Marcin Jakubowski, formerly a nuclear physicist, woke up one day and realized that he was "useless" to the world. The world gave him options, but ultimately he was a cog in the machine of consumer society.
So he set out to do something about it. He bought a farm with his partner and set out to create a sustainable community. What he quickly found was that with the expensive repairs for machinery and equipment that his community could not achieve independence without better controlling the means of production.
This caused Jakubowski to come up with the idea of the Global Village Construction Kit, a set of open source blueprints that should allow construction of 50 modern machines necessary to start a civilization at an average cost of 1/8 of commercial alternatives. To date his team has created 15 out of the 50 devices, including a tractor, brick press, bread oven, and more technological devices such as a computer-controlled torch table that can cut intricate patterns out of large steel sheets.
The project has obvious implications for both the developing world and entrepreneurs in developed countries. Even with the amount of success that the team has seen so far, this is a great step forward towards sustainability and reducing reliance on consumer channels.