A year ago Dave Hakkens started his series of monthly video updates. He introduced the first one as ‘super rough, unpolished and quickly made. So if you look for a pretty video, skip this one and watch something else.’ A better encouragement to continue watching is hard to think of. The monthly messages are proof of Hakkens’ mastery in moving communities.

‘It takes an army to tackle global problems’, the heading on Dave Hakkens’ community platform reads. The initiative brings together enthusiasts around the world who support and contribute to Hakkens’ Precious Plastic and Phonebloks projects. Especially the Precious Plastic community of DIY plastic recyclers is growing fast with 40,000 members on practically all continents.

Last week, Hakkens published the 13th edition of his monthly video messages (see above), this time with news from Santiago in Chile. Luckily, Hakkens’ style of filming is still pretty rough and unpolished. But meanwhile, his videos are well thought out and cleverly edited. Hakkens is a great story teller who found a way to translate his DIY mentality into an attractive visual style. No wonder his YouTube video channel already has 135,000 subscribers.

Community map

Hakkens launched his video updates coinciding with a redesign of the community platform, which now allows members to post their own news. A new feature was also the community map, that shows all Precious Plastic projects in the world. The map brings together people who want to start collaborating to recycle plastic.

At the same time, Hakkens introduced his own page on Patreon.com through which supporters can fund the designer with monthly donations. ‘Probably the closest I’ve been to a monthly salary’, he said in his first monthly message. Currently 292 supporters secure a monthly income of $1,854. The goal is however to reach $2,500 so that Hakkens can recruit a second person to help him out and grow the platform further.

The success of Precious Plastic so far is based on a combination of a great idea, an open source model, a smart approach to community building and Hakkens’ characteristic casual and witty style of communicating. We’re pretty sure he will appreciate this comment on his latest video: ‘Keep going man! In Dave we trust!’

Dave Hakkens will elaborate on Precious Plastic and the community that has grown around it at WDCD Live Amsterdam on 24 & 25 May. Not to be missed!