OpenFarm is the work of Marcin Jakubowski. Quote from Marcin's blog: "We are actively involved in demonstrating the world’s first replicable, post-industrial village. We take the word replicable very seriously - we do not mean a top-down funded showcase - but one that is based on ICT, open design, and digital fabrication - in harmony with its natural life support systems. As such, this community is designed to be self-reliant, highly productive, and suffciently transparent so that it can truly be replicated in many contexts - whether it’s parts of the package or the whole. Our next frontier will be education to train Village Builders - just as we’re learning how to do it from the ground up.
On another practical front, we’re interested in collaborating with other existing post-industrial village construction programs out there. OSE-Mid Missouri just started as a student group at the University of Missouri, Columbia. We are framing our collaboration as experiential learning by building a post-industrial village. We also aim to develop this relationship to a clearinghouse of applied research and development projects for students in general.
What are other best examples of global village construction? How are they contributing to the integration of natural and technological ecology for creating replicable nodes of regenerative transformation? How do we work together?"Good ways to learn more about the Open Farm project:
Visit his blog to follow developments on his farm as they occur
See slides from Marcin's presentation on Global Village Construction Set: Tools for Sustainable Living (4.23.08). I have started to put direct links below to the slides that are most relevant to the "bandwidth challenged" Dadamac team in Nigeria, to help make the most of time online. I will try to add more sometime.
Slide 1 - Introduction
Slide_5 - Creating self-sufficient communities anywhere
Slide_6- Open source and lifetime design
May 22nd, 2008 podcast to learn about his ideas and innovations - podcast introduction says
"Marcin Jakubowski is one of the premier pioneers of open source appropriate technology and agricultural innovation. Guided by Gandhi’s principles of swadeshi, Marcin has made great strides in moving towards community-based development and local autonomy...."
Video of discussion between Vinay and Marcin on May 26th, 2008. Introducing this Marcin wrote: " This interview is perhaps the most clear description to date of the essence of our experiments with Open Source Ecology, and its implementation lab - Factor e Farm. If you can bear the 54 minutes of time, this will definitely be insightful regarding the forthcoming peer-to-peer economy - and provide much insight into the threads of thought and motivations behind our work. At Factor e, we grow ideas, and winnow for the truth. "
It is a long video, but for anyone seriously considering working with Marcin and replicating anything of what he is doing, this video is very valuable for putting the whole thing in context.
Relevance to Attachab Eco-Village
Open Farm is a research and development project which combines technology and agricultural development. It includes many aspects relevant to our interests at Attachab Eco-Village. My hope is that, through Dadamac, Attachab will be near the front of the queue for replicating Marcin's Open Farm strategies.
Funding is through crowd sourcing. If people see that Marcin's work is relevant to Africa as well as USA it could make his work even more attractive to givers. Most people recognise that "something needs to be done" in rural Africa to address issues of poverty. However, not everyone yet sees the importance of sustainable local development approaches in USA. If we are working together, it could benefit fundraising for Marcin's research and development work as well as helping Attachab Eco-Village development.
I spoke to Marcin (Skype chat) before I visited Fantsuam last September, and since coming back I have met Marcin's associate, Vinay Gupta. Vinay and I plan another meeting soon to explore overlapping interests.
Marcin's blog includes video clips to show exactly what progress is being made. Ideally Attachab Eco-Village should be able to provide similar feedback. Dadamac has been working with learners at the Knowledge Resource Centre (KRC) to develop communication skills including blogging, camera skills, and video making. There are various cultural challenges in persuading people to develop these skills, which is another story, but progress is being made. We are also very fortunate at present in having a VSO volunteer who is blogging and can demonstrate the value of communication to people at the KRC.