Open Everything

Today, an Open Everything event will take place at the Paraflows Festival in Vienna, Austria. Michel Bauwens of the P2P Foundation is the main speaker. Franz Nahrada and Ralf Schlatterbeck will follow up with the hardware side of open production, with Factor e Farm and Open Source Ecology as a case in point. We prepared a short video – which Ralf will present – on creating a post-scarcity village on the scale of 30 acres. The essence of such a village is open technology and knowhow. This video is intended to be the shortest, most comprehensive introduction to all of our work to date:

How to Build a Post-Scarcity Village from Marcin Jakubowski on Vimeo.

Here is a copy of Franz’s talk: Speech 3 at Open Everything

There is a discussion that runs pretty exactly since 10 years what the
social consequences of Open Everything might be, what are the changes it
might bring to our lives. Or rather if there will be substantial changes
at all. Will it alter human relations, will it contribute to reduce
poverty, will it help us to deal with the ecological disaster, will it
empower people, will it change our habitat. etc. Thats the kind of
question that some ask at conferences, while others prefer to tackle with
this question practically. I will talk a bit about such a practical
attempt – namely the FactorEFarm project of Open Source Ecology – but
before I do that let me shortly return to the big picture.

One can still deny the assumption that opening the intellectual commons
for all kinds of human endavours has decisive affects or even is a germ
form of a new social contract, a new society.

One could categorize people who partiocipate in such projects as
hobbyists, as people who open up a tiny and insignificant space of
personal freedom in an otherwise not so free world. One could say: OK,
there are those who collect stamps, those who work in their garden and
grow roses, some who spend their time in the shopping center or at
Bauhaus, and this one has a RepRap in the basement. Well if you can afford
to create and indulge that tiny little personal space its just the same
that most people do to make this world bearable for themselves. What the
hell does this have to do with changing society?

Or even worse, there are reproaches that this is an even less harmless
form of addiction that can be used and capitalized upon. If things are
really tricky to produce, lets say a car or a pair of skis, and most
things that we use are tricky to produce, than the outcome ist hat some
company will grab the designs, throw products on the market and entertain
a community as a cheap development department.

We have heard many stories how that works already. A good example would be
emporis, frormer, that has grown into the worlds finest real
estate database, powered by the work of hundreds of voluntery
photographers and researchers, who simply were addicted to the idea of
providing more and the best contributions. Many of those even travelled on
their own money to other cities and worked 18 hours a day to meet the
quality standards of the evaluators _ all for free. Subsequently the whole
common work represented an enormous strategic market value. So yes, the
organizers of such a community can sell it or incorporate it and get rich
while the many contributors are left-out loosers.

One can say that economy ever since design and automation has been
accessible to more and more people is transforming from a productive
endavour to a kind of strategic pokergame how to capitalize on efforts of
producing people. In fact we already have two economies: an economy of
millions of small sweatshops that produce material goods like car parts,
and another economy that controls the right to produce, by license, logo
and networking.

here is where Open Source Ecology comes in…. (show the film)


  1. Bob Todd

    a year ago we were working on getting the CEB kinks worked out, good thing it was made for disassembly. Glad to support the movement. keep up the progress.
    much love

  2. Ralf Schlatterbeck

    we had a very interesting discussion and showed your film at a prominent position during the talks. A guy from metalab was there with a makerbot and I think we got the message about open hardware across. About 50 people were present (my estimate).

    Thanks for making that film in the short available time!


  3. […] 2009-09-14: Marcin from open source ecology has the video online which we showed at the event — Marcin von open source ecology hat das Video, das wir auf der […]

  4. Lawrence

    I’m glad that through conferences and talks we are able to connect with groups with similar visions. I’m actually looking forward to incorporating some of the hardware from other projects to improve our designs. This cross sharing of ideas and parts between different open source hardware projects is going to be a real winner I feel.