
The store could carry things like my friend Itay's grey water kits, my dad's LED desk-light kits, and things like that, as well as one-off creations built in the workshop itself.
Wouldn't that be fun? Wouldn't it be cool to be involved in something like that?