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Re: Little Fish of the World, unite!

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  • Mark Roest
    Hello Franz Nahrada (and All) To support coordination, I collected a couple of Joy s emails on her plans for the Maker Fair in Accra, Ghana (Aug. 14-16) and in
    Message 1 of 3 , Jul 27, 2009
      Hello Franz Nahrada (and All)

      To support coordination, I collected a couple of Joy's emails on her plans for the Maker Fair in Accra, Ghana (Aug. 14-16) and in Winneba, Ghana (seat of the University of Education Winneba, which trains almost all of the primary and secondary teachers in Ghana, and HQ of oneVillage Ghana and the Winneba Open Digital Village (WODiV).

      I will be in Ghana during the Africa Maker Fair. I will be in that event and thinking about engaging in the forum to identify the people to work on product and service design. I also want to know how I could introduce new product development into the forum to foster communication and innovation.

      I would like to talk to Nii asap. I am interested in being part of the AMF design process for the designers, manufacturers and market together.

      As for Mark - Mark is based in the Bay Area, continuing to engage with the network for oneVillage's agenda as well as the green solutions w/ David's Foster's. Our 'open digital village / center' is in the phase of adopting anything that could make it a site for modeling the green solutions that Mark and David / Jeff would suggest. Mark and I could also work together to provide biz strategy for Nii and his network.

      Let me know soonest.

      Joy Tang
       to jeff, Jacob, kafui, Nii, Toby, me
      show details Jul 13
          Follow up message
          from    Joy Tang <unitydrum@...>
      to    Nii Simmonds <nas146@...>
      cc    Toby Morning <toby@...>,
      Mark Roest <marklroest@...>,
      jeff buderer <jeff@...>,
      "Jacob B. Odame" <jbodame@...>,
      date    Mon, Jul 13, 2009 at 4:50 AM
      subject    Re: African connection from Ghana via Nii Simmonds
      Here is a link to our work on 'Open Digital Village' in its wiki form:

      Please review and give me your feedback.

      I will be in Ghana from Aug. 3-31 and will take 10 Taiwanese Youth with me to participate the MFA 2009. I will do live report and present the program to the Internet audience and Taiwanese constituency who supported our Service and Learning EcoTour 2009. SONY, Yahoo! Taiwan, ASUS, and Ministry of Education among many others are interested in what we are doing and supporting us. We will attend at least 2 days of the MFA event in Accra this year.

      Please contact Jeff Buderer or Joy if you have any questions about this information.



      On Mon, Jul 27, 2009 at 12:10 AM, Mark Roest <marklroest@...> wrote:
      Hello Franz Nahrada (and All),

      I hear what you are saying, and recognize your concern. I would like to share some preliminary thoughts about how we can address that challenge (Microsoft and the Swiss Government funding telecenters) -- and the great sucking sound as people and wealth continue to be stripped out of rural and wild areas, into the 'black holes' of the mega-cities and the dominant economies.

      From a global strategic point of view, the first step is to accept that they will be able to sweep up much of the mainstream, until the movement for true cooperation in all senses becomes the mainstream. Then what we are doing will be more attractive for a substantial portion of those they attract now. So the task is to come to understand what the distinction is, and then to manifest it, and cultivate the 'hundredth monkey' phenomenon in this space.

      At the grassroots, village-level, barrio-level, isolated farmer or herder level, the field is still wide open; there are people working in the space, and they are like us -- there to make a difference. We can all -- or almost all -- work together. Even if telecenters sprout in all the towns of 5,000 or 10,000 people or more, there are still a million villages averaging 1000 people, and, also, all that vast space that family groups and herders farm and travel in relative isolation.

      Some people from the smaller communities will visit the larger communities, and they may take away some knowledge, which may act as a valuable catalyst for realization of what is possible, but the transfer of tools and other resources from a Microsoft-funded effort to those with almost no money will be limited by its perspective.

      Given the limited perspective of centrally-funded efforts by the most institutional level of our society, we can actually affect their behavior and make it complementary to our work. In other words, we can define and develop concepts, methodologies and tools that we would like the towns and cities to adopt in order that they may play a complementary, rather than exploitive and competitive, role with rural areas and villages. Then, by creating the connection points in the villages, and an information and communication 'cloud' that truly serves the rural people, we can establish natural channels of trade and complementary services that can and will draw people in the cities and towns to move into, both to sustain themselves and to serve the communities they originated in.

      Demographically, this has a strong logic. There has been a gradual but exponential growth in the destruction of rural economies along with the creation of economic opportunities in the cities, since the end of WWII. That is what caused the perhaps unprecedented migrations to the cities, turning them into megalopolises with, in most nations, huge slums and areas of great wealth.

      But we collectively have a most powerful idea -- in a way, on the order of the Diamond Sutra. That is that we can deliberately collaborate and nurture each other, and create sustainable ways of living that are actually able to heal the destruction of Nature and restore the soil and its living communities. We can even grow enough food to make up the shortfalls in the cities, if we follow the guidance of the BioIntensive Gardening movement (exemplified by Manor House in western Kenya, and by the large number of people using it in Central America), the Permaculture movement, SoilFoodWeb.com, Gaviotas, and individual researchers and practical consultants like Ben de Vries, who is working with Marcin at eFactory. If we do that on the global scale needed to end hunger and malnutrition, we will also sequester enormous amounts of carbon in the topsoil we create.

      Simultaneously, we can create a global knowledge system that provides just the right information to serve the people in each different ecosystem in finding their way back to harmony with the rest of life. I have invited a particularly talented and experienced individual to create and lead a project to integrate the most powerful software programming languages and resources we have (ALP, MUMPS and the open source version of the VA's hospital information management system, Smalltalk, Euphoria, the digital imaging used in Worldwind and GoogleEarth, and much more) into a system that will serve humanity and empower it to return to a stewardship relationship with all our relations in Life. It will be partially guided by Doug Engelbart's plans for augmenting our collective human intelligence with a succession of tools that lead to the knowledgebase and beyond. It will serve the effort to create a family of new, empowering digital curricula that is starting around the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) program, which is rapidly expanding.

      In a specific, parallel effort, those for whom it is a worthy life mission can use MUMPS and the open source version of the U.S. Veterans Administration's (VA's)  hospital information management system to create the most powerful possible public health information system, for all the world to share. The first step is to get the necessary parts translated into many languages and start deploying it into hospitals and clinics everywhere. The second step is to add geo-coding to it, which I have been assured is not a severely challenging task, so that it can be used effectively among populations who will never see a hospital, and may never see a town. With geo-coding it can reflect the causes and effects of the variations in nature and nurture that occur in different places. The third step is to create treatment protocols and diagnostic models based on the classic and indigenous health care systems (including shamanism), working with the practitioners of those arts, and integrate them into a health care knowledgebase that is tied to the hospital and public health information management system. The knowledgebase can also receive all of the outcomes research results that will be available with the establishment of computer-based health histories and patient records in the new public health system.

      This will both radically improve care, and create a meaningful market for organic and wildcrafted herbs, and traditional foods, in each culture. The public health system can be used to map dietary nutrient deficiencies, tease out the causes, and coordinate exchanges of foods that can provide the missing nutrients, greatly improving health outcomes. This is true, core, sustainable economic activity, whether it is paid for through barter, local currencies, or 'hard' national currencies.

      While most of this will come to fruition after the most basic economic needs are met sustainably, it can be introduced into early pilots, and we can work with Peter Burgess' Community Accountancy process and tools to document what works and what doesn't work, and the economic value that is produced. This is the prerequisite for getting the funding to scale projects up hundreds of times, once people have shown what works.

      All of these plans require information and communication technologies that are low in financial and energy costs, and high in what they make possible. Among ourselves (in this discussion) and the networks we are collectively in contact with, there is a large amount of specific knowledge that can be put to work identifying the existing and proposed hardware and software that meets the requirements imposed by the problems and environments we are addressing, and how best to obtain and support it. This will allow us to agree on and publish world-class, performance-based standards, that serve as the starting point for evolution of both standards and technology going forward. These standards can include the necessary complementary hardware for the ICTs, such as sources of electricity far from the grid, and ways of storing grid electricity where it is not reliable 24/7, or even 16/7.

      Similarly, we can map software and information / knowledge ecologies that support human economic activity in and management of real natural ecosystems, document them, and agree, with the cultures we serve, on them as starting points for process and content. They too can be published as standards.

      Finally, we can develop multiple systems for identifying needs, incubating social and environmental business ventures, financing them, launching them at appropriate scales, and supporting their symbiotic relationships over time. We can select and / or create processes for choosing them in a given culture, ecosystem, and business environment, and publish those, too, as standards.

      This process provides the clarity and reliability that investors and institutional funders need to see, in order to be able to claim that they are managing their clients' funds responsibly. We can borrow the basic concept of CEED, Community Energy and Economic Development, which will develop franchises in 2000 to 6000 towns and cities in the United States, each of which will incubate perhaps dozens of small local businesses that specialize in a particular trade or service. Then all an interested investor has to do for their due diligence is to thoroughly investigate CEED itself -- one-stop vetting of a whole business ecosystem! Another way of looking at it is that it creates a fractal kairetsu system -- the same skill pattern shows up at multiple scales, and design, production and marketing are all built in. (Toyota and Hyundai are famous examples of the Asian kairetsu system. Each has thousands of small artisan suppliers, as well as some large ones, working together over decades and lifetimes to make world-class products.)

      The people in this conversation, including the oneVillage / Design Earth / Earth Treasury / Designfluence / Continuing The Conversation / Dreamfish network cluster, and all of you, can bring many revolutionary technologies, attitudes and approaches to the table, along with many lifetimes of professional experience, research, and pioneering among us. Many of the technologies and approaches are far more economically efficient than those used by the dominant corporate world today; that means that they will be more profitable, and that we can eventually become the gold standard for investments, and for government and philanthropic funding -- and we may even reach the point of self-funding major projects and new eco-friendly industries and forms of agriculture. It is time we put all this potential to effective use.

      I have not paved a highway here; I have only described the vision I have been able to develop and put piles of stones here and there to show where the best path appears to go. I have sort of gone up in a balloon to look at the lay of the land, and taken photographs or drawn sketches of what I saw. It is up to all of us to see what is missing, what can be done better, and what could cause problems sooner or later, improve it, agree on it, and start detailing it and implementing it as if we were developing software using the Agile method. Since Dreamfish has adopted open source project management software and provides open source project management training based on the Agile method, we have a pretty good chance of doing that well -- in fact, REALLY well!

      In mapping out what needs to be done and how to do it, we can all hold the unique approach that Andrius has developed in mind, encourage his network to participate wherever there is a fit, and find ways to support it financially out of the aggregate flows of money, energy and goods. The same goes for the oneVillage Initiative and Open Digital Village, Franz' village approach, eFactory, and the other valuable processes people on this mission of 'Blessed Unrest' have developed.

      I don't mind if people restate this vision or modify their part of it to fit what they see. What I care about is that we collectively realize that we have done enough preparation to be able to work together; the next step is to commit to doing it and get to work, helping each other over all the stumbling blocks. There will be enough specialized roles to fill that everyone can be a star or a member of the chorus, as they wish. After a while, there can also be enough money and good will that we, and the communities we serve, can thrive.

      Are you in? This question is for each of you reading this (and thanks for sticking with it, as long as it is!)


      Mark Roest

      On Sun, Jul 26, 2009 at 11:58 AM, Franz Nahrada <f.nahrada@...> wrote:
      Hello Mark Roest,

      thank you very much for the interesting notes about Tiffany von Emmel
      speaking on Dreamfish.Com that you shared with many of us already. I take
      the liberty to expand that group because I think thats an important
      development. It is almost as if somebody had taken the essence of Andrius'
      ideas about a global coworking community and had it somehow profanized and
      streamlined. In my view, this is a sign that development towards
      cooperative tools and structures is happening very fast  and we sometimes
      must admit that as pioneers we are facing the ones who run fast in the
      mental paths we have carved bit by bit overhauling us. But maybe....

      .....no, surely this is a wonderful challenge. What makes Minciu Sodas
      special? This question can now be answered even better. There is broad
      room for co-operation. But for all of us this is good news.  Eleven years
      ago, in 1998, I sat with Christiana Weidel, Gerhard Berka and Wolfgang
      Gerlich in a meeting room in "World of NGO" office - wondering how we
      could increase cooperation and build a structure that would allow people
      to associate better for any type of projects and endavours they would
      choose, business and voluntary. We called out project "Little Fish",
      because we have this metaphor in German about people at the edges,
      insignificant and easy to gobble.

      So we were starting our Meme of the Little Fish, even if we missed  to
      build that structure the meme stayed in our minds until today. And
      Dreamfish.com seems like a late tribute to that meme although they might
      have never heard from us. And here comes Andrius with the meme of an
      Economy of Dreams!

       I like the saying: Dreamfish like Fishfood.

      I always thought if these structures would exist we had no problem
      whatsoever getting villages to life again. They would provide opportunity
      for us to make money wherever we live and feed this money it into a
      village economy, thus bootsrapping an otherwise helpless case. Thanks god
      there is Marcin working on the village economy side.

      Now we have the hub movement developing not only a physical location, but
      also a "sense of place" (i.e. the Village). I am very glad that I could
      work intensively with Caroline Zeller from the Hub Brussels about the Hub
      movement and its role as enabler for Littel Fish Economy. I am sure there
      will be a merger sooner or later.

      I hope we can arrange for Caroline to travel to the Digital Solidarity
      Conference in Budapest on 29th/30th of September. There will be the last
      attempt to redefine the role of the Global Telecenter Association. The GTA
      has to reinvent itself quickly because the traditional telecentre
      mainstream is rapidly taken over by telecentre.org, a cooperation between
      the Swiss Development Initiative and Microsoft. In my view, the GTA has
      only a base to survive if it adopts the two most advanced concepts of
      community development: Global Villages and Hubs.

      So these are really exciting days, I should say. I have received an
      invitation to the World Commons Forum in Salzburg on the same day, a offer
      that cannot be rejected, therefore I cannot be in Budapest -  see:

      And yes, we can organize our Meeting in January for VideoBridging. Note
      the dates: 17th to 28th of January. We can pay travel and accomodation for
      16 people from all over Europe.

      see the details emerging here:

      if you like look at these pages - for example
      and be the first one to leave a declaration of interest:

      Would be glad to meet some Little Fish in Vienna - building the virtual
      university of the villages .....



      Mark Roest <marklroest@...> writes:

      Hi Michel, Franz and all,

      Yes, I am a colleague of Jeff Buderer, Joy Tang, Kafui Prebbie, and the
      other people in oneVillage Foundation, along with my other work.

      Dreamfish.com (not .org) is a platform on the web, a philosophy of social
      collaboration, a set of tools, an 'open school', and as a verb,
      dreamfishing, a practice of working and living.

      Tiffany von Emmel, the founder, has a link to her Ph.D. research
      bibliography on the site, and it has papers on presenting data through

      Here are my notes from her presentation to the Thursday morning meeting of
      Continuing The Conversation in Palo Alto, to give you a good sense of what
      Tiffany has put together, and where she is coming from.

      Looking at an overview of how work is changing in our economy
      How Dreamfish is working to address some of the suffering in our world.
      We have fragmented and boxed up how we think and organize; this impacts
      how we have to relate to each other and the earth.
      The result is wasted human potential, envir degradation, and so much
      We are moving in a regenerative direction; need to do force multiplication
      with these patterns; examples: EBay lets people into the economy; vendor
      providers allow organizations to hire independent contractors anywhere in
      the world; another way to work.
      Tired: Transactional, office-based, and hierarchical
      Wired: telecommuting, operating in a distributed way (virtual
      organizations, co-working centers, Internet cafes)
      Traditional economy: cash, consensus, government-backed value; exchange
      between strangers; maximize single-bottom-line
      New economy: blended value exchange: triple bottom line; B-Corporations
      responsible to social stakeholders, in the charter; blended value;
      alternative economies; open source; virtual peer economies  (like

      new marketplace: social capital market conference coming; environmental
      damage lawsuits being priced into equities; lots of private equity in the
      room; registration went from 200 to 700 after Lehman/Bear collapse. Bay
      area is a pioneer here.
      Investments in emerging market technology that helps people connect, and
      wells for communities, etc.

      dreamfish is a collaborative network, where we create sustainable work for

      Movement towards the micro; one force is aging of workforce, 149 million
      unemployed in the world; many people cannot work in a traditional org, but
      can work on a contract basis; micro-enterprises, people coming together
      for projects (like film studio model)

      They have: time energy cocreativity, commitment, dream;
      They don't have: collaboration network, experience, capital
      It's a pattern heading toward micro-development.

      orgs struggling to scale and to recover cost of programs; df builds
      large-scale collaboration network; people can learn how to pay each other.
      People can join df groups to find work and to create projects; support
      each other.
      Network with Wave video, be of service in community
      Learn to collaborate with tools and best practices; use paypal

      What is valuable to you? I am worthy and valuable! Pay for food and
      Move out of poverty; increase happiness; there is resilience in
      micro-enterprise (only 40% of small businesses 'normally' succeed, but it
      grows to >60% with df training and support; increase choice of blended
      value; reduce environmental footprint; df organizational sustainability;

      Aspen Institute sees participants in its training programs succeeding over
      The df way: one fish grows when 2 fish swim;
      relational approach to human development; together we are stronger
      respect the fish and the water; swim stronger with love; experience love
      when we work -- wear free-hug signs at conferences -- it's part of the
      work that we do! Swimming is a practice -- keep swimming!
      Working openly makes waves; in a school, every fish brings value.
      These practices are dreamfishing!

      How we feed the fish: 10 up -- like titheing; 10% shared with df and give
      a hand up.
      People are able to work and not pay for services up front, and share in
      the whole; people are making it happen; member-run network.
      Market for df: 65% women; 24 million micro-enterprises in US; emerging
      markets; unemployed in transition
      Fund the long tail of micro-enterprises; now only the dominant players are
      funded; because the transaction costs are too high to work with
      micro-enterprises individually. So df aggregates them and therefore is
      able to fund the long tail.
      This is close to the Community Energy and Economic Development (CEED) model
      [ http://www.ceedweb.org/energy/ ]http://www.ceedweb.org/energy/
      [ http://www.ceedweb.org/about.html ]http://www.ceedweb.org/about.html
      [I see a natural complementarity between CEED and Dreamfish.]

      Psychographics: learns by doing, in work transition; attracted to work to
      do; motivated by money, purpose and learning.


      Can it extend into bricks and mortar? early on in df it works really well
      for service vendors; buyers of services can be bricks and mortar; moving
      toward many more people working in this way. In next 5 years we will see
      lots of this and vendor exchanges to outsource; the true beauty of df is
      that it enables a transformation of how we work to get through the
      Do you see any dilution in mission by seeking alignment in distributed
      model - like herding cats? does consumer suffer?
      Governance: member service teams and community councils and technology
      councils; similar to Ubuntu, an open source movement which is a competitor
      to MS windows; self-organized to develop projects.
      Sue Lebeck, director of SV Innovation Institute
      Now have been establishing partnerships with networks; have now an alpha
      state and can accept our groups; last night moved into new style of wiki;
      stitched together open source social software and processes around human
      development. People work together; able to create projects now.
      Greenplus (small businesses and sustainability) stanford women and mgmt
      group, etc.
      Going to grow at slower rate for a while; # of members will explode in
      next 5 years, but people need to thrive in the network, community and
      subcultures are critical
      df will thrive: timing, track record, and people like it.
      df website: main page is workplace;
      how to find work: browse job postings, most of whom are on the dreamfish
      service teams and growing our own network; wikis are good for
      collaborative business models; cf wikipedia, 10,000 volunteers, wikihow
      (palo alto, 50,000 articles)
      projects: projects management
      wave branding project meeting
      wiki tutorial
      learn and gain visibility and do meaningful work by volunteering!
      In the last blog she posted an interview with Kevin Jones, about a social
      capital market conference; he is a social VC; think about what is valuable
      to people; it is subjective;
      There are Lots of How Tos: how to do something; what do I know & not know?
      Doing a large project around teaching people to create their own video
      business cards. How do you do project mgmt in a way that's friendly and
      Wave in df is customizing the social networking layer of df: changing a
      feature name; realized want people to be able to wave to each other and to
      make waves.
      did it before google wave came out; google is a useful tool and df
      encourages people to use useful tools. df focus is helping largest number
      of people who need it most. People can use phone, sms, email, whatever!
      df is a collaboration network where we all can thrive!
      They are recruiting a project mgmt coach; have a workflow; have Tuesday 10
      am calls still; will spend time going through the topics people are most
      interested in.

      Basic project process
      Grab a project template, start a project plan; look at the pieces and
      paste into a new page and list it; then create job listings, then go to
      hiring a worker and copy-paste the template; then do promotion tutorial on
      video that announces project. They have a resource section on what are
      effective project methods (based on Agile).
      Colleague of one of us asked how do you keep unhealthy elements out of the
      network? Create the kind of culture you want, and do some setting
      boundaries and policing; here are the values we care about. There are
      people who care passionately about respecting values and will draw the
      line; community managers and individuals can email someone to block an
      account if there are violations.
      Too early to have statistics on success rates, have a lot of projects we
      have done as df people working on consulting projects, but not in DF per
      Urgent request: looking for funding in large and small ways. See
      Donations: About dreamfish: love to dreamfish

      Check it out!

      By the way, I met a man who is a potential founder and funder of a social
      business in methane digesters, which are a key component in Integrated
      Farming & Waste Management. David Alan Foster brings some advanced design
      concepts to it, and I wonder if anyone in this network also has some to
      contribute to an integrated set of designs for a wide range of scales?
      Part of the idea is to be able to use production technology to make them
      at relatively low cost, so we can get them into low-income areas, with
      minimal use of concrete -- yet provide high performance. Another aspect is
      doing it in 'factory farm' environments to reduce their adverse impact on
      the environment.



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