Who are our technology evangelists?
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
email@example.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.
+370 (5) 264 5950
+370 (699) 30003
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.
… i need to review that email again
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
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: 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.
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
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
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
… 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
… 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
… we should not have to constantly fill out forms and add data
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
… 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!
Jeff: but the technology needs to be availale and properly marketed to
… 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.
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
… and develop them into businesses
Andrius: Yes, or simply work with businesses that would give us work
because they would benefit from the opportunity.
… 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?
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!
- 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
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
firstname.lastname@example.org 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!
+370 (699) 30003
+370 (5) 264 5950
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.