Back to the F**kture: PCH Innovations Return

type - podcast
In the next episode of season two of our Back to the F**kture podcast, Adrien Hobt and Dev Mishra from the PCH Innovations studio return to discuss the power and spirituality of science and technology in tackling issues of the climate crisis, wellbeing and diversity and inclusion.

Two years on from COVID and I’m passing the London NikeTown store on the junction of Oxford street and Regent’s Street. The cab is moving at a Joe Biden crawl, but this is London afterall, so no surprises there. My driver however isn’t watching the road ahead (okay, no surprises there either), but instead is doing a corkscrew turn of his head towards the shimmering, pulsing Niketown window.

Here, a multiscreen display is showing us Meccano-like robot arm, whizzing through its paces as it checks, preens, repairs and polishes old Nike sneakers so that they can stay out of landfill and keep retail-weary customers like my cabbie on his toes, if encouraging him to prang the rear bumper of the car in front. Worth it, we all decide, when no damage is detected, but the angle poise pirouettes of the robot continues to draw our gaze.

Turns out our artificially intelligent chap’s name is BILL, short for Bot Initiated Longevity Lab, and that BILL is the mechanised lovechild of Adrien Hobt, Dev Mishra, and the burgeoning engineering team at PCH-Innovations. He’s also a growing part of Europe’s burgeoning right to repair movement that the cost-of-living crisis and the on-going climate catastrophe has ushered in.

You may recall them from a podcast I did at the beginning of lockdown about their newly launched Changing Matter, a catalogue of science based curiosities, tools, approaches and whole system solutions that happily strayed off into more esoteric, magical and psychical cogitations which at the time, science enthusiast that I am, I was more than sniffy about!

Published by:

29 November 2022

Author: Martin Raymond and PCH Innovations



Left: Dev Mishra, Sustainability Engineer + Innovation Strategist at PCH Innovations. Right: Adrien Hobt, partner and project director at PCH Innovations.

Now, post-COVID, as I check back with Adrien and Dev, I’m not so sure. Ideas and words that the catalogue referenced such as ‘consciousness’, ‘interbeing’, ‘collectivism’, ‘circularity’, ‘degrowth’, and of course, diversity and inclusivity etc, are now standard parts of the universal discourse, while their determination to couple tech with nature, nature with spirit, and innovation with more psycho-therapeutic connections – consider the growing role of LSD as an accelerant for creativity – are likewise part of wider consilience movement across the arts and sciences where we no longer talk about right and left brain challenges, but refer instead to whole-system solutions. As Dev sees it,’ ‘it’s all about a rising awareness of interconnectedness. Of developing competencies around vision, adaption, and inspiration.’

This then is how our Back to The Fucture tri-alogue begins: all about BILL and the journey he creates around circularity and the right to repair, but onwards and via many zegways into how and why we need to redefine what we understand manufacturing to be; what ‘value’ means; how capitalism is failing, what are the alternatives and why we should embrace the metrics and possibilities of kindness, curiosity, and the transformative power of technology – and all in the same sentence! These guys are nothing less than geniuses of the mind, body, soul and psychic points beyond!

Powerful stuff, magical stuff, the stuff, as Adrien and Dev both remind me, that isn’t just the stuff of dreams, but of how we transform matter, and those things that matter to us. ‘The future isn’t about corporations, industry and communities working in opposition, its about seeing them as part of the same system, and about them taking part in the same journey, so that the learning is shared, and the solutions beneficial to all.’

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