Open Source Permaculture – 1 day to go


There’s just over a day remaining for the Open Source Permaculture project, at time of writing, and around $3000 more needed to reach the target. Please consider donating if you haven’t already – this will be a real boost for permaculture. See the fundraising status box to the right.

And if you’re reading this after the deadline, there are plenty of ways you can get involved – just leave a comment here and we’ll direct you.

Now for a brief “roundup” – as in the latest news and blogs, not Roundup the chemical herbicide. We use mulch to keep weeds down ;-). Open Source Permaculture has been getting attention, appearing on Treehugger, Ecopreneurist, Inhabitat and many other sites. I want to highlight three particularly interesting links.

Shared vision: Open Source Permaculture


Update: Nothing came of this project, sadly. See comments for details.

Appropedia continues to be committed to free and open knowledge resources for permaculture, and we hope to have more detailed announcements on this soon. – Chris Watkins, 7 Aug 2013.

Original post:

We’ve been speaking with Sophie Novack and Evan Schoepke from the Open Source Permaculture project, and we’re glad to announce that we’ll be working together building the permaculture wiki on Appropedia, and that we’re supporting their fundraising effort.

They state:

We believe that sustainability is for everyone. That’s why we’re creating Open Source Permaculture, a free online resource for anyone who wants to create a more sustainable world.

This resonates with us. We’ve been talking about open source permaculture for some time, and putting the idea out there in the permaculture community. Our “Permaculture wiki” page describes the state of things, noting various attempts which have sadly fallen over and others which have a more limited scope, and inviting others to join us. An open source permaculture wiki page (hosted by our friends the Open Source Ecology wiki0 looks at what we need in a website to really serve this vision.

We’ve made progress. We’re now using an important tool for structured data, Semantic MediaWiki, which we can apply to a permaculture ecology to help map the relationships between inputs, outputs, plants, animals, principles and resources. We’ve cultivated the wiki platform, to enable open source permaculture to grow

But a key part of the ecosystem has been missing, until now: Passionate individuals who know permaculture, who are prepared to study and work on developing materials to explain and teach permaculture. That’s what the Open Source Permaculture project is about and we’re happy to point you to their fundraising effort. This is a vision that deserves funding, and deserves a vote of support. Please check it out, and ask yourself how much this kind of abundant future means to you.

The details of our collaboration are being worked out – it will be based on using Appropedia as the permaculture wiki, and I’m sure we’ll be working together in other ways in this work to create an abundant and sustainable world.

By the way, for those unclear about what permaculture is exactly, here’s a video from a community in San Francisco:

Open Sustainability Network Camp


The days to OSNCamp are counting down. In full, it’s the first “Open Sustainability Network Camp,” October 18-19, happening in San Francisco and online. Here’s a bit of an explanation of what OSNCamp is about:

Why “Open Sustainability”? Because when we build our own resource banks and keep them closed, we limit our impact, our potential. “Open Sustainability” is about opening up our silos of knowledge, sharing and making links, for a better world. (This is a big topic – watch for future posts on this.)

And… what exactly do we mean by “Sustainability”? It’s a “just sustainability” – a better quality of life for all, now and into the future, living creatively and constructively with the ecosystems that sustain us.

What’s this “Network“? It’s a vision. You don’t have to be a member to come. It’s a new network that organizations committed to knowledge-sharing are joining, and this is the first gathering.

It’s not yet another program or site to commit to – we use existing resources within the network where possible (which is why Appropedia is being used as the wiki for this event).

It’s a… “Camp”? No, you don’t need to bring a tent. This is a BarCamp-style event: attendance is free, everyone is a participant (no spectators) and we decide the talks on the day. (Presentation ideas are welcomed beforehand of course.) You know how in all the conferences you’ve been to, the best parts have been over tea and coffee or in hallways, and the conversations between one talk and the next? We’ll have lots more of that, plus you get a say in what talks, forums and activities happen.

Now, being a BarCamp, there’s still a lot to do in the weeks leading up to the event. You, the participant, can play a part to ensure this is not just a great meeting with interesting people, but an awesome event where fantastic synergy and cooperation emerge: You can:

  • Volunteer
  • Work on the wiki pages.
  • Help setup OSNCamp Online.
  • Bring a switch and/or wireless bridge on Sunday, so that we’ll have better wifi access on the second day (and follow other such matters on the mailing list).
  • Sponsor the conference and the network – financially, or by promoting the event to your networks. (When you blog, please use the tag osncamp2008.)
  • Look around on the wiki – there are plenty more suggestions.
  • Do that thing that none of us have thought of yet.

A great bunch of people have already signed up (scroll down to the Attendee List to see them). Hope to see you there, or online!

What does “Peace One Day” mean to me? Today it means OSN


Last year in late September, I came across the Peace One Day campaign. I missed the day (September 21), but saved the link as an email to myself, thinking that the value in an annual “Peace” day is to remind us with some regularity, so that we do stuff other days of the year. My thought was that in a few weeks I would blog on it and tie it to whatever Appropedia (or LeapingStone, or Village Hope) stuff I was working on. That’s not random… My motivation for joining Appropedia was to do something that felt “real” toward improving lives, helping to bridge cultural gaps, and sustain the environment.

Well, today while trying to squeeze the inbox back down below 20 or so (almost manageable), I noticed the Peace One Day link at the bottom of the email. And it’s 3 days away. Well, the good news is that having that link hanging around was a good reminder all year. And so why not write a blog tying it to something I’m working on?

The biggest thing, and easiest to tie to Peace, is the Open Sustainability Network unconference, or OSNCamp. That’s coming on October 18-19 in San Francisco. It’s the first coming together of a large community of supportive people and organizations that are seeking to expand the impact of open sharing of solutions and collaborative problem solving in sustainability. (We at Appropedia include poverty reduction and international development in that picture.)

If you’re reading this post, maybe you think Peace One Day is a good idea. Maybe you think that openly sharing sustainable solutions can help. If so, why not come join us? There will be options for remote attendence, if travel is an issue, and the conference is free, except for your time. Is Peace One Day worth some of your time?