How it all (could) work

“When solar cell companies develop cheaper panels, then we’ll switch to solar power.”

Did you ever hear someone say this?

Instead of waiting around for solar panels to become affordable, why don’t we collaborate and make them ourselves.

By we, I mean anyone who’s interested in affordable, ecological energy production. We all have some kind of skill. What if we collaborated: networkers, designers, fundraisers, engineers from all walks of life, and came up with optimal, user-friendly, durable, inexpensive, and cheap to produce solar cells (or an even better alternative)?

And while we’re at it, why not optimize all the tools for sustainable and just living, while keeping them at an affordable price? Imagine if every town grew its own fuel, made its own bricks for building, and gathered energy from the sun for heat and power. These technologies do not have to be controlled by large, centralized entities. With a little collaboration, these tools can be at the fingertips of the world.

At Open Source Ecology we already started the process. Materials for the world’s first open source compressed earth block (soil brick) press prototype cost under $1500. Comparable machine cost over $25,000.

Real world-impacting products through world collaboration. People from Iceland, the Canary Islands, India, and elsewhere are working with us: Networking, designing reviewing designs, fund-raising, and field testing. People contribute because they know that everyone benefits when technologies and science are in the public domain. Furthermore, when everyone contributes, designs reflect the needs of people, rather than of corporate headquarters.

Drop us an email, let us know what you think. Check out our website ( and pass along our information to interested networks, family, and friends.

We look forward to hearing from you.


  1. Patrick Anderson

    Your picture of the duck reminds me of this picture:

    and the related article:

    Large corporate agriculture will enjoy increased profits as the competition of these small farmers is eliminated.

    The future of our earth hang in the balance while keeping price above cost is labeld ‘earnings’, and choices are influenced by those who intend to perpetuate that usury.

    I hope we can work together to grow a new tomorrow.

    I cry for the Permaculture that Capitalism fears (as plenty for all would mean profit for none).

    Your peer,
    Patrick Anderson
    President, Personal Sovereignty Foundation

  2. Brittany

    Yes, devastating stories surround us. Thank you for reminding us of the insanity. I will use it as inspiration to continue working for change.

  3. […] it all (could) work comes the p2p economy…as the Harvard Business Review’s Breakthough Ideas for 2008 […]