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Who are our technology evangelists?

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  • Andrius Kulikauskas
    Note: I write to Global Villages but also to other Minciu Sodas working groups with relevant technologies such as Cyfranogi (Community Currency), Learning From
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 1, 2006
      Note: I write to Global Villages but also to other Minciu Sodas working
      groups with relevant technologies such as Cyfranogi (Community
      Currency), Learning From Each Other (Learning ICT), Working In Parallel
      (Wikis and other tools for thinking). Andrius, http://www.ms.lt

      Today I chatted with Jeff Buderer of http://www.onevillagefoundation.org
      He's passionate about George Chan's Integrated Farming System as well as
      other global village technologies.

      I have been thinking some time about having a "top ten list" of global
      village technologies that we are promoting. However, a more natural idea
      came up. We have quite a few people who are championing particular
      technologies. It would make sense to list out our "evangelists", who is
      championing what technologies or methodologies. I think that in our lab
      we would tend to find for a given technology one "chief evangelist" and
      other people who would be willing to be part of the "evangelist team".
      This could be the beginning of the work in small teams that Markus Petz,
      Jeff Buderer and others want to see. It could be organized at our wiki
      http://www.findbetterways.info but also other wikis. And we could keep
      looking for how it connects with, flows out of and is advanced by our
      own personal key concepts and investigatory questions.

      Here's a list of technologies/methodologies and evangelists who come to

      Integrated Farming System - Jeff Buderer
      SolaRoof - Richard Nelson
      Video Bridges - Franz Nahrada
      Community Currency - John Rogers
      Local Publishing - Maria Agnese Giraudo
      Wikis - Helmut Leitner
      Pattern Languages - AndriusKulikauskas
      Public Domain - AndriusKulikauskas
      Solar Cycles - Umesh Rashmi Rohatgi
      Open Content - Paolo Pumilia
      Simputer - Edward Cherlin
      Bird Flu CoThinking (?) - Lucas Gonzalez Santa Cruz
      Nomadism (?) - Dante-Gabryell Monson
      Integrity (?) - Graham Douglas
      Innovation (?) - Andrea Mills
      WiFi - ?

      Benoit Couture, Pamela McLean, Samwel Kongere, Eric Schneider, Joy Tang,
      Kevin Parcell and all, do you have relevant technologies or
      methodologies that you would like to evangelize through our lab? I
      suppose we'll want to consider some shared principles regarding them all.

      What do these technologies have in common? Why might they be relevant to
      our lab? They serve individuals and groups that are marginalized. They
      advance our shared value of "caring about thinking".

      I think this will help us in looking for work, too, because it shows
      what we are knowledgeable about, what we care about. And the small teams
      that we form will perhaps be ready to work together on projects for paid
      work as that might arise.

      Also, I have set up an email address publicdomain@yahoogroups.com which
      anybody can send a letter to. Your letter will end up in our Yahoo
      archive and will be available through RSS and will enter our lab's
      system where it can be sorted and tagged (according to its place in our
      workflow and the technology team). This is for letters whose original
      content is in the Public Domain except as they explicitly note
      otherwise. In this way, the small teams (two, three, four or more
      people) can simply send emails to each other and CC the address
      publicdomain@yahoogroups.com and we will all be informed.

      What do you think? Please let us know if you'd like to be an evangelist
      for a technology/methodology. We could start forming small teams and try
      this out. I share my chat with Jeff.


      Andrius Kulikauskas
      Minciu Sodas
      +370 (5) 264 5950
      +370 (699) 30003
      Vilnius, Lithuania

      Andrius: Hi Jeff, How are you? I'm wondering if you liked the tagging
      that I've been doing in terms of workflow - if that relates to your
      ideas on a system for creating proposals.
      Jeff: hi
      … i need to review that email again
      Andrius: ok
      Jeff: i need to respond also
      … how are you?
      Andrius: I"m fine
      … talking to Franz
      Jeff: i am trying to focus more on a core set of things
      Andrius: what are they?
      Jeff: food shelter energy and information
      … the basics to human life
      … :)
      … What is most dear to me is Geoge Chan Integrated Farming System
      … I really think the potential of that is huge
      Andrius: yes
      Jeff: because it is way to get the grassroots involved in a campaign to
      reduce greenhouse gases
      … as well as produce healthy food, promote sustainable livlihoods
      renewable energy etc
      Andrius: Jeff, could we make a top ten list of progressive technologies
      that are relevant to us, and perhaps evangelists?
      Jeff: thats interesting
      Andrius: For example: Integrated Farming System - Jeff: , SolaRoof -
      Rick Nelson, Video Bridge - Franz Nahrada
      … and more people.
      … We can be assembling technology evangelists.
      Jeff: good
      Andrius: Wifi
      Jeff: thats very good
      Andrius: Wiki - HelmutLeitner
      Jeff: and than have a miniwebsite for each
      Andrius: Any other's that you can think of?
      … Yes a mini website and perhaps a wiki behind it.
      … And we could use your help in thinking how to rethink our use of our
      wiki. Helmut is supportive.
      Jeff: ok
      Andrius: It's good that we have a powerful wiki, but there needs to be a
      way to access it very simply, and contribute to it simply.
      … So that the advanced interface is in the back room, not the default.
      … Perhaps several layers for the same page: "simple read", "simple
      edit", "normal wiki", "advanced wiki"
      Jeff: what would be the options for each?
      … it might be good to write dont specific what is missing
      … and what speciifcally those added features/thumbnails would offer
      … I myself think it is fine
      Andrius: "simple read" means that you just see the data presented, much
      like at http://www.ms.lt/?thinker=Jeff_Buderer where you might not
      realize that it is drawing on metadata stored at a wiki
      … "simple edit" means a single page that you can edit, for example, the
      Jeff: page, and add metadata
      Jeff: oh yeah
      Andrius: "normal wiki" would be a primitive wiki that is flat, one-level
      … "advanced wiki" would be the fractal wiki that we have, and would be
      for the admin types who can move stuff around
      Jeff: why dont you ask the users and see what they think?
      Andrius: We don't have many users right now!
      … But so I think of you as a user and I'm wondering what would work best
      for you.
      Jeff: then first you need to look at why that is
      … i dont think it is because of the set up of the wiki
      … but rather there needs to be something that draws people in and makes
      it compelling to them
      … this is easy to say but more challenging to do
      … however if one is to focus on a core theme or set of theme
      … that makes it is easier for people to grasp
      … and this fits with what I have been saying about the proposal
      … it is not enough to create a space for thinking and experimentation
      … one needs to make what is going on in that space relevant to the needs
      of the target groups
      … hence one project might be to set up a flash presentation on the
      integrated farming to make it more compelling to investors or donors
      … Another might be to use Java to map out all our network nodes of
      … by going through previous letters and organizing them into a organized
      typology of information
      … that is representative of our group
      Andrius: yes
      Jeff: I think you have been moving in this direction
      … with the tagging
      Andrius: I've had some success organizing our letters according to their
      contribution to the workflow. Yes
      Jeff: but I think we need to organize project teams and actually some
      management system
      … to say this is what we want to to do and this is who will do it and
      this is what each person's responsibilities are so that we can complete
      our goals as a group
      Andrius: And I think that we could also tag letters that are relevant to
      particular technologies that we are evangelizing, including Community
      Currency (John Rogers) or BirdFluHygiene (Lucas Gonzalez Santa Cruz)
      Jeff: Well that is basically finding better ways no?
      Andrius: Yes, exactly.
      … And these Chief Evangelists and Evangelist Teams would seem natural in
      this regard.
      … Who is advocating for which technology.
      … For example, I could advocate for Pattern Languages.
      Jeff: I think the ICT augmentation is an important concept
      Andrius: What does that mean?
      Jeff: if we can remove many of the menial task from ICT then that is a
      key step
      … we should not have to constantly fill out forms and add data
      Andrius: yes
      Jeff: the net's priorities have not let to maximize effectiveness or the
      fully realization of human potential
      … so i would see that at one of the top things
      … do a survey of how people feel the net can be improved
      … Owen Davis is the evangisl for I-names
      … which the planetwork group came up with
      … are you familar with this
      Andrius: yes
      … and this is a way to reach out to various groups, too
      … to help organize such teams
      … Public Domain - another technology
      Jeff: it seems quite absurd really that someone has not developed as RSS
      system for sharing personal information.
      Andrius: or BarCamp
      Jeff: you go to a website
      … and want to sign up
      … and you just have your site beam over the information needed instantly
      Andrius: Ian Bruk of our lab set up a website for using RSS for keeping
      one's contact information up to date. That was 3 years ago!
      … yes
      Jeff: but the technology needs to be availale and properly marketed to
      the web
      … is it?
      Andrius: no, you're right
      Jeff: this could be the next google
      … the group that figures out how to do it and market the technology
      Andrius: I look forward to your help at http://www.findbetterways.info
      and how we might improve that.
      Jeff: ok
      Andrius: Jeff, yes, good point, and that would fit in with the "social
      ping" system that we're building with Thomas Kalka.
      … The information could be collected by questionnaires and answers sent
      back and forth as email.
      Jeff: welll I think if we are talking about how to raise money to do
      what we want to do...
      Andrius: And then that information could be made available over the web
      but also as RSS feeds.
      Jeff: then maybe we should look at how we might develop better tools for
      the net
      … and develop them into businesses
      Andrius: Yes, or simply work with businesses that would give us work
      because they would benefit from the opportunity.
      Jeff: consultants
      … sure I think working with a already esablished biz would be a great
      Andrius: So our connection with Steve Cayzer at Hewlett-Packard is good
      and it would be great to have more such.
      Jeff: what about Sociate?
      Andrius: Where are you now in California?
      Jeff: MO
      Andrius: Sociate is Jerry Michalski, a very good and helpful connection,
      but a consultant, not a business.
      Jeff: i know
      … but it might make sense to parnter with a consultant that has many
      leads in the biz community already
      Andrius: yes. sorry I was speaking with our club leader Algirdas
      … Jeff, I will share our chat!
      Jeff: ok
    • Andrius Kulikauskas
      Dr. Rod King, Gavin Harper, Giuseppe Platania, John Waters, Steve Bosserman, Pamela McLean, Franz Nahrada and all, Welcome and thank you to all for responding
      Message 2 of 2 , Sep 7, 2006
        Dr. Rod King, Gavin Harper, Giuseppe Platania, John Waters, Steve
        Bosserman, Pamela McLean, Franz Nahrada and all,

        Welcome and thank you to all for responding to my request for technology
        evangelists! Special welcome to Gavin Harper
        http://www.iee.org/OnComms/Circuit/jobs/Profiles/gavin_harper.cfm of the
        Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales! http://www.cat.org.uk Thank
        you for bridging our communities! Do you have a link to your
        alternative energy strategy wiki?

        I'm realizing that by thinking of ourselves as technology evangelists we
        may arrive at a natural organization of ourselves in terms of large and
        small teams. Indeed, there is a need for a path by which a team can
        grow from a single person like Dr. Rod King's
        http://www.idealsolutionsmanagement.com Fractal User Interface to an
        entire community such as Rick Nelson's SolaRoof http://www.solaroof.org
        or even Christopher Alexander's Pattern Language movement. And along
        the way the team grows complex and differentiates itself. We can help
        encourage this team building process. I think it helps to realize from
        the start that the teams are of very different sizes and at very
        different stages. Correspondingly, in each domain our knowledge grows
        and evolves. And it becomes more clear what kind of projects are
        relevant for each team and what kind of intercoordination is helpful.

        This also suggests a "working-in-parallel" that will help us realize
        what expectations should we share so that we can truly support each
        other as independent thinkers. What are the values that make our
        technologies better than "neutral", that make them wholesome, that have
        them serve those who are ever marginalized? What is it about a
        technology, a methodology, an evangelism that opens our heart to include
        it? I think that, for example, it should encourage knowledge to be
        available to all so that all might engage it. What should we be able to
        expect? For example, I think that it's not helpful for us that
        Christopher Alexander has copyrighted the architectural patterns in his
        book "A Pattern Language" or that Edward de Bono has trademarked his
        "six thinking hats" methodology. And I personally think that a
        "copyleft" approach may, in many cases, be unhelpfully restrictive and
        inappropriately legalistic. But what should we work towards and how do
        we start with each technology? For example, Franz Nahrada and our
        friends in Kirchbach, Austria have decided strategically that at this
        time for video bridging we shouldn't wait for open source technologies
        to develop but we should make good use of existing proprietary hardware
        technologies and break ground in terms of usage. I understand and
        support this approach, but how do we make sense of it? How can we tell
        if a technology (whether it's nuclear power or giant windmills or
        Microsoft Excel or Skype or the Google search engine) is helping or
        hurting our vision of "global villages"? Or more practically, in what
        directions do we support Dr. Rod King's Fractal User Interface or Rick
        Nelson's SolaRoof or Christopher Alexander's Pattern Languages or KB5's
        Video Bridges? How do we work to help these all flourish as open

        We'll want online tools that can match the simplicity and the complexity
        of our teams. I look forward to seeing a central role for Helmut
        Leitner's ProWiki http://www.prowiki.org as a wiki engine for our
        projects of various sizes. We're making a list at
        http://www.findbetterways.info of our technologies. I want to see a way
        for us to adapt our wiki technology to projects of very different sizes
        for different kinds of readers and writers:
        A) Creating "read only" pages using metadata that we keep at our wiki,
        as we are at: http://www.ms.lt/?thinker=Franz_Nahrada which makes use of
        data stored at http://www.ourculture.info/wiki.cgi?FranzNahrada
        B) Having super simple "editable" pages that serve a very focused
        purpose, such as for an individual to write about themselves, or
        describe a project they are working on, or a book review, etc. These
        should not expect wiki mark-up or wiki links or much formatting in
        general. Instead I think there should be a form that people fill out,
        perhaps selecting a question and writing out the answer, and being able
        to have several questions and answers on a single page, yielding wiki
        pages and meta data. Links where applicable would be treated as
        metadata, as answers to questions. I would like this data to be
        updatable by email using the social ping system that we've discussed
        with Thomas Kalka.
        C) Have a normal wiki for advanced users, but just a flat wiki for that
        particular project.
        D) Have an advanced fractal wiki (as we've set up now) that (I foresee)
        is used primarily for moving and interrelating pages amongst various
        I think that most of this can be done with the existing ProWiki engine,
        it's a matter of us learning how to do this and perhaps creating B,
        perhaps as part of Thomas Kalka's system.

        Thank you to all at Cyfranogi (John Waters, John Rogers, Jon Cousins,
        Samwel Kongere's interviews) who have been sharing stories about our
        "money minds". http://www.ms.lt/?action=Experience I'm very happy that
        these stories (vignettes, episodes, anecdotes) are capturing our first
        hand experiences. These are the types of knowledge that I'd like to see
        us contribute using the "simple editable pages" described in B.
        (Perhaps this is a use for transLucid and TheBrain and related "atomic"
        technologies?) I look forward to collecting more such first hand
        accounts regarding our "living space minds" (what makes a building
        alive), our "learning minds" (our learning styles and strategies). And
        what kinds of "minds" are relevant for sustainability, for alternative

        I am happy to announce a new working group at our Minciu Sodas
        laboratory: "Ethical Design"
        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ethicaldesign/ led by James Ferguson, an
        architect in Vilnius, Lithuania.
        http://www.ferguson-studio.com/aboutus.html Send a blank message to
        ethicaldesign-subscribe@yahoogroups.com to subscribe James's key
        concept is "ethical solutions" and his investigatory question is "How
        have people successfully gotten city planning departments to adopt
        sustainable planning ideas?" He's agreed to host our laboratory's work
        to organize the pattern language movement
        http://www.patternlanguages.info and to advance, apply and further
        develop the ideas of Christopher Alexander, Nikos A Salingaros and all
        who want our buildings to be profoundly alive. I'll be gathering
        pattern language enthusiasts as I promote Nikos's new book "A Theory of
        Architecture" http://www.umbau-verlag.com His publisher is happy to
        send you a free copy if you'd be willing to write a review, good or bad,
        in the Public Domain or as you note otherwise. Send me your address to
        ms@... and a sentence or two why you're interested that we might post!


        Andrius Kulikauskas
        Minciu Sodas
        +370 (699) 30003
        +370 (5) 264 5950
        Vilnius, Lithuania

        Gavin D. J. Harper Esq. wrote:

        >At the Centre for Alternative Technology, we have been developing an
        >Alternative Energy Strategy for the United Kingdom as a think tank
        >using a Wiki based approach. We have found it very successful,
        >however, the approach requires a lot of setting up, administration
        >and training on the part of the user to set up the system. Would be
        >happy to discuss with others who were interested.
        >Gavin Harper
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