Open Source Ecology

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Open Source Ecology develops open source technology for sustainable living. See Appropedia description for a concise overview of work.


"The goal of OSE is to engage people in a sustainable lifestyle as a means to addressing pressing world issues. We do this by providing the opportunity to live sustainably at our land-based facility. This facility is an intentional communy known as Open Source Enterprise Learning Community. In this community, a sustainable lifestyle involves providing many of the basic needs from on-site resources - food, housing, energy, transportation, and culture. We engage in what we call neo-subsistence, or technologically advanced subsistence that blends ancient wisdom and new technology to provide a high quality of life. The lifestyle includes meaningful work, service to the greater global community, and leisure to pursue one's true interests. Neo-subsistence involves wise utilization of resources and best practices that keeps overhead low and helps us to focus on our mission. To advance the goals of neo-subsistence, we engage in research aimed at developing goods and services to outside markets. These goods and services aim at the highest level of ecological integrity and quality that contributes to local prosperity in a global setting" (Marcin Jakubowski)

What is Open Source Economics?

"Our mission is to extend the Open Source model to the provision any goods and services- Open Source Economics. This means opening access to the information and technology which enables a different economic system to be realized, one based on the integration of natural ecology, social ecology, and industrial ecology. This economic system is based on open access- based on widely accessible information and associated access to productive capital- distributed into the hands of an increased number of people. We believe that a highly distributed, increasingly participatory model of production is the core of a democratic society, where stability is established naturally by the balance of human activity with sustainable extraction of natural resources. This is the opposite of the current mainstream of centralized economies, which have a structurally built-in tendency towards of overproduction."

Methodology Open Source Product Development

The collaboration cycle includes:

  • Feedback throughout
  • Fabrication, potentially in distributed locations
  • Resource donations
  • Quality markup
    • technical drawings
    • 3D computer models
    • economic analysis
  • Further design
  • Worknet workspace as initial development, ending in dedicated wiki webspace
  • Technology administrator: for each product



taken from

How it all (could) work

February 12th, 2008 by Brittany

“When solar cell companies develop cheaper panels, then we’ll switch to solar power.”

Did you ever hear someone say this?

Instead of waiting around for solar panels to become affordable, why don’t we collaborate and make them ourselves.

By we, I mean anyone who’s interested in affordable, ecological energy production. We all have some kind of skill. What if we collaborated: networkers, designers, fundraisers, engineers from all walks of life, and came up with optimal, user-friendly, durable, inexpensive, and cheap to produce solar cells (or an even better alternative)?

And while we’re at it, why not optimize all the tools for sustainable and just living, while keeping them at an affordable price? Imagine if every town grew its own fuel, made its own bricks for building, and gathered energy from the sun for heat and power. These technologies do not have to be controlled by large, centralized entities. With a little collaboration, these tools can be at the fingertips of the world.

At Open Source Ecology we already started the process. Materials for the world’s first open source compressed earth block (soil brick) press prototype cost under $1500. Comparable machine cost over $25,000.

Real world-impacting products through world collaboration. People from Iceland, the Canary Islands, India, and elsewhere are working with us: Networking, designing reviewing designs, fund-raising, and field testing. People contribute because they know that everyone benefits when technologies and science are in the public domain. Furthermore, when everyone contributes, designs reflect the needs of people, rather than of corporate headquarters.

Drop us an email, let us know what you think. Check out our website ( and pass along our information to interested networks, family, and friends.

We look forward to hearing from you.

More Information

Essay by at

Open Source Technology Pattern Language work begun - [1]

  • Overview of Projects - here.