There are people you meet who are special. That sounds a bit too obsequious even for me but I really don't mean it to. Bugger it. Scrap that. Replace the above with the following -
There are very few people you meet who might actually change the world.
Sebastian Cruft has worked in and around machines his entire life. He has invented a human powered car: The HUMO. Go to the website by all means to see why this is better than a conventional bike or the ill fated Sinclair C5. Much as I would love the HUMO to change the world, it is Sebastian's unique ideas on development that I think are far more wide reaching.
In the computing world there is the concept of open source software. The source code is freely available with a license affording anyone the rights to study, change, and distribute the software to anyone and for any purpose. Sebastian aims to replicate this on an engineering scale with the HUMO. His unique and previously patented designs and plans are now freely available online enabling anyone to build a HUMO specific to their own environment and local construction materials. The only proviso being that any advancements to the designs are freely shared back into the HUMO Community (he describes it far more eloquently than I ever could here).
Ok, the cynics amongst you will pipe up saying that there is nothing he can do to enforce this. That you are being stupid and just 'giving away' a great idea. But that is missing the point by about a million miles. No doubt if the HUMO properly takes off then people will take advantage of this for their own gain, but it is Sebastian's inherent belief in the goodness of human spirit that make him special and why he just might change the world. There is something of the ageing hippy in him and I like this. I like this a lot.
Sebastian has suffered from MS for many years and has been wheelchair bound for a number of these. The irony of inventing a human powered car he can never use is not lost on him. Maybe he should rail against this, the unfairness, the inequalities, but I never get a sense of this when I meet him (though his ever patient and lovely wife Sue may well contradict me).
When you shake his hand you get a sense that he is looking for the good in you and it is this and only this that matters. There is something quite humbling being around him and his passion not just for his invention but also the interests and desires of others is infectious and uplifting. If he believes that this co-operative engineering is the way forward for the HUMO then I would be an absolute fool of the first order to disagree.