Eric James: Local production for local solutions
Eric James has been working in the aid sector for close to 25 years – enough time to still be passionate, but also to become frustrated by going to places where the most basic materials that could save lives were unavailable. He conceived of Field Ready 10 years ago to help address these seemingly small, but consequential gaps. His work, he says, goes beyond talking about helping build resilience by identifying what people need and then making sure they have the capacity to produce the thing they need. Since then, Field Ready has supported local production of everything from medical device repairs, to up-cycled plastic insulation for shelters, to locally mass-produced buckets and latrine slabs, to a robotic firefighter. One of their aims, he says, is to show that essential and urgently needed items can be made locally, quickly, inexpensively, and to meet quality standards. To him, this is what localisation is all about.