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Alexander Leon Ens, from Brazil - Agronomic Engineering student
  • Hi,

    I am Alexander Ens, 21, live in Brazil, in the state of São Paulo, and study Agronomic Engineering at the State University São Paulo - UNESP.

    I came in touch with Open Source Ecology through TED, and started to look at the wiki a little bit every day, and became fascinated.
    This project is great!

    I have a few questions:

    1.- Can I get involved for exactly one month, in my university vacations, July, to get to know better the project?

    2.- Can I make some GVCS here in Brazil, and commercialize them? Here in Brazil farming is very difficult for the small ones, especially because of the extremely high prices of tractors and implements for farming. I believe these cheap and life lasting machines would make an enormous success, because they are cheap, easy and low cost maintenance.


    Alexander Ens
  • 10 Comments sorted by
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    August 2011

    >  Can I get involved for exactly one month, in my university vacations,
    July, to get to know better the project?

    Yes, you can apply for an on-site visit.  Check the wiki for more information.

    >  Can I make some GVCS here in Brazil, and commercialize them?

    Of course, that's what open source means.  The instructions for how to build a PowerCube and LifeTrac are on the wiki and are being improved and finalized.  There is supposed to be a lot of video material to be made available soon.  I'd suggest you make a start of it by reading the wiki pages on the GVCS tools you are interested in and start thinking about what tools you will need to fabricate the parts and build it.  At a minimum, you'll need a cutting torch, a welding torch, steel cutter, grinding wheels, files, hammers, etc.  Make a list.  Ask questions.  It's still early days for building the GVCS tools, but you can help improve the documentation by noting problems and asking questions.

    - Mark

  • Mark,

    thanks for the answer, i hope to get involved soon!
  • Welcome, Alexander. My girlfriend is from Sao Paulo....Osasco to be exact.
  • Welcome Alexander,

    Nice to have other brazilians on board! I'm also interested in developing open source solutions to help the peasant farmers in our country.
  • @Sweeney

    how do you maintain a relationship from such a huge distance?

    From where are you? Are you doing something specific in the project already, what would it be?
  • I live in Brasilia,  in a "chacara" .

    I think that OSE has great potential to promote technological inclusion all over the world, and I help it being a True Fan. On the other hand, I think that none of the 50 GVCS tools are a real priority for the brazilian case, and it seems that all the energy in the FeF are focused on building them. So I started other projects by myself.

    I'm currently working on the design of a  multipurpose toolbar
    (, small scale
    biogas reactor, aquaponics and other projects. I'm going to publish the
    projects results in the OSE wiki when finished. To see some ongoing
    experiments, visit my homepage:

    I think we need to widespread simple tecnology first, then work with high tech solutions in special cases. A good exemple is the one milion cistern project, to provide rainwater harvesting systems to families in the semi-arid north-east Brazil.  I have been discussing this issues with people from the ministry of agrarian development, confederation of the workers on agriculture and others. If you are interested, we can discuss it in deep.

    Remember that the OSE forum has a section in portuguese. Let's use  it!

  • @alexander

    Oh she lives in the States right now.

  • @Fabiofranca

    As far as I know brazilians, poor people like to "seem/look" cool/rich, sometimes in very awkward ways. Therefore, I think that too simple technologies don't attract them. I have been with my school class in Alto Paraíso, near Brasília, in a poor public school. We tried to introduce 2 very very simple and useful "technologies", (one of it a roof water heater for shower made of PET), but they didn't even touch it and kept saying they wanted money to buy "real" water heaters.... it was disappointing.
    Because of that, I believe that what OSE does is very good, is has the fanciness and quality poor people like when they buy AND, when it breaks down for example, they can fix it easily and cheaply. Only by then they will realize what a great machine they bought!
    What also happens is when too alternative ideas come by, preconcepts speak louder and eventually get tagged as "bicho grilo" (english traduction ?)

    I saw you webpage, very good! (I think a friend of mine made the solar oven once!)

    Good to hear that there are people doing what you do!

    Later I will see your OSE projects...
  • @alexander,
    you are righ about the perception of  "quality" from the people in Brazil. I have been concerned about the social aspects in the  design of  products for a long time. 

    Do you mind if we continue this discussion in another section of the forum? I think it is steering way from your introduction, and others may be interested in participate.

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