Our mission is to build abundance

Throughout human history, our story has unfolded through a lens of resources. They have enabled our survival, powered our progress and made possible the vast amenities of our modern society. Conversely, the scarcities of resources have impoverished billions of people. Campaigns for their acquisition have fueled conquests and conflicts that rank among our darkest days. Their limitations have dominated our economies, led to the vast destruction of our natural environment and devoured the potential of countless lives.

Of the grand struggles humanity has faced past or present, their aggregate sum is divisible by resource scarcity as a singular factor.

Scarcity Zero is a project of the Next Giant Leap Foundation that is dedicated to solving this malady of resource scarcity, along with the environmental damage, climate change and social strife it causes. We intend to accomplish this goal by developing and promoting open-source frameworks, systems and solutions that can both generate energy and produce resources on a massive scale - cleanly, sustainably and inexpensively.

This mission is made possible not by triumphs of ideology, but rather of technology that when combined with strategic system design can upgrade the foundations of our social infrastructure.

In fact, the tools that make this possible already exist today.

Our ascent to the information age has enabled breakthroughs from smartphones to supercomputers - but it’s also drastically increased our capabilities to mass-manufacture highly sophisticated systems at ever-lower costs. Today, we can build a car in less than 24 hours, or a jetliner in as many days - each as iterations of identical product models.

This capability reflects a degree of performance, operational precision, processing power and communication capacity that would have been unthinkable for the past 99.99% of human history. Yet while these newfound capabilities have revolutionized our world in ways large and small, they have had only minimal impact on our approach to generating energy and producing resources.

Our national electric grid is powered today by more than 8,000 individual power plants that were designed as unique systems. They maintain little cooperation in function and reflect even less modularity, standardization or scalability in design. This is a stark departure from most machines that are mass-manufactured identically with standardized, interchangeable components. Instead, our 8,000 power plants were designed 8,000 different ways and built with 8,000 different combinations of materials – largely by hand - over a period of years if not decades.

  • Vogtle Plant Construction: Year One

    vogtle nuclear plant construction timeline

  • Vogtle Plant Construction: Year Four

    vogtle nuclear plant construction timeline

  • Vogtle Plant Construction: Year Eight

    Vogtle nuclear plant construction timeline

The consequences of this practice drastically increase the time, cost and waste of building systems that generate energy. It hinders our ability to harness waste heat for other applications – a missed opportunity on a massive scale - for even the most efficient power systems lose close to half their generated energy to waste heat. And at an average age of 45 years, our aging power plants and accompanying transmission infrastructure burden society with an antiquated and failure-prone electric grid that makes us vulnerable to natural disasters and cyberattacks – and further makes maintenance and upgrades progressively more expensive.

We see things through a different lens. We envision power generation as a cooperative, open-source ecosystem on a nationwide and even global scale, with each element mass-manufactured under a combined mindset of modularity, standardization, scalability and interoperability. This means that energy technologies are designed to interconnect and work together as a team - leveraging the waste energy of one system to power the functions of others. It also means power and resource infrastructure is designed from the ground-up to deploy and scale rapidly.

  • Cogeneration facility with modular power and resource systems

  • Standardized Energy + Resource System Modules:

    Cogeneration facility with modular power and resource systems

  • Cogeneration facility with modular power and resource systems

This approach can exponentially increase the energy available to society while dramatically reducing its cost to both generate and store, allowing us to inexpensively produce our most vital resources to effectively infinite scales. We can desalinate seawater on a nigh-unlimited scale. We can grow enough food within urban vertical farms to end the concept of famine as we know it. We can synthesize biofuels to produce sophisticated polymers for advanced manufacturing. We can cleanly dispose of waste through gasification, and recycle materials far more economically within a circular economy.

From there, we can clean our environment, scrub greenhouse gasses from our atmosphere, and expand the scale and sophistication of what we can build and how we live, raising the floor for all of humanity to a subsequently higher tier.

  • Modular Energy + Resource Systems at Scale:

    Combined heat and power graphic two

  • Modular Recycling + Agriculture at Scale:

    Combined heat and power graphic three

We believe in a world where a power and resource systems can be manufactured like toasters, installed like a lightbulbs and swapped like a batteries.

Not over years, or decades. Over days - if not hours

We have the technology at our fingertips to build systems of abundance that can advance our society and greater civilization beyond the bounds of scarcity. With them, we can reset our relationship with our natural world to a point where we are a partner instead of a burden, and we can build a new model for our economies to grow and for our societies to thrive. The world these technologies and systems can build is the only future we believe to be worthy of working towards. It is our mission as an organization to see that future achieved - either by finding a way, or building one.

We invite you to review our frameworks, read our whitepaper or donate to our organization to help us achieve our goals. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, everything we do is open-source, meaning it is free to read, use, cite or broadcast. If there’s anything else you’d like to know, please get in touch.