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Re: [globalvillages] Issues that could help us build coherence

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  • Pamela McLean
    Hi Franz and everyone. This email is about this week in London and COMMUNIA in January (Open Source Hardware and Fantsuam Foundation) and video bridges. ~ Been
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 2, 2008
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      Hi Franz and everyone.

      This email is about this week in London and COMMUNIA in January (Open Source Hardware and Fantsuam Foundation) and video bridges.

      ~ Been away

      First, an explanation, I have missed out on a lot of recent Minciu Sodas posts so please forgive my ignorance. I have been in Nigeria and it always takes me a few weeks to re-orientate  myself when I get back to UK. (More on my recent trip at http://learnbydoinguk.blogspot.com
      Visiting Fantsuam -  Friday, 24 October 2008)

      I often describe my Nigerian visits as "reality checks" - even though I have a good idea what to expect now, I am always trying something slightly different (a further development) and I always learn new things. When I get home again it is always a bit odd. I have to pull together my previous "UK/online reality" and my updated "Nigerian/grass-roots reality" so that they are both "going along in an integrated way again" and in an appropriate direction i.e. with a vision that makes natural sense in "both realities".  I wonder if that explanation makes sense to anyone. Anyhow - enough of that - just to let you know that is why I am out of touch and needing to do a catch up.

      ~ London gathering

      Ref Franz says "This weeks gathering will happen in London, and we might want to consider to create links and offer the communia meeting as another step in the development of this culture."

      Given that I can often get to events in London (If I have time to clear my diary) I wonder what gathering this is - i.e if it is not relevant to me or if it is something I should try to attend.

      ~ COMMUNIA

      Ref Andrius says:  COMMUNIA..London in January, 2009.... we
      could organize Open Source Hardware activists. Is that something we'd like
      to do? .. Also, we can invite our African participants, but we have
      had trouble getting visas.  And we should consider, what is our purpose?


      I think it is a great idea to invite Open Source Hardware activists. I think it is very useful to have such a concrete example of information sharing. It is learning by doing. If other people are able to copy and replicate what is being done then that is a wonderful kind of monitoring and evaluation. It would be much more convincing evidence of the value of information sharing than just saying  "x number of people attended a course using learning objects that were in the public domain (but we don't have any evidence of what they did as a result of the course yet). I am not saying that we would have that evidence immediately after COMMUNIA on Open Source Hardware! However it could be another useful step along the way - especially if it helped us to explore practical issues of implementing/replicating  Open Source Hardware ideas.

      There is already some overlapping interests between Fantsuam Foundation and Marcin's work, which I think I have mentioned here before.

      When I was in Nigeria I was updated on Fantsuam Foundation's Eco-Village project, and I told John about the Open Tractor project. As I expected he was very interested in it. In fact we almost managed a Skype voice chat one evening with Marcin from Fantsuam, but the connection was not quite up to it.

      There is additional overlap between Fantsuam Foundation (FF) and Marcin's work, besides the tractor, because of construction techniques. Fantsuam already has experience of using compressed earth blocks for building. In fact the Knowledge Resource Centre where I spent most of my time is in one of their compressed earth block buildings. FF also has experience of eco-domes now as well because Marcus Simmons did a small eco-dome as a demonstration/experiment/training at the eco-village site.

      For more info on FF including a brief look at the Eco-dome work in progress see Fantsuam Foundation 5 minute You Tube introduction

      ~ Video bridges

      Franz. I would like to explore your thoughts ref video bridges and links to Fantsuam Fouondation. Our story so far is this - At present we have weekly Dadamac meetings between the UK and Nigeria. We used to use yahoo, because that is so popular and familiar in Africa through cyber cafes. However, of late we have found it to be less stable than previously. We have changed to skype (text) for our weekly UK-Fantsuam meetings. However for some other Dadamac UK-Nigeria meetings we still use yahoo because people know it and have easy access to it. (These are not public domain meetings). I have also introduced Fantsuam people to the chat room from time to time. We have used I-Linc and Elluminate for audiographic conferencing, but do not use that regularly.

      I am in favour of finding out how to use all kinds of ICTs in appropriate ways to improve the ways we learn from each other (through learning/teaching or simply by working together).

      I am also interested in helping people to explore how various things developed outside of Africa do actually work in real life situations in Africa. Maybe we could try out video bridges and then maybe we could use vidoe bridges to help try out other things. I have a memory of a connection to Sasha from Lithuania, but I wasn't concentrating on the techie side of things there to remember many details. I don't know enough about the functionality of video bridges (compared to skype etc) to really make informed suggestions yet - but I hope to learn more from you soon.

      What would you like to see happen with video bridges and links to Fantsuam Foundation? (Dadamac's  vision for FF is that we try things there, and get them to work in ways that are locally apporpriate, and then share what works with other people in similar situations).

      Pam 

       



      08/11/2 Franz Nahrada <f.nahrada@...>

      I am writing in response of Andrius crosspost and I know this (the crosspost) should be a tool we are to use more consciently and responsibly. (Andrius and I have worked out ideas on that that I hope to share in another mail, still waiting for him to come up with a proposal)

      But there is a very important point in Andriuses mail that I want to respond to, something that could really help us increase the visibility and the positioning of the whole lab. The fact that Minciu Sodas is engaged in the Communia process offers a lot of opportunities to strengthen our own ecosystem and the general ecosystem of the Open Culture we are part of.

      -----
      Andrius Kulikauskas writes:
      We also have 4800 EUR to spend for travel to COMMUNIA meetings. The next
      meeting is in London in January, 2009.  We can use the money to invite
      anybody we like, for our own purposes.  However, it would be good to also
      have a goal related to strengthening the Public Domain.  For example, we
      could organize Open Source Hardware activists. Is that something we'd like
      to do?  COMMUNIA might be a good venue for that (we'd have to note that
      open source hardware is a "digital" matter, not a "hardware" matter).  It
      would be a way to bring Marcin, Jeff and others to Europe if there is a
      point to that.  Also, we can invite our African participants, but we have
      had trouble getting visas.  And we should consider, what is our purpose?

      ------

      so let us reflect.....

      Its very clear that incredible things are happening, especially fueled by the sense of urgency facing the economic and ecological crisis and the widespread non-acceptance of the still dominating bailout mentality. One particular thread of networking and activities is the OpenEverything movement, that emerged out of the perception that now is the time to mash up and create a new culture. So far, four retreats have taken place and for the first time, this is like a spontaneus wave of association that spans around the globe.

      While people at the forefront of the Intellectual Commons like Marcin are finally making headway in showing tangible results, while more and more companies are looking to quit the Intellectual Property game, there is broad recognition that there is a need to formulate and enact new rules of the game and present a viable alternative to an increasingly disoriented and frustrated public helplessly facing the shameless burning of the last holy assetts for half a years continuation of our nightmare econoimics.

      This is why people are drawn together, and there is a broad feeling that it is around the accord of the creative individuals of this world that a new culture crystallizes. It has always been as such in history, but for the first time the rule that we establish revolve around the individual and ints potential: Lets arrure the conditions that everyone can be creative and lets build our hope and our future on the expecatation that this potential of wealth and gifts will carry us further than any old form of social restriuctions and rationing. While the traditional left is reformulating its old anticreative Ideas in constructs like Parecon, to finally reach justice, equality and fair share, the new movement is built on enacting individual freedom at its extremes - but not a selfish individual freedom like in neoliberalism or even in some parts of the 68 movement, but a freedom that unfolds in unforeseen dimension of social contributions, productive acts, problem solutions.

      Thats at the core of the new process that has no name, and OpenEverything is just another attempt to grab and develop the central concepts of this culture. This weeks gathering will happen in London, and we might want to consider to create links and offer the communia meeting as another step in the development of this culture.

      http://openeverything.net/
      http://openeverything.wik.is/London

      While OpenEverything is focusing on "things" (and does that rightfully), we should propose a followup meeting that is focussing on people and their creative potential. Actually, the core competence of our lab is the development of abilities and mentalities of people sharing and participating in Open Culture. There are so many questions related to this, but the central question is the shere material survival. Still the sad story of the Open Inventor that Vinay Gupta once presented resonates in my head. How can we really enact an economy of giving everything away, which is the kingdom of heaven for some and the free association of producers for others?

      Marcin has recently brought a daring and compelling perspective into discussion that is so important for me that I cant keep reiterating it. Develop mechanisms of social shares that allow us to deal with any size of production on the base of p2p values. Have the copernican shift happen where the industry revolves around the creative individual, not just a support economy, but an economy commonly owned by the stakeholders. Not as an abstract state though, but on the base of self-assigned social enterprises. The main quality of these social enterprises is that they follow their own core values, that they are open for meaningful cooperation and that their asociation is built on goals that are pursued in free cooperation.

      We feel this imminent change is around the corner, but we cannot be sure, we are part of the game and without us (as a community of likeminded individuals around the globe, not limited to Minciu Sodas peoiple) this change cannot happen. NO CHANGE WITHOUT US. Its going to be interesting times especially when Obama should be elected next week.

      So why not dedicate the communia meeting totally and entirely to this subject and make clear to the European commission that this is the all-deciding factor. People with a basic income could be selfish as parasites or hopelessly depressed as the native Americans Frithjof Bergman describes in his book -  "they were like stumps of trees slowly covered by snow, motionless and numb, waiting for the postal plane to bring their social security paychecks" - or they can be activated by the discovery that a different fire of imagination burns in every human being, and our common dream can only be the resulty of nurturing and supporting and developing this fire. Given this potential, the investment in people would be a million times more productive than the bailout for the survival of allready rotten dead money.

      Structures like the Help Room must be there to nurture and support us in what we bring out, and we must boldly ask for support, showing more and more examples of the potential that is accumulating here. The communiy meeting in London might be a good ground for this.

      Franz


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