Open access content on Appropedia

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CD3WD (CD for the 3rd World) and WikiGreen (the first major green wiki) have done enormous work getting permission for books and other great resources in sustainability and development and getting it online. All up, there are thousands of pages on specific agricultural subjects, appropriate technologies for building, and more.

Much of that content has ended up on Appropedia. It’s valuable content, and we are allowed to share it. But we’ve had a dilemma: it’s not under an open license, as far as we know. It’s open access but can’t be reused or modified, and certainly, there hasn’t been permission given to use commercially. That clashes with our default license.

So, do we remove it? That would be a great loss to the internet community when searching for answers on these important subjects. This is something we’ve agonized over. Instead, we are now placing notices on these pages, noting that these are exceptions to Appropedia’s regular license. So far, all the CD3WD pages that we have had the notices placed on them.

If you’re aware of any work which should not be displayed (i.e., the rights-owners do not give permission for it to be made available as open access), please let us know, and we will take action to fix things up (gain permission or remove it).

New Executive Director Appointed!

Updates

Dear Appropedians!

Three years ago, we announced our search for a person to take over our ever-growing community’s operations and repository projects. Today we are happy to announce that we have finally found that person, and he began his work on June 20th. Please join us in welcoming Emilio Velis as our new Executive Director.

About Emilio Velis

Emilio developed his previous professional career over the past ten years on volunteer management and fundraising, most recently at Habitat for Humanity El Salvador. Emilio supported the design and improvement of service-learning and ethical volunteerism programs and other areas such as innovation and social resiliency.

At the same time, he founded and developed Red de Acción Comunitaria, a technological initiative of sensors and communications to empower rural communities in areas vulnerable to natural disasters. More recently, Emilio has focused on design and community engagement as the basis for collaborating in research for a wide variety of subjects such as citizen science, education, and violence prevention.

For the past few years, Emilio has participated on different networks that focus on openness and collaboration, such as Internet Society, the Fab Lab Network, and Creative Commons through local and international projects and governance. His work has opened the doors for him to collaborate on many different projects to explore the use of technologies for solving social problems in North and South America.

Our Board of Directors was very impressed with Emilio after seeing his experience, dedication, and track record on how technology and communities can build sustainability through well-focused programs of design and participation.

He has also shown his commitment to not only making open works more accessible to people who need them but also to learning how to best provide communities with the tools to make and share as equals and co-participants of the commons. Now that we have met him, we are very hopeful for the future of Appropedia and unanimously and confidently appointed him.

What will he bring to the table in this new role?

As the new Executive Director, Emilio is eager to work closely with the community to learn what motivates individuals and communities to document their local projects and find avenues on which these initiatives take life through replication and growth. As Appropedia grows and develops new ideas, he is committed to creating an open space for different groups that benefit from the thousands of articles and many experiences created by the community.

We believe that having a new Executive Director dedicated to the site’s operations and the execution of the many ideas that Appropedia has built over the years will open the possibility for the community to grow even more. He will base his work in San Salvador, from which he will find new opportunities for social change through the Appropedia Foundation.

The Board of Directors and the community warmly welcomes Emilio into Appropedia.


Thank you,

Lonny, Chris, Curt, Andrew & Kiva

Thoughts on appointing an Executive Director

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Message from the Directors of the Appropedia Foundation:

In April 2016, Appropedia will celebrate its tenth birthday!

One decade since its launch and over 75,000,000 visits later, we can celebrate the wonderful work of the many thousands of contributors to Appropedia from around the world. With tens of thousands of articles – edited over 300,000 times – on solutions for building rich, sustainable lives, Appropedia has become a vital resource for international development, sustainability, education, research, making, and sharing.

The Appropedia Foundation has been privileged to support the development of Appropedia. We have, we think, developed a culture and an approach that has worked well and gotten us this far. But we now want to go further.

Appropedia has now grown to the point where we think that new levels of commitment and investment are required to enable it to grow further. To reach more people. In more languages. With more content. With more quality. With the latest tools. And to bring its users together more.

The Directors of the Appropedia Foundation would like to hear your opinions on how we should invest and support Appropedia over the next ten years. While we remain committed to the mission and values that have guided Appropedia from the start, we want to explore how we might change our structure and how re-energize our engagement with the wider world.

We think that the Appropedia Foundation should recruit its first full-time Executive Director to oversee the development of Appropedia. This would take a fairly traditional structure for a non-profit, with the Executive Director reporting to the board and with responsibility for fundraising (including, initially, for their own salary). They would not necessarily need to be an expert in web technologies, but would rather support and develop a team to work on Appropedia.

Over the next four weeks, we would like to hear your thoughts on the idea of recruiting an Executive Director. What do you think of this idea, please? You can leave feedback here, on Appropedia, on Facebook, or on LinkedIn.

Once we have considered your feedback, we will make a decision on how to proceed and may come back to the community for input into the priorities of the Executive Director.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us and, indeed, for all your contributions to Appropedia. It literally wouldn’t exist without its users!
-Lonny, Chris, Curt, Andrew & Kiva

Communications and social media internship

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Wherever you are in the world: if you’re studying Communications or wanting to break into the field, and you’re passionate about solutions for positive change in the world, then this could be the opportunity for you. Appropedia is always looking for interns to help us communicate and engage with people interested in this project and share with and strengthen our existing community.

The work in this internship will involve a mixture of interviewing, contacting, and/or writing publicity materials. You can work part-time, and you’ll have a lot of flexibility in how you work, but you’ll always have guidance available.

There is a lot to learn and to make a difference. We sometimes say, only half-jokingly, that Appropedia was built by engineers and scientists, so we’re much better at doing stuff than at talking about what we do. But we’ve talked and got better at it and become active in social media, as we’ve taken our message out there. We’re happy to share what we’ve learned with you, but we’re also happy to learn from you and with you.

You’ll need to take the initiative, experiment, and report on what’s working and what isn’t. We have high respect for failure with enthusiasm, which is often the basis for future success and precious learning.

This is a virtual internship – you’ll be working with people who might be on the other side of the world, but with email and chat, that’s not such a challenge these days. You can work from anywhere in the world with internet access. That requires you to manage your time, organize yourself and get things done – an online internship isn’t for everyone.

If you have any questions or want to apply, please get in touch with us.

Isabell Kimbrough: First Travel Intern, First Blog

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Hola! Isabell Kimbrough here! I have begun my journey and stint as Appropedia’s first travel intern.  (Follow the links for more info.)

In a nutshell, I just graduated from Humboldt State University with a degree in Botany and a passion for conservation and sustainable living. I saved my pennies for quite some time in order to do some traveling in South and Central America; and while I commend those who are able to travel free as a breeze, I come from a world of structure and need to feel that I am on some sort of mission as I wander. This is where Appropedia fits in. Members of the board of Appropedia had already birthed the idea of the “travel intern”, someone who would, during their travels, visit and report on successful projects for Appropedia. My internship is the trial run of this idea. I am excited and honored to have this opportunity.

I have begun my adventures and am writing from the rainforest town of Puerto Maldanado, Peru. My dearest friend Kat Fountain has been working on a conservation project in the state of Madre de Dios Peru, deep in the Amazon. It just so happened that she needed a field assistant and I just so happened to be a qualified biologist. What luck! So I joined her at the Sachavacayoc field station, a center for research, education, and ecotourism. For a week we rose before the sun and spent the day exploring and experiencing the incredible Amazon rainforest.

This Amazonian hardwood tree named “La Purma” is 500 years old!

I have learned a lot in a week, not only about the local flora and fauna but also about the situation of the people. Those working to protect and conserve this incredibly rich and biodiverse region of Peru face many threats and obstacles to conservation including (but not limited to): mining and subsequent mineral contamination in the water, logging for hardwoods, cattle farming, drilling for Petroleum, and slash and burn agriculture. The situation is, of course, very complicated and when taken as a whole, has the potential to be a little overwhelming. However, many of the conservationists and scientists I have spoken with here have a great deal of hope.

I personally find a sparkle of hope in this: There are many people and organizations whose sole (and soul) purpose is to protect this precious piece of the world. One of the biggest problems conservationists faced is the lack of communication between groups and organizations that share the same goals. Call me idealistic, but it is my belief that as infrastructure for communication improves and these groups continue to collaborate and organize, the looming problems I mentioned before are well within our power to change. As we all know, even the biggest changes happen poco a poco.

This is why I am grateful to be a part of the Appropedia community. Every page, and each connection made, is a step towards change. Perhaps some of you have heard the expression “the revolution will not be televised!” I agree. I think it is being documented in Appropedia.org!

Till next time… Isabell

Appropedia takes the Initiative!

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Appropedia has grown rapidly in multiple dimensions since our early days, especially in several months.  Both the volume and range of activity at Appropedia.org is up significantly.  We have content translation activity, content porting activity, partnership activity, and site technology development activity, all expanding in parallel. Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn communities have grown dramatically as well.

In addition to all the active participants, we have many eager supporters that haven’t yet identified the best way to engage. We get notes like, “I love what you’re doing!  What can I do to help?”  And for every explicit offer, we know there are much more unspoken.  To better use all this pent up energy and goodwill, we are beginning a new program for engaging volunteers, both new and veteran.

Appropedia Initiatives

And so, without further ado, allow us to introduce Appropedia Initiatives! The Appropedia Initiatives program is an open-ended series of specific activities that will benefit from community engagement. Each Initiative will be designed to attract a critical mass of contributions and enthusiasm, to build momentum on a particular topic or practice.

We know that our community of supportive people has a great variety of skills, and we envision a wide variety of Initiatives to engage as many people as we can.  Some Initiatives will be focused on the Appropedia.org site (either content or technology), and others will be more community-oriented.

Essentially, Initiatives are ordinary Appropedia activities that are likely to have some broad interest. Like most things at Appropedia, users’ input and ideas will define the Initiatives program’s path.

Each new Initiative will be highlighted on the Appropedia main page, and we will do community outreach in the form of social media posts to make sure that everyone gets a chance to see it.  Naturally, we welcome your help in passing the word and identifying people, partners, and resources appropriate for each Initiative.

The goal is for each Appropedia Initiative to take on a life of its own and to continue for months beyond its initial moment in the spotlight.  To make sure that fledgling Initiatives have a good chance, we’re asking that each initiative have some semi-committed support in the form of an “Initiative steward” who will shepherd the activity for at least 3 months.

Check out the provisional guidelines for Appropedia Initiatives and see whether your favorite topic or project might be the right candidate for an Initiative.  If so, create a launch page and add your Initiative to the list!

Thank you all in advance for your help and support!