Say I’m a person in the world, and I recognize a community need.
The first thing I must do is care. I need to love the recipient(s) of my efforts enough to embark on a journey of unknown length and difficulty. There is a barrier of compassion that stands between me and the ability to adequately understand the needs of the community well enough to manifest a good solution. I believe we can use technology to more deeply connect with one another and build the compassion necessary to translate and solve problems from within local communities.
Step two: I need the ability to make my solutions real. I need access to all the same tools and capabilities that the most advanced global problem solvers have. In my current area of employ, that means the ability to craft precision objects. But now, through the desktop manufacturing revolution, we have those capabilities. More machines are being developed every day which allow communities to create products of the same quality as the manufacturing industry. However, communities still do not have access to raw materials they can afford. Technologies need to be in place that level the playing field for small businesses that want to turn raw materials into precision goods.
Once I have compassion for innovation, the right tools for the job, and quality raw materials with competitive economies of scale, there remains only one barrier between me and my ability to solve the problems of my community: How do I operate this thing? I’m talking about software. We need the right machine interfaces and design software so that newly minted, community problem-solving superheroes can make reality from the solutions in their heads.
The fully empowered, barrier-less future is one I want to be a part of.
Danielle is a cofounder of Other Machine Co., a San Francisco-based company focused on joyful creation experiences. Danielle’s expertise integrates a strong background in science and technology, education, and entrepreneurship.
Armed with an advanced degree in chemical engineering and a software programming hobby, Danielle cofounded her first company in 2003 – a profitable boutique internet software as a service (SaaS) company that she still operates. Following her PhD at the University of Texas at Austin, Danielle went on to work on a DARPA-funded education project to develop digital design and CNC (computer numerically controlled) manufacturing tools for the classroom. When the DARPA funding for the project ended, Danielle then bootstrapped financing with her team to continue their work, eventually launching Other Machine Co. and focusing on removing the barriers to desktop CNC manufacturing.
Danielle grew up in the small town of Mena, AR and is the first college graduate of her family. As such, Danielle is particularly passionate about education -especially science and math for women and girls -, fostering work-based apprenticeship programs, and encouraging the development of businesses that provide relevant and meaningful mentorship for the future workforce in both urban and rural areas.
Danielle has a BS in chemical engineering from MIT and holds a PhD in materials science and engineering from the University of Texas, Austin. Several of Danielle’s battery materials have been patented and subsequently licensed. She is also the proud mother of an eight-year old son who absolutely can’t wait to have an apprenticeship at Other Machine Co.