What is Open Source Ecology (OSE)?
Open Source Ecology is developing and testing the Global Village Construction Set, a set of tools to build replicable, open source, modern, off-grid resilient communities. By weaving open source permacultural and technological cycles together, we intend to provide basic human needs while being good stewards of the land, using resources sustainably, and pursuing right livelihood. With the gift of openly shared information, we can produce industrial products locally using open source design and digital fabrication. This frees us from the need to participate in the wasteful resource flows of the larger economy by letting us produce our own materials and components for the technologies we use. We see small, independent, land-based economies as means to transform societies, address pressing world issues, and evolve to freedom.
Factor e Farm is the land-based facility where we are putting this theory into practice. Here we are testing the prototypes of of Global Village Construction Set by using them to support a community of developers, working piece by piece towards self sufficiency. Ultimately, our goal is to make this self sufficiency available to all. To this end, the GVCS is designed to be self-replicable. After the first set is complete, it will be used to fabricate copies of itself from raw materials (or the cost of scrap metal). At that point we will shift to begin developing networks of interconnected self-sufficient villages and homes.
Taken literally, open source means that the goods and knowledge for reproducing the complete product (the "source") is freely accessible (open), and ecology is the study of living interactions between organisms and their natural environment. From a human perspective, we seek to push our vision of ecology beyond ecological crisis and into ecological harmony and human productivity.
You can read the entire theory of Open Source Ecology in the OSE Proposal document.
- The OSE Wiki which you are reading right now is our main information and development center.
- The Weblog is the main news center.
- FactorEFarm.org is our main communications center.
We apologize for the confusing layout of the sites while we are going through growing pains. Eventually we will move to OpenSourceEcology.org with a more organized site design.
Inventing a New Civilization on a Shoestring Budget
Say you want to build a village, enterprise, or for that matter - an entire civilization – because civilization is just a compilation of productive enterprises. Say you have only $10k in your pocket. You can begin to build your habitat with a CEB press of 3000 bricks per day production, and a sawmill with 3000 board feet per day of production – easily. You will need a tractor for earth moving and power. These 3 tools total $6500 for materials to build these tools from open source plans. You can then build the entire technological infrastructure with a personal fabrication open source Fab Lab – with metal melting furnace, 3D printer, CNC machines, and circuit fabrication, for another $3500 in materials, for a total of $10k. You’ll have to learn the skill to build and operate the production machinery. We can teach you, and you can even propagate a 5-kingdom gene bank for an entire agricultural infrastructure – it’s on the house. You’ll just have to find yourself some land, sun, water, and scrap steel. What if this package could be self-replicating? Fab Lab and gene bank make it so. Now we’re talking.
An imaginary situation? Everyone’s entitled to their opinion, but we’re taking the development of the above very seriously at Factor e Farm. See the Distillations videos. And if you are compelled to help - we started a request for proposals for the First World Conference on Open Source Ecology. Please consider applying.
If you can’t make it to the Conference, but would like to support this as a True Fan of this work, then subscribe to our campaign by going to our blog.
Factor e Farm
- Our main open source collaboratory and land-based development facility, since 2007, is Factor e Farm, in the Kansas City area, central USA. See our weblog for ongoing updates.
- Wiki development site for the Global Village Construction Set
- See our legacy webpage here.
- Archives of some of our theory and history are here.
- P2P Foundation called us, arguably, the most important social experiment in the world
- BoingBoing article on the open source, CEB press - [The Liberator]
- Wired magazine blog on The Liberator
- Discussion of the economic model for open source production - with The Liberator as a case in point
- Followup discussion on economic sustainability of open production by P2P Foundation
- Discussion on land stewardship basis of distributive economies
- Open source design and manufacturing resource at the P2P Foundation - 
- OSE Specifications for Distributive Production and internal link
- Review of sustainability movements - 
- Greenr - Accelerate the Change - blog post on Open Source Ecology
- German blog discussing the wealth of resources that come from land
- Factor e Live series - chronicles of Global Village construction
- Video Interview on Global Swadeshi Dialogues
- Video of Presentation on the Global Village Construction Set, U. Missouri, Columbia, 2008
- Audio interview with Agroinnovations
Highlights of our Work
- Advanced Compressed Earth Block (CEB) press prototype done
- Open source tractor prototype in action
- Product ecology overview
- OSE Product Development Cycle
- Neocommercialization of open source technology
- Technical proposal for the Global Village Construction Set
- Core Development Team application - for the Global Village Construction Set
- Solar Turbine development email group
- Student internships and research - see Research Projects
- We are accepting organic farming internships through ATTRA, Organic Volunteers, and WWOOF
- Find out why you should donate here.
See the Appropedia entry for an overview of Open Source Ecology: Appropedia:Open Source Ecology