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Greetings from France
  • Hi everyone,

    I'm a 25 years old French computer scientist, living near Lyon with my wife and my 2 and a half years old boy.

    I find the Open Source Ecology project extremely interesting and when I saw the TED talk for the first time, I say to myself "That's what I want to do!! ".
    Several month have past and it's more than ever what I want to do :).

    I really want to start something similar here, in France, probably in the "Rhone-Alpes" region but nothing is decided.

    I got a lot of things to prepare, peoples to meet, before starting things seriously but I can already ask you a lot of questions about how you did it and how it goes.
    My main problem is that i'm no farmer, neither a carpenter or an engineer, I'm not even a good programmer but I've got a lot of motivation :).

    In the very near future, I'll meet farmers, agronomics engineers, and someone who built a CEB machine and hope they will help me to start this project.

    There is also a very famous and interesting association called "Terre et Humanisme" (litterraly earth and humanism) which do something similar as OSE but they are less technical and insist on the agro ecological and the spiritual aspects of such adventures. Their "leader" is called Pierre Rabhi, a very amazing guy who started agro ecology since the 70's and continue to help people going that way mostly in France and in Africa but also in the rest of the world. I hope I'll be able to do something with them too.

    I don't know how my actions can help and interact with the OSE project since I don't know yet the exact nature of my project. I think it'll less axis on the technical side but certainly more on the "social aspect". How can someone become an eFarmer while he has a job, maybe some credits etc ? How can peoples do, financially and administratively to build a project like this ? How can the "community" organize itself ? I did not read all the OSE wiki but I think not all those questions are answered, and even if it is the case, certain things will differ from the USA.

    Anyway, I want to congratulate everyone in the OSE project for the amazing work they've already done.
    You will certainly see topics from me very soon on this forum :).


    EDIT : I created a second account on the forum cause I thought google authentication wasn't working, how can we delete an account ?
  • 8 Comments sorted by
  • Well, I suppose you could always invest in an OSE franchise. If you have money and time to evangelize the project you'd be just like a typical backer in any other project. Find someone with skills and a desire to apply them, then give them the funding they need, then go out and advertise for them, then take a cut of what they produce.
  • Hi Matt,

    I think I didn't understand all the aspects of the OSE project cause for me, before being a company, the OSE project is a "new civilization project" and that is in that term that I want to do the same. Is the goal of OSE only producing open source tractors (and other tools) and sell them ? If so, I really misunderstood the whole thing.

    For me, the technical aspect of OSE (GVCS) is "just" a part of something more global which is reinvent the way peoples can live, eat food, product goods, interacts with each other and evolve personally. If we start a community project, maybe we won't have to build all the tools in the GVCS, I mean that maybe we'll already have those tools from other persons (ie the CEB maker) or we won't need them at all for the beginning. So, the goal will be to build houses, found a community, feed peoples etc. Machines are just a way to get there but for me it is not a "must have" in some cases. For example, you can start growing things without having a tractor.

    I have no money, no skills, but I want to learn and I won't do this without peoples that have skills.

    Hope I'm not off subject on this forum, if it is the case, please just ignore this message,

  • Hi Andreas,

    that's great! Please check our work in Europe:

    and send me a Gmail to: nikolay.h.georgiev to connect you with some of the people in France who are interested in OSE.

  • Well, OSE is a non-profit, so obviously the focus isn't on the bottom line. the last few years of slow progress at Factor e Farm demonstrates, nothing happens without resources. Short of becoming luddites, there's absolutely no way a small community can produce everything it needs by itself. You're going to have to trade and that means doing something that brings in excess cash. In the same way, you need resources just to get started. It's unusual for one person to have everything; usually one person will have the money and one person will have the skills. You form a partnership if you can both agree on what you're putting into it and what you're getting out of it.

    I'm participating in OSE and the GVCS because I love the idea of increasing wealth by decreasing the need for money. I can't speak for anyone else here, but different people seem to be into it for different reasons.
  • Hi,

    Thank you for your replies.

    @Nikolay : I've seen the OSE Europe pages but I'm not sure, right now, if what I have in mind is an OSE community or something different. That is what I want to define by asking people questions on this forum. The other reason I didn't start a French OSE page is that I'm alone for the moment. Before doing anything real, I want to find persons who want to do something similar, agree on an idea, a vision, and then communicate about it. I hope I will be able to do it soon through, for example, the "colibri network" which is a french network for people who want to change the society by acting and is often related to agriculture and/or education.

    @matt : Glad to hear that profit is not the main goal of OSE. Meanwhile, your remark is very interesting, money is something very important for this kind of project and a realistic business plan must obviously be done before starting. I'm aware of that, and because I have a family (and especially a wife who does not share my optimism in this kind of adventure :) ), I can not engage in it without deeply thinking of the consequences.
    I said that I have no money, but I'll maybe have like 20 000 euros in a few months (family thing) but I can't count on that, so I'm thinking of building an associative structure and ask people to invest in it or give money (donation) and certainly doing a small bank loan. We've got here a special bank called "la nef" which finance only small eco-friendly and social projects. I know people who started farms or bakeries with it and it worked well.

    In France, agriculture lands are more than 10 times (or even 100 times depending on the region) cheaper than constructible lands. The chance we have is that it is somehow legal to build a house on an agriculture land if you are really doing agriculture on it, which is what I want to do :). So, if we do everything with our own hands and use cheap materials (earth and local wood for example) the price of the project could be acceptable compare to buying a house on a constructible land, which can be very very expensive these days.   

    I'm preparing a list of questions to ask in this forum but before I need to read more deeply the OSE wiki.

    Thanks a lot,
  • Hi Andreas
    We should talk. I am based near Nantes.
    Mail me on alastair.i.armstrong (@)

  • That's interesting that you bring up the legality of an OSE-like venture. I've been wondering just how much micro-industry is actually permissible in different places. Not to mention the ramifications of future changes in the law. It's probably worth spending a good chunk of your research time on the legal aspects, up to and including direct contact with the administrators who will have to grant permission and will have the power to shut you down for one reason or another.
  • Hello Andreas, Alastair,
    your points are interesting and indeed the GVCS may enable a different system that can be developed.
    any movement is shaped by the people that are in it and that share their ideas, so it is OSE.

    by the way, we are starting a group in France. our vision is not far from yours...
    we are based around Montpellier
    you can join us on
    we are at the early stages and will send out news very soon.


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