I would like to share today’s letter to our True Fans with the greater world. It provides the latest insights on the Factor e Farm experiment.
Dear True Fans and Supporters,
First of all, thank you all for your unwavering support. You have all demonstrated commitment to our work by putting your money and your time into moving us forward. Your support is essential to a baseline level of funding for our work at Factor e Farm.
I’d like to announce a conference call for this Friday, 11 AM GMT -6 (Chicago and Kansas City – USA time). If you’d like to participate, please refer to the conference call procedure and policy – http://opensourceecology.org/wiki/Conference_Call_Policy . This will be a weekly call, and it is our second to date.
The topics are several, focusing around the exciting prospects of perhaps the most important day of Factor e Farm to date on Nov, 1, 2009 – product release of the modular, high performance, open source CEB Press – The Liberator. Here are the items for discussion.
Initial product release – a Beta Version 1.0 – will include a manual machine, with a large, tractor-loaded hopper and grate, that can produce between 5-7 bricks per minute. The power source is external and modular, and so it the Arduino-based controller for automatic control. Both are not included in the initial release, but will be offered as modules in further releases. Product Release means formulating the hardware license, and associated enterprise, PR, and marketing strategies. This also provides a chance to refine OSE Specifications – for branding our products in a groundbreaking way. We are prividing thought leadership and practice on the creation of post-scarcity economics.
Right now, we’re busy doing last minute testing and integration before product release. We are also testing the automatic controls. We are lagging badly on documentation video – simply because there is not the time.
The discussion in the conference call will center on development acceleration of the entire Global Village Construction Set. Personally, the more insight I gain into the technologies involved as the days go by – the more confident I become that it will work. The question is not whether it will work, but how fast we could get there.
It is likely that we will gain much publicity as a result of product release. It’s a chance to raise our True Fans base and level of support. This is not to mention that we will be offering a product for sale – such that we can finally start bootsrapping our efforts with real production. Basically, The Liberator costs $2500 in parts, so there is a significant value of $2000 or more that we can capture on labor per machine, if we’re selling finished product. Thiis allows us to produce a machine that is still 7 times less money than the closest proprietary competitor. We are developing our fabrication capacity right now, so we could produce between 1 and 4 machines per week if we have orders. The level of production depends on our priorities and available orders.
This leads to the needs for accelerated development. I’m open to ideas. My suggestions focus on 2 avenues: (1), enhance our nonprofit sector operation, and (2), invite investors who actually buy in to a lifetime lease of a half acre on the Factor e Farm post-scarcity village experiment. Plus, there’s a third item in terms of long-term planning, for which it is not too early to start. We intend for all land holdings of OSE operations to become part of a world heritage site. To this end, we intend to place all land holdings into a proper legal status (whether it will be a trust, NGO, private contract entity, statutory entity, formed by treaty, etc) that can uphold permanent preservation and improvement, according to the OSE mission of post-scarcity creation. For this to happen, we need qualified trustees that can uphold the vision. I won’t mention much more about this at this time – other than inviting potential trustees to contact me, if you are interested in filling the trustee role. At that point, we can start building a relationship, and discuss the program of action.
Here’s an explanation of the first 2 points of the above paragraph:
1. Utilize the nonprofit sector. Currently, a collaborator in Kansas City is in the process of setting up a 501(c)3 nonprofit branch of OSE Missouri. We’ve been told a number of times that there is low-hanging fruit there in terms of tax-deductible contributions, matching gifts, etc. This goes against our post-scarcity world pholosophy, as we don’t see much role for government welfare in future generations. However, I’m willing to do anything that it takes to take this potentially world-changing movement to fruition. This requires the time and effort to manage the nonprofit operations, solicit donations, and perform education duties. We also invite other branches in other States, both in the USA and abroad. We think that we could find a new level of support, and it could be a way to get the word out there. There are strings attached to being in the nonprofit sector, that’s why we need others to get involved. It simply takes time to organize properly. At the same time, setting up such operations is a perfect idea for remote collaboration with FeF.
2. For the investors, I propose the following. I think we’re just about ready to deploy a prototype village. The constraints are many – chief of which is the availability of technology. However, it can be said safely that we can offer a ‘buy-out at the bottom’ package of sustainable living, where we provide the land and access to tools and techniques, which also evolve as new components of the GVCS are opensourced. I propose inviting 12 investors at $10k for a lifetime lease of 1/2 acre here each. They are ‘guinea pigs’ for testing if our post-scarcity village works. We’ve got tractors, CEB presses, and will have pelletization, steam engine, sawmill (all open source) – just to name a few key technologies – so this covers food, energy, housing, transportantion, fuel. We’re claiming – “You invest, we provide you with a life support system that becomes usable as soon as each tech is developed. Your investment is funding the development via buy-in. Otherwise, no strings attached, but the land returns to a trust for all future generations.”
So there will be the investor team, and research team. The latter is aimed at creating a world-class research center for post scarcity economics via open source tech development. So we are a lab and test site in one. The research team would be responsible for providing all the infrastructure for the investors – such that food, fuel, energy, housing, and other needs are produced at post-scarcity levels. This would allow for all involved to benefit. The investors fund the development, they reap the reward of access to developments.
The research team includes those people who do action research. They are the implementers of the research being done.
There are significant challenges. Infrastructure and management are key. I’d like to remain as the vision integrator, doing hands-on research and development work. I need the following coworkers and support team:
1. A technical manager for keeping research on track
2. Technical writer/journallist/documentor – high level technical writing and video documentation
3. Buildder/general contractor/carpenter/equipment operator – for building infrastructure
4. Farm manager/food provider/agroecologist/animal husbandry/forester – for maintaining and developing useful genetic diversity for food, fuel, fiber, and other natural resources
5. Cook and food processor – for an integrated, 100% year round diet
I the above village ecology, technologist provide equipment from windmills, tractors, and honey extractors, to automation technologies for fabrication. Others in the community have access to them. The goal of the technical people is to design a human interface usable by a person with a high school education. The goal is a post scarcity economy. The interesting part is that we can do it now. We’ve already laid out some of the basic foundations for feasibility and implementation – at the same time as experts were busy publishing papers on why the above is impossible.
Right now, we have inadequate or nonexistent staffing on all of the above five items. The above would address moving FeF to accelerated development, and it would address shortcomings seen to date. That’s the basic design. It’s all up for discussion. The devil’s in the details.
Basically, we have a choice to create a world that we want to live in.
So that’s some of the latest issues. Regarding explaining our work to others, please consider the links after the signature as some basic material that may be offered, from our prior work.
1. OSE TV interview – http://blog.opensourceecology.org/?p=988
2. Linz Counterculture Fair in Austria – presentation – http://opensourceecology.org/wiki/Linz_Slides . Also, video of my presentation on the Global Village Construction Set from the Oekonux 4 Conference – http://blog.opensourceecology.org/?p=611
3. Latest on technology built – and How to Build a Post-Scarcity Village – http://blog.opensourceecology.org/?p=1071
4. High level discussion (forthcoming Free Society Conference in Sweden) on the creation of post-scarcity economics, with our first product release as a case in point – http://blog.opensourceecology.org/?p=1162
5. Long term view of milestones – http://blog.opensourceecology.org/?p=1121
Minutes from conference call of OCt. 23 – 11:00 AM GMT -6 discussion. Next conference call: in one week, same time – will follow up on today’s discussion, and open discussion on other Development Acceleration questions. RSPV according to the instructions in above blog post if you are interested in participating.
Oct. 23 Minutes:
Neil Kiernan: Went on Peter Josephâ€™s (founder of Zeitgeist Movement) show. Will try to get us on Peter Josephâ€™s show directly, which has a large international following. Will try to get us to meet with founders of Venus Project. Will consider getting us on Big Ideas for a Small Planet. Will promote our entry onto TED Talks or Fellows.
Markus Dixon: in the process of setting up 501(c)3, for education â€“ and possibility for research funding for research and development. Then are significant foundations in Kansas City itself. Will contact law firms for pro bono work. Has access to student-based law assistance. Board of directors in development now. Preferably 7 people on board of directors. 6 weeks shortest to start up. Realistic timeline is 3 months. Interested in full time Zeitgeist and OSE work. Marcin will blog about candidates for Board of Directors.
Mike Koch: OpenPario update. Weâ€™re interested in outsourcing the design effort to the point that the global community does design, and local implementation can happen at FeF and other locations. This assumes a robust, rigorous development platform, which we believe that OpenPario provides.
Alex Brendel: Infrastructure development, with Facility Plan as step number one. Liam: suggests a Permaculture Site Plan. Suggest a team of permaculture students to make a practicum at FeF. Site Analysis. Contact Permaculture Teachers. Liam will pull together a list of teachers. Marcin will blog about an integrated site plan for FeF within 2 weeks. Next topic: SLI collaboration. SLI interns is a win-win collaboration. OSE gains interns. SLI extends an outpost to Missouri. Next step â€“ in 2 weeks; assess willingness of SLI to collaborate. Ask about possible contract production of The Liberators. Then there is sustainablevillage.com â€“ as the second place in the USA for promoting sustainable products.
Liam Rattray â€“ student at Georgia tech â€“ will write a paper on open source business models, with OSE as case in point, and low carbon future. This is part of his student work. Will consider a touchstone branch of OSE â€“ touchstone is a point of reference â€“ FeF is a touchstone for OSE. Wants to start a touchstone location in Atlanta in conjunction with local hackspaces. Push OpenPario/OSE through hackspace channels â€“ by making that a â€˜projectâ€™ for hackspaces. Could be a really good way to diffuse the OSE research program. On FaceBook or Twitter â€“ install a share button, and possibly on Blog as well. Facebook shares videos.
Lawrence Kincheloe â€“ wants to help with a concrete operational plan for the next 5 years, as the explicit plan is missing right now. This would include motivation for why the GVCS is relevant to people. The plan needs to include site plan, research center development, investor tester living facilities, contracts, organizational strategy, implementation strategy, timeline, budget. Marcin will start this with a first rough draft published no later than by end of 2009. This will be a community-reviewed and co-created proposal, with a goal of securing at least $120k of development support for 2010.
I have linked the http://www.openfarmtech.org Wiki with the OSE projects located at http://www.openpario.net.
This should allow for the user to access all the information already online at openfarmtech.org using an iFrame plugin but still have access to the OpenPario toolset.
Below is an example link:
This should make it much simpler in terms of linking the 2 sites, as well as not having to deal with porting information over to OpenPario.
Weâ€™re on our way!
Linking between OSE and likeminded initiatives is the way to go. Division of labour, sharing of competences. The Venus Project is about nonmonetary economy, but it is still vague about details. We need test labs all over the world, even trying different approaches, socially and culturally as well as in terms of economic organisation.
One question, I could not identify SLI. The search was very productive, it brought about
* They Focus on free learning, but it seems they are not operational yet.
Also openpario seems in its initial state, but aiming very high. It would be good to see if there are similar initiatives on the way. Anybody coming to on the 3rd of November? They will seek to integrate Open Collaboration Platforms.
Solar Living Institute – http://www.solarliving.org/
Sustainable Village – http://www.sustainablevillage.com/servlet/display/products/toc/81/547/all/
I wonder why the blog editor ate the URL – there is another SLI here http://www.sustainablelivinginstitute.org/page4/page4.html
Its amazing how many now try to set up educational networks.
WordPress also ate the url of the Manchester conference:
Conference Call Agenda:
OSE Global Conference Call – Friday, November 5, 2009 – 11 AM GMT-6 – See above for RSVP instructins.
The OSE Global conference call agenda, updated – is:
1. Susan – Is interested in a Site Plan and Architectural Plan for the world’s first, replicable post-scarcity village. Will discuss hiring a professional grantwriter to fund the building of the Post Scarcity Village. We had an extended discussion and conclude that the Investor Tester program (investors for a lifetime tenure on a 1/2 acre at FeF at $10k entry fee) will not be ready to debut until significant background work is done. Then, how to fund the building of the Village, now with The Liberator ready? By grants. This is the place to leverage our forthcoming status as a 501(c)3.
2. Markus – update on the 501(c)3 setup of OSE Missouri. We need a good Board of Directors and Advisors.
3. Alex – update on partnership with Solar Living Institute and sustainablevillage.com.
4. Liam – update on a paper on Open Source Ecology
5. Neil – update on any
5. Leo Dearden – Hardware license discussion revived with Leo Dearden: “I have experience with open source software and licencing, and would like to contribute. I am willing to take action based on the points arising from the call. I’m British, live near Zurich, Switzerland, and work as a Software Engineer for Google. I’ve been using open source software since 1999, and building things my whole life. I have experience working with metal, wood, plastics, composites, analog and digital electronics, embedded microcontrollers, and software. I run an CNC router with EMC2 and custom interface electronics. I’m bootstrapping a 4th axis for it, and a plastic print head so that I can use it as a RepStrap. I’m following the RepRap project and making small contributions. I’m committed to sustainable post scarcity living for everyone who wants it.”
here are the commitments that were made:
Will blog Susan’s advertisement for a professional grant writer by end of Sunday.
Marcin and Susan will draw up a contract for Susan’s Permaculture & Architecture plan for the 12-person post-scarcity village at Factor e Farm. This is monumental.
Will advertise for development professional to raise funds for state-of-art natural construction.
501 c 3 – Next step is filing. Lots of paperwork. We will need time to recruit a quality Board of Directors. This will assist in fundraising. Board of directors required for incorporation with state, roles and number vary by state
Board not required for 501 3 c filing.
Markus intends to develop professional-level resource development skills. We’re rooting for him:)
Permaculture and academic.
Writing paper: OS and permaculture post Kyoto
Writing draft at [[Open Source Development]] on Wiki page. More info:
Will write an initial draft of the OSE Post Scaricity Economics license, which will be based on GPL with addendum – by this weekend
Get in touch with FSF – this weekend, to solicit endorsement
OSI – ditto
Will write initial draft of OSE Mailing List Policy, including Core Team list and others. This will be done in context of factorefarm.org, Global Swadeshi, Open Pario, Blog, Wiki discussions.
Alex: continues to solicit collaboration with SLI and sustainablevillage.com
Peter Josepth (Zeitgeist) gives lecture in Missouri
Contact email@example.com to arrange Marcin to appear/exibit
Dialog with Mr Fresco of Venus Project
Addressing the green party national in Michigan next year
Need to avoid distracting the OSE from its goals
Zeitgeist already has a Ventrillo voice chat room for OSE: scroll down to Open Source Ecology at http://www.thezeitgeistmovement.com/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=629&Itemid=100092 .
For next meeting, next Friday, 11 AM GMT-6, RSVP to opensourceecology at gmail dot com with your agenda according to the instructions in the blog post – http://openfarmtech.org/weblog/?p=1179
Agenda for 11.20.09 conference call. See above regarding joining the conference calls.
Susan: I would like to talk about doing some outreach, PR, blogging, marketing on OSE’s mission and goals, coincident with this first product launch of the Liberator. I’ve seen a recent comment on transitionculture.org calling for a group to be doing just what OSE is doing –my paraphrase: the “unleashed” ability to make things.
Both the Transition movement and Permaculture, on which transition is based, are very light on the industry thing. It’s a missing piece the lack of which makes their messages hard to promulgate because people are afraid of the scarcity (both mental and physical) implied by “relocalization,” and the perhaps over-emphasis on intelligent agro-ecology as the solver of all problems. I’m gathering that OSE is very little known outside its own set of open-source-oriented groups. Yet its ethics and goals are very much in alignment with the two movements mentioned above. Is it time to pursue high-profile alliances? I can think of several other interest groups that could benefit from OSE’s work: intentional communities (in which most structures are owner-built); farmers’ and mechanics’ unions, granges, etc. (people who already know how to make things) who are being left in lurch by mainstream industry; appropriate tech foreign aide NGOs who are used to putting such tools to use where most needed; homeless shelter organizations (one of which has already approached Marcin); perhaps even many nearly-bankrupt localities which desperately need a capability to produce low-cost energy sources for home heating, etc. as well as the capability to create jobs.
What are the pros and cons of doing some major outreach to these interest groups? Could a low-cost online marketing campaign to targeted sectors in the blogosphere lead to beaucoup orders for prototypes and training? How do we frame the message? Do we brand ourselves “Industrial Permaculture,” for example? I have contacts in the Transition, Permaculture, Grange, and NGO worlds. OSE needs and deserves an ongoing substantial revenue stream. Any observations on this tactic?
Marcin comments – “Strategically speaking, I would go with makers/free hardware/free software/hackerspace/post-scarcity/unversal constructor crowd – these people have more of the enabling goods that we need right now. However, all audiences are valid, and our success depends on our ability to prioritize and strategize.”
Leo: Takes notes.
I would like to briefly discuss concrete action regarding:
– The FabLab. Keeping it focused and relevant for maximum impact.
– RCCS as an open source distro. Analogous to a Linux distro. We do some development, and a lot of bringing together of the outputs of other projects. Our biggest value add is providing the design for an integrated system that works as a whole. FactoreFarm as a continuous build.
– Communication structures for widening the collaboration. How do we make bystanders harmless? How do we make best use of the direct productive contributors? How do we make best use of the other projects out there, such as RepRap and the GEK (www.gekgasifier.com)? Keeping the process as lightweight as possible. I have a tentative plan.
– Quick summary re Open Hardware Licenses.
– I will discuss strategies for harnessing real fabrication for bootstrapping funding. What products, consistent with OSE goals, exist – and could be fabricated today as a shared effort? How do we develop open source fab capacity towards this end? This is consistent with the recent spurt of interest in RepLab. See Nov. 20 blog for more on the production collaboratory.
Notes from the call, taken by Leo Dearden
To talk at humanity+ conference
How to launch the FabLab?
Invite people to share designs and business models.
Universal constructor ideas.
Direct collab on products that can be made today.
Making the tools for fabricating the Liberator
Will Optimise Liberator by the end of December
Estimate 20 hours for manufacturing each Liberator
Who is a potential customer for a Liberator? Initially, we were thinking of DIY home builders. Really, it’s anyone who wants one. 🙂 If we find customers in the Transition and Permaculture movements, then that’s good.
Actions for this week:
*Improve fabricion methods
*Improve automatic Liberator
*Network for Replab
To be a liason between OSE and reprap communities, by participating in both.
“Building Replicable Post Scarcity Resillient Communities” tag line.
Contact Derek Dearden (my father, Web Entreprenureship Consultant). Ask for consultation on Liberator marketing.
Conclusion: Forums are too much of a time sink at the moment. Blogs are good.
We need to fix/replace drupal site. Pull data and put it in the Wiki?
RepLab. Conclusion: Keep it focused by building exactly the tools that we need to make the
Analyse Energy budget for RCCS.
Actions this weekend:
*Post aligned communities list on Wiki
*OSE news blog
– Resource Based Collective
– Universal Fabricators
*CEB automation componets
*OSH license feedback request
We need to get products out, deployed, to get beyond the theoretical.
What markets / interest groups would like a Liberator?
Would like to get OSE message out there.
Actions this week:
*Will contact other communities with OSE message and Liberator release
*To talk to Jim Mason about Business of selling Open Source Product.
I can preform the tasks listed below.If I was given willing,able minded persons, I can train them as well in the things I am skilled at.From your list ,I include the skills I am adept at.
A technical manager for keeping research on track ,Builder/general contractor/carpenter/equipment operator â€“ for building infrastructure /animal husbandry/forester â€“ for maintaining and developing useful genetic diversity for food, fuel, fiber, and other natural resources Cook and food processor â€“ for an integrated, 100% year round diet