One Village Review
This group has been quiet lately. So hopefully this will break the ice a little bit.
Below is something that I have been working on lately. This work relates to Arcology as I am still committed to using an integrated approach to sustainable development to construct compact built environments. My focus though has gradually shifted away from the mega approach of Paolo Soleri and towards an ecovillage approach that is still compact and very similar to Arcosanti, albeit with less concrete and more alternative building materials. However, I see no reason why that such designs cannot ultimately be scaled up to create dense urban environments when suitable and desirable and as envisioned in Richard Register’s Ecocities model.
The organization I am working for, The oneVillage Foundation is still in the early stages of development. Our focus right now is on Africa and in addressing the situation there particularly in respect to AIDS, however we feel that the model we are developing has far-reaching global implications. We are committed to making it happen and we could use some help.
Read the newsletter and if it resonates give me a call, or email and we can talk more (contact info is listed below in newsletter). What I want more than anything is to create a dialogue that leads us towards the development of effective approaches that can become practical and mainstream alternatives to what now passes for the status quo in modern industrial society.
One of the things we are trying to do is explore the role that technology has in making modern civilization sustainable. We have teamed up with Michael Gosney of the Green Century Institute (also Cosanti Foundation trustee and one of the organizers of the Paradox Conferences), building from the momentum of the Paradox III conference to create the Green Community Network. The goal of this project is to distribute information to the public relating to innovative projects like Arcosanti, Auroville and Findhorn. What we see missing is a process to join together and integrate the innovations occurring in the ecological design and green business movement with those in the ecovillage movement. More than simply giving people information, we want to bring people together on a level that is empowering by developing ways to make information technologies work better for people, improving the process by which we communicate our ideas.
For more on this read the newsletter below:
The oneVillage Review
A monthly newsletter highlighting projects and issues relevant to the oneVillage Foundation
2. Ecology/Sustainable Development
3. Stories of Hope
4. African Projects
5. OVF Related Meetings and Conferences
6. Collaboration and Alliance Building
7. What You can do
Welcome to the introductory edition of the oneVillage Review. This is a fleshed out revision of the February 16 edition of the newsletter on our website. Joy instructed me to send this while she was in Africa to everyone on her email list. If you would like to get updates of what we are doing, just send an email to onevillagereview-request@... and write subscribe in the subject line. We see this newsletter as a way to weave together our networks so that we can better use technology to unlock human potential. We welcome your contributions. Send news about what you are doing, upcoming events or comments to jeff@...
The world is in deepening crisis because conventional modern approaches and solutions no longer work. Modern approaches tend to overlook the complex interconnectedness of living systems. Problems become seen as persistent and unsolvable because the solutions applied are usually superficial and based on a diagnosis that treats the symptoms instead of getting at the root cause. When we fully accept that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, we begin to see the need to take a more systematic, whole systems approach and this opens up a new set of options and possibilities in how we live our lives and design our world.
The one Village Foundation seeks to assist people in Africa in overcoming the AIDS pandemic by addressing immediate needs such as in the construction of treatment centers and orphanages, while also providing a proactive and whole systems platform to promote sustainable development in Africa…and beyond. We seek to promote social enterprise solutions that integrate ICT with sustainable development in both developing and developed regions of the world. We are dedicated to increasing collaboration and access to ICT in under-served communities all over the world as part of a process of building local problem-solving capabilities, and increasing the level of economic opportunity for all who share our commitment to socially conscious and sustainable economic development.
OneVillage Empowerment Program for Sustainability
The oneVillage Foundation identifies and maximizes the potential of technologies to serve humanity and designs holistic strategies for eco-living starting at the most elemental component of human culture and society—the community. Experimental communities called ecovillages have sprung up all over the world testing out the best and most rapid way to grow a sustainable economy from the bottom-up. Disruptive technologies now have the potential to increase the productivity of local economies. These disruptive technologies can be broken down into three main categories:
- Sustainable: solar, wind, Integrated Biomass Systems that recycle waste into valuable resources
- ICT: such as open source computer software and cellular technologies
- Effective and innovative financial strategies to make local economies more productive such as those mapped out in the Solari Action Network.
By threading these approaches and technologies into Unity Center Ecovillage prototypes we can demonstrate the feasibility of this integrated and transitional approach and promote a more environmentally and socially responsible way of living—eco-living. These whole systems design models make much better use of resources, while shifting the economy away from the need to rely on people’s addictions to sustain an economy that is exploitative to both people and the environment. With the rise of this new design methodology we will consume much less than is now the norm in highly industrialized societies but the quality of our lives will be much richer. The oneVillage Empowerment Program for Sustainability attempts to develop a framework to thread together all the necessary components of an integrated human habitat. Such projects actually executed and successfully completed become inspirational prototypes for the necessary and inevitable shift in the way modern society functions today.
Permaculture in a Box
The oneVillage Foundation is researching a variety of approaches to sustainable closed loop agriculture and fish farming systems similar to those now well-known “Living Machines” long promoted by sustainability sage John Todd of Ocean Arks International. Our goal is to develop a system of producing food that is highly productive, requires minimal inputs, is suitable to a host of environments and has the capability to convert industrial, agricultural and municipal biowaste into value-added products. Several highly productive and synergistic systems are in existence around the world. We have been in discussion with several pioneers in this movement in particular and John Reid and Tracy Hightower of Waterfield Farms in Amherst, MA and Dr George Chan of the Zero Emissions Research Initiative (ZERI). They require minimal inputs and cover a very wide range of environments, and some can convert industrial, agricultural and/or municipal waste into value-added products while producing energy in the process.
More on Permaculture in a Box
oneVillage Foundation (OVF) Founding Member Attends Women's Conference in San Francisco
Joy Tang's core strength as the founder of OVF is in pulling people together on an emotional and heart-based level and bringing to light the plight of not only “mother Africa” but also all of humanity. Embedded in her wisdom is an understanding that effective communication is more than just dissimilating information and relates to the way in which we communicate with each other. She recently attended a conference where she felt women displayed courage in doing this, voicing as well as understanding their feelings and the challenges in their personal lives. Personal experiences and feelings that were expressed by the women were not seen in isolation but holistically as part of an interconnected tapestry of human realization and consciousness rising. The Gather the Woman (GTW) conference is an annual three-day event that has reached women in more than 40 countries. It encourages an open environment to discuss the relationship that these women have to the larger sea changes that are gripping humanity.
More on Joy’s experiences at the Gather the Women Conference
Mighty Abayomi’s Struggle in Africa
Abayomi Rotimi Mighty is a Nigerian youth activist/speaker and advocate who worked with President Obasanjo in the UNDCP World AIDS Campaign 2001 to promote awareness about the growing problems associated with AIDS in Africa. Mighty has dedicated himself to promoting AIDS education for the young adults when he himself was quite young. Now still only 19, Abayomi through his dedication to fighting the AIDS epidemic has become a role model. At the April 21 2001 African Summit on HIV/AIDS, 17 year old Mighty spoke before African leaders with great eloquence and courage. He told them “You have the power to change the lives of millions of young Africans. You are the ones who tell us to go fight when there is war and you are the people that ask us to join rallies in election campaigns. Now we need you to fight with against HIV/AIDS. We are ones dying and wasting.” Mighty’s accomplishments and the efforts of people like him help us to see the greater potential that exists within each of us to affect the world in a positive and powerful way. Recently though he has been struggling to get the resources he needs to do his work. There are leaders like Abayomi who need similar support all over Africa. Help us to help them.
More on Mighty’s Story
Sports People that Care Project Gaining Momentum in Ghana
Kafui Prebbie is working with major partners in Ghana launching the oneVillage Foundation Sports People That Care HIV/Aids Fund. OVF Ghana will raise money from ticket sales generated at football games in Kumasi Stadium in Ghana. The monies raised will support orphans by providing clothes, health and educational needs, food, and drugs for the HIV infected. A documentary of the project will be produced highlighting the event as well as stressing the need for strong role models in the fight against AIDS.
OVF Ghana Makes an Impact in the New Academic Year ICT School
OVF Ghana just completed its participation in the first ever, National Youth ICT Campaign called the "New Academic Year ICT School." Launched by the government of Ghana’s Minister of Communication and Technology, this school featured OVF Ghana prominently in its programs. As part of the promotional campaign, an essay competition was organized for youth between the ages of 13-18yrs and the first prize was a computer donated by a company.
Commonwealth of Learning (COL) Kenya
One of challenges of building a bottom up economy is developing an effective process of networking and weaving diverse groups into a cohesive and unified whole. A consortium of groups aligned with the Kenya AIDS Intervention Prevention Project Group (KAIPPG) recently submitted a grant proposal for 20,000 Canadian dollars to the Commonwealth of Learning (COL). COL is a Canadian organization that focuses on augmenting effective nutritional and health programs with ICT to address the needs of underserved communities. Janet Feldman of KAIPPG has played a key role in facilitating the process of cobbling together a coalition in Kenya to form GRASSUP (NOW), which stands for Grassroots Underpinnings: Poverty, Nutrition, ODL/ICTs and Women. Kennedy Edwine Onyango, Director of Community Initiatives and Social Support Center Organization (CISSO) and Kenyan country director of the oneVillage Foundation, submitted a draft of the grant proposal to the network, which then after several revisions became the final submission to COL. We are pleased to announce the success of our COL grant proposal. CISSO/OVF’s portion of the total will amount to CAD$6,500.
OVF AIDS 2004 Conference Sign-up in Progress
Joy Tang and Mark Roest recently completed a proposal for Olaposi Abiola and Kennedy Edwine Onyango to go the AIDS 2004 Conference in Bangkok, Thailand in July. We have submitted the following for presentation: collaboration on sustainable development; case study on the GRASSUP (NOW) project which will be presented by Olaposi Abiola and Kennedy Edwine Onyango); a skill workshop on human capacity building (as referred in this newsletter) and a scholarship application. We will coordinate with the youth organization AMEN from Nigeria (led by Abayomi Rotimi Mighty) to prepare for the Skill Workshop.
OVF Represented at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Geneva
The WSIS Conference in December 2003 was an attempt to organize the necessary networks to promote and implement effective policies, strategies and technologies towards a global information and communications system that more effectively addresses the needs of the world’s people. There were many prominent government, non-profit and corporate leaders mixing with activists that are in the field actually trying to implement these programs. This offered a rare opportunity for these groups to interact and exchange divergent views and perspectives. Many national leaders pledged to increase funding to ICT, and there was much discussion about the potential of ICT to address many global issues and problems. However, it is not yet evident that these leaders will be able to follow through on their pledges and fund these programs. A highlight of the conference was the ICT4D event, giving tech innovators a chance to show off their latest ICT products and services, which in many cases not only look impressive but also have important practical applications. OVF was out in force at the conference with Erich Kohler attending and presentations by both Kennedy Edwine Onyango and Joerg Geier.
More on the WSIS
The Definition of Profit and the Value of Knowledge Transfer between Cultures
Prior to the WSIS conference OVF operative Jeff Buderer met with Professor Akinsola Akiwowo and Peter Burgess in October 2003 in Manhattan to gather information for Joerg’s presentation on Knowledge Transfer between Cultures (PDF). Professor Akiwowo says the Yoruba culture (which is one of the four main ethnic groups in Nigeria) teaches its people that profit is more than financial and that there are actually five different social criteria of success and well-being. We concluded that any knowledge transfer between cultures must involve a mutual respect of each culture’s contributions towards the other. Economic programs to promote sustainable development in non-westernized nations should value and validate local culture ensuring that modernization complements and affirms local culture instead of savaging it.
More on the Akiwowo Meeting
Silicon Valley World Summit on Information Society
The oneVillage Foundation USA team recently attended two meetings of the Silicon Valley World Summit on Information Society. The general theme of the meetings organized by Anil Srivastava of AcrossWorld focused on how Silicon Valley can contribute to the upcoming 2005 WSIS conference in Tunis. The meetings reflected a desire on the part of participants to develop a network within Silicon Valley to promote ICT projects in underserved communities.
More on WSIS Silicon Valley
Collaboration and Alliance Building
oneVillage Foundation and Ford Program agree to Establish Program to Promote Collaboration in Education and ICT Development
The OneVillage Foundation and the John C Ford Program (Ford Program) have agreed to collaborate to establish the OVF Kenya branch of the International Global Education Tele-Community Initiative (GEI Project). This will include developing learning centers focused on the development of computer and business skills in Africa. The Ford Program’s Board of Directors was recently expanded to include Kennedy Edwine Onyango and Joy Tang of the oneVillage Foundation.
Green Century Institute and OVF to Collaborate on Green Community Network
Joy Tang, Mark Roest and Jeff Buderer recently met with Michael Gosney, managing director of the Green Century Institute in San Francisco. We discussed the development of the Green Community Network (GCN) as a “web-based resource exchange, publishing and outreach program promoting sustainable development...” Gosney sees the GCN as the foundation for the proposed Califia Ecocity Project, which will showcase and test innovative sustainable development designs and technologies in the San Francisco Bay Area. This approach converges with OVF’s main goals to demonstrate the potential of our approach by constructing a US Unity Center Ecovillage as a training and coordination center for our international operations here in the US. Towards this long term goal we discussed the importance of creating a network to facilitate the effective collection, organization, analysis and presentation of knowledge to promote sustainable development as well as expanding opportunities for sustanable economic growth within our networks. Database and knowledge base development was deemed one of our priorities because it facilitiates sustainable technology network and information integration (holistic ICT) effectively and rapidly bringing together the skills, knowledgebases and networks needed to construct sustainable communities and businesses.
What you can do
We are at a critical point in our development laying the groundwork for the construction and organization of Unity Centers in Mbita, Kenya and Winneba, Ghana, which we will discuss in further detail in the upcoming newsletters. We believe we offer a unique, integrated and highly replicable methodology to promote sustainable development at the grassroots level. It is an approach that we feel offers great promise, but we need your help to make it happen.
Things you can do:
1. Make a donation to the oneVillage Foundation.
2. Send us comments, news or relevant events.
3. Volunteer. We presently are looking for help in website maintenance, promotion, sustainable design, content development and technical writing/editing and open source software design and development.
4. This was an introductory copy of the newsletter. Subscribe to this monthly newsletter by sending an email to: onevillagereview-request@... and write subscribe in the subject line.
Write, email or call us at the oneVillage Foundation:
102 Ballatore Court
San Jose CA 95134