Open Source Villages

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Uwe Christian Plachetka :

"The conception of "Open Source Village" was the result of the research work of the Austrian laboratory GIVE - Global Integrated Village Environment, especially by Franz Nahrada(1). This concept refers to settlement patterns which have a kind of dual economy: Closed circuits for producing goods and services on a village level by mobilizing local, renewable resources such as sunlight, wind, water, and biomass. Qualified workplaces should be offered by means of telework, that means work to be done at home or communal centers using the new media of telecommunication. Global cooperatives can be established by means of tele-cooperation so that commuting to the urban or megalopolis centers which often act as intersections between the World-System and the local social system and thereby offering qualified white collar workplaces can be reduced by "virtualizing the cities" i.e. putting the functional priorities of the cities online to make them accessible by villagers.

This utopian conception has considerable significance for the reconstruction of rural social life and local economics - especially in terms of decentralization and reducing bulk transport and, therefore, the use of petrol.

The basic sociological idea is to realize cooperative networks which proved viable e.g. among virtual communities developing shareware, software and - as their showcase - the computer system LINUX to fight the worldwide monopoly by Microsoft. The conception of Global Integrated Village Environment is based on the idea to establish cooperative circles of redistribution and cooperation outside the virtual sphere of cyberspace. These are known as ayné o ayni in the language of the Inca Empire, Quechua, spoken until now in Perú and Bolivia." (

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