Digital swadeshi and 3D printing intellectual property in India: The multi-level perspective, causal layered analysis and backcasting
3D printing is a disruptive technology that has potential to democratize manufacturing, in particular for economies of the global South such as India. In India, this transformation could create opportunities for self-sufficiency, thereby connecting it to the political and economic agenda of historical leader Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, as well as the contemporary call to ‘Make in India’. The precise mechanics of 3D printing is not nearly as important as the mechanics of the social, legal and economic infrastructures that would have to be in place to make this a democratizing move. Through a combination of established and progressive foresight techniques, this paper establishes links between the democratization movement witnessed in the spread of 3D printing and the social movements that underpinned India's Independence from Empire in the mid-twentieth century, namely, swadeshi.