Public Invention, volunteer inventors challenging the notion that inventions should be reserved for patents and profits.Stefanie Lebens
One group of all-volunteer inventors has been producing designs for inventions and machines free of charge and free of intellectual property constraints that help humanity all over the world.
Public Invention is a group made up of more than 55 all-volunteer inventors across the USA and the world. Their goal is to help all people through invention while challenging the notion that inventions should be reserved for patents and profits. Instead, these volunteers invite fellow builders of the future to use their skills for humanitarian purposes. Those involved with Public Inventions want to make the future better for everyone. To do this they remove legal barriers to enable the free use of their inventions. All work done with Public Invention is free and open to all under share-alike public licenses.
These inventors work without compensation and donate their designs to the public domain. Many of the volunteers start as students at the University of Texas, Austin Community College, and Rice University. And then become mentoring engineers for other students at the beginning of their careers. These volunteers have given thousands of volunteer hours over the last five years.
Public Invention has 79 invention projects either in progress or completed. Since the pandemic, Public Invention as a group has developed the PolyVent Human Ventilator as a classroom and research tool that is the most open and transparent ventilator design in the world. They have published designs for and even given away 20 VentMons, a spirometer designed to test and repair ventilators.
Recently, they raised $37,000 as a fiscal sponsor for making open-source injection molded tourniquets for Ukraine.
Public Invention is like other organizations that focus on engineering for the good of humanity worldwide, whether operating at the local community level or globally, but Public Invention is one of the few organizations that is not connected or bound to a university. They aim to be inclusive and accepting of anyone wanting to use their engineering or inventive skills for the betterment of everyone, rather than using exclusivity to garner reputation and prestige.
RecognizeGood met with Public Inventions Founder and Head Coach Robert L. Read, Ph.D., to present him with a certificate, a $1,000 donation, and complimentary seats to our 2024 Ethics in Business Awards luncheon. Following our in-person meeting we joined the rest of this selfless group via a Zoom meeting where we said Thank you to members from all over the world. It was amazing to see the dedication of these volunteers!
If you would like to join Public Invention, volunteering is a great way to get involved, meet new people, and impulse humanitarian engineering. Candidates should be passionate about humanitarian service and be able to dedicate 6 hours per week to supporting the efforts of Public Invention.