The basic problem
Fleche was created as a reaction against an ever-accelerating destruction of the ecosystem by the human race. Our engineering and technical background led us to approach this problem from an industrial point of view.
Nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is transformed
This 200 years old catchphrase from Lavoisier still perfectly describe our generation’s challenges. Each object that you buy costed materials and energy to make. The manufacturing process also rejected byproducts that need to be used somehow. Giant industrial groups work very hard to hide these facts to the general public, as a way to justify the focus on perpetual growth.
Our energy sources are mostly non-renewable, such as oil, coal, and uranium. Most construction materials are based on non-renewable sources as well: oIl, sands, metal ore, rare-earths like Lithium and Neodymium.
Without a shift in the way we do things, all these resources might dry up.
Our projects are defined and managed according to our guiding principles, which will be defined below. For now, these are more utopia than reality, but it’s nonetheless the direction we should steer towards.
Principle 1: We are our ecosystem
Global collapse is upon us. Ins as short as two centuries, we managed to destroy the ecosystem that bore us for millions of years. The culprits: us all, rich westerners from “industrialized countries”. The model we developed and forced upon the world, based of consumption, pushed industrials to produce and commercials to sell, without raising any doubts about the sustainability of it all. For our own comfort and material possessions, we kept extracting resources without regard for the consequences.
Apart for the purely practical problem of dried up ressources, our faulty behavior and the waste products from our industries are responsible for the necrosis of the flora and fauna.
Survival of the human species is unimaginable without the complex biosphere surrounding us.
Hence, it is our responsibility to support environmental efforts as a top priority and to refuse to abuse a world that future generations won’t have a chance to experience.
Towards this goal, we think that each product should come with long term support, up to its end-of-life, including long-term warranties and free recycling. Real marketplaces for used products must be supported and considered a real alternative to more production. Repairability should be a strong consideration while developing products. Whenever possible, local production is always better, socially and environmentally. Finally, setting up a new project should always be a matter of fulfilling a need. Profit should come as a result of, not as a justification for the project.
Principle 2: Machines for Humans
Machines and humans have been codependents from the start. They are an extension of ourselves, a testament of our intelligence and of our comprehension of the world around us. Today, they are such a fundamental part of our everyday lives that sometimes, boundaries between machines and us can be blurred. Your architect, your banker, your driver, are they humans?
Now, with advances in machine learning, they way machines act isn’t only what has been programmed by humans. They learn from their environment and their experience, autonomously. We won’t delve in the theory of machines taking control of the human race here.
In fact, we believe it’s already the case. Is your smartphone working for you, or the opposite?
Some will think of it as a menace, we think it’s an opportunity. Human skills are different from artificial ones, so the goal is to make out which is which. This way, humans and machines can both be used where they’re the best. For example, consciousness, creativity, critical thinking are intrinsically human qualities. On the other hand, things like speed, precision, dependability are better suited for modern machines.
Hence, each product we create should carry an educational dimension, for the user to develop their knowledge and skills while using the product. Entertainment should help with self improvement as often as possible. Employees must have enough rest days and sufficient free time, in order to develop their creativity and transmit knowledge they acquired.
The name of the game is ongoing technological improvement, backed up with personal and social well-being for all.
Principle 3: Strength in differences
If we managed to create and sustain such amazing civilisations , it isn’t only because we’re smart and plentiful, but because we’re all different. Our world can be seen as a huge simulation where each individual represents a unique solution. Each solution has a special ability to solve some problems. Together, we adapt to any and all situation because we are billions populating our world, all intelligent and connected. Each of us is a potential solution. More so, each of us can be part of the global solution.
Because of that, nobody should be left behind. As a species, we are successful because some of us succeeded in what they tried, and some of us failed. Success and failure are intrinsically inseparable. Hence, no difference should be made between individuals because of their social class, or any other social distinction. Each person must be compensated fairly and equally, depending on time worked. Hiring should target the underprivileged, helping social rehabilitation in the process. Variable hierarchy should be implemented. This way, each employee can contribute according to their skills and knowledge, depending on each individual project.
To allow global access to technology, each product should be sold as inexpensive as it can be. This means that the retail price should be as close as possible to its real cost (manufacturing, maintenance, recycling, etc).
Hence, our enterprise will not generate any profit. WE refuse that anyone can receive compensation without active participation in the process, such as dividends. Any profits means either that products are sold for too much, or that employees aren’t compensated enough.