Open Source Ecology: How to make a better world

Video of Marcin Jakubowski
Open Farm Tech

Presentation by Marcin Jakubowski, TED Fellow and Founder of Open Source Ecology. Marcin was visiting Oberlin and Cleveland to present his Global Village Construction Set- Low Cost Tools for Skill-Based, Eco-Agricultural Community Builidng. Addresses new ideas about merging manufacturing with regenerative agriculture, creating local models for flexible fabrication to power local economies. To see his full 32-minute talk at Oberlin, go to:

Interview by MakeZine

The Global Village Construction Set (GVCS) won our Green Project Contest at the beginning of 2011, garnering the most votes of all the eco-friendly projects submitted. Marcin Jakubowski founded Open Source Ecology, a network of farmers, engineers, and supporter, whose main project is GVCS, “an open source, low-cost, high performance technological platform that allows for the easy, DIY fabrication of the 50 different Industrial Machines that it takes to build a sustainable civilization with modern comforts.” GVCS is like a life-sized Lego set, and each of the machines uses interchangeable parts, motors, and power units.

A few of their machines have been featured on the pages of MAKE. Jakubowski is immensely busy, to say the least, but he took the time to answer a few questions for us and give us further insight into OSE’s massive undertaking.

1. Tell us about Open Source Ecology. How was it started?
Open Source Ecology (OSE) was started to contribute to a global commons of open source information — with a particular focus on the tools of production. I started OSE in my last year of my PhD program, as a response informed by what I perceived to be a general societal lack of true collaboration and openness, which I saw even in academia. I noticed that even academia was turning into branches of proprietary corporate research and development, as opposed to the original mission of culturing open knowledge toward the benefit of everybody.

Read full interview at MakeZine

3 responses to “Open Source Ecology: How to make a better world

  1. This is a great idea. The open source ethic, applied not only to technology (hardware as well as software, as this project demonstrates), but to finance/currency and human organisation in general, just might save us.

  2. Nepturn Cottage

    Only one slight fly in the ointment as far as I can see. He talks about the construction of all these gadgets using open source but if your really starting from scratch you are going to have no means of smelting the scrap metals, machining or cutting them or even generating the enrgy to run these things. I know I am being a little bit nit picky but how many local small communities have a laser cutter? CNC lathe? Solar powered thermal smelter? Yes I know that every US household has a garage full of kit but in the UK we don’t go in for the big boys toys hence my concern over the lack of a starting point.
    To my way of thinking the start point is whats beneath your feet and the clothes on your back. Now lets hear about how to move society forward from that baseline. You never know when you might find yourself in a post apocalyptic Mad Max film set for real. Now I guess we could always use the old redundant machines just lying around.
    In the meantime how do I get myself a set of energy generator plans? Preferably solar PV. 🙂

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