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Resource Development Introduction
  • Greetings Open Source Ecology Community!
    My name is Julia Valentine and I have the great honor to serve OSE as the Resource Development Director.  I came to OSE through my involvement in re-localization efforts in Sebastopol CA, where I live with my family.  I am a mother of 3 boys, a Waldorf kindergarten teacher, Permaculture teacher, and a Core Team member of Transition Sebastopol.  My work with Permaculture and the Transition Town movement left me feeling that there was something missing in our approach to resilience.  Early last year a friend emailed me a link to OSE.  I was immediately interested, and knew that the Open Source model of collaboration was the missing piece.  Transition Sebastopol booked Marcin to speak to our community in November of last year, and I was inspired to lend my time and energy to the project.  

    Since that time, I have been working closely with Marcin and Angel Rodriguez to develop a strategy and platform for funding.  Thus far we have concentrated on the organizational overlays necessary for growth.  This includes partnering with a fiscal sponsor-The Terra Foundation- to obtain 501c3 tax exemption, developing a streamlined mission and values statement, and working with Angel- our Chief Operating Officer- to clarify roles and structural needs within the organization to support the growth we anticipate over the coming months.  With this piece recently completed, we will be moving on to the meat of fundraising.

    Angel and I will be working together to bring together the nonprofit funding possibilities, as well as develop a private sector business model as another means to fund the development of the GVCS.  Both processes will be documented and posted on our wiki and forum as we progress.  We will share with you the successes and failures as they arise.  Please visit our Resource Development Forum to follow our progress and to lend your valuable input. 

    Currently the plan for non profit funding is to work toward developing teams of people who work in three major categories of funding potential: individual donors, grants, and awards. In the mean time Angel and I will be pursuing all of these options to the best of our abilities.  75% of all not for profit funding comes from individual donors.  This will be our main focus for funding, then splitting our time between grants and awards equally.  Isaiah Saxon is in charge of our Kickstarter campaign, which along with the True Fans[a] is the bulk of our crowd sourcing endeavors.  We feel confident that this strategy will work for OSE, and we look forward to collaboration from the community at large to move this effort forward.

    Please feel free to contact me at julia at with any questions or comments.
    With Gratitude,
  • 6 Comments sorted by
  • I am interested in the private sector business model. What are you thinking of along these lines? These are some that occur to me:

    1) Make and sell tools at a profit. As I understand it, there is at present only one product that is market ready, the CEB maker. I am on the island of Kauai (~60K permanent residents). I assume it would require a broader set of tools/products for such a business plan to succeed in such a small market. Small scale agriculture / community gardens are taking off at the moment on the island. A friend who teaches at the local community college refers to this a "the year of the community garden". Mulcher, hammermill, mini tractor, orchard based tools like auger and tree handler would be good. Have you given any thought to chain saws / brush cutters?

    2) A subscription based facility, along the lines of Hackerspace, Techshop, etc. Users would pay for access to the tools. The opportunity to participate in OSE could be an incentive. Perhaps now, with the large response to the TED talk, the market value of the OSE brand could make such a business model viable. In time and with the proliferation of OSE designs, products and users, a toolset that is geared towards the creation, customization and repair of OSE tools would be valuable. For example, someone who had a large tree fall on their microtractor might wish for access to the toolset to rebuild the front half.

    3) An educational model. Sell the training. This could perhaps be done in partnership with local schools. This would lean more in the direction of the funded non profit / Fab Lab approach but could still be done as a private business. In particular, there are a great many home school families here on the island and I have several friends who are making a living providing specialized services for them. This might also work as an outsourced class for private schools.

    All of the above are based on the assumption of duplicating the fabrication facility and finding a way to make that pay. I have been reading the website but am still not clear on what exists to be duplicated. I'm not talking about the 50 tools - I'm clear on that. But what subset of those tools exists now in Missouri that is being used to manufacture product prototypes? Is there anything that is in the direction of a bill of materials for replicating that?
  • @tcobb48 I am assuming that by "A subscription based facility, along the lines of Hackerspace, Techshop, etc. Users would pay for access to the tools." you are referring to physical tools?

    Also, I know there is a long term plan to develop an open-source curriculum for the GVCS.

    The idea is all the information is free, but things like products or teaching could be dispensed at the will of individuals (assuming they remain compliant to the license).

    Right now there are only several of the 50 developed. We are very much in the developmental stage, so there are some resources online, some developed but not online and many waiting for volunteers to develop them.
  • Yes, by "tools" I meant physical tools, not the information. Even in the instructional mode I am not proposing selling the information, only the time and energy of the instructor and the physical teaching environment.

  • @ tcobb48 - Excellent!
  • 4) Sell the products of the tools - brick made by the brick press, metal parts made on the torch table, electricity sold to the grid etc.
  • Here is a link to a business plan for Fab Labs that is available via a Creative Commons license:

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