Archive for Accomplishments


I just got back from the SupporTED Collaboratorium. This is what it’s about:


It was my honor and privilege to attend as one of 9 TED Fellows, a peak moment. This is my debrief at minute 13:15 of this clip:


My transformation? A reminder that I am here to change the world. It came from being surrounded by giants sharing in an epic journey – cracking me open to speaking more deeply from the heart on the true message of this work – while re-framing the operational points. Point: if I can actually communicate what this is about – that would be pure power. There is a deep personal story behind my journey, and I will work on that in the coming weeks. I’ve got commitments from those who can help. My coaches and I truly synergized. The fun part about TED-related events is that people don’t laugh about my ideas, but ask instead when and how they will be done.

See the wiki entry on this event including some of the presentations. See my feedback sent to the organizers for more tidbits.

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Open Source Ironworker Machine – Prototype II Completed

Hello World, it’s Brianna again, with the final update on Ironworker Prototype II. You can see former work on Prototype I from 2 years ago. See the wiki for more details.

The Completed Ironworker and me

The build of the Prototype II has been completed  with great success on some fronts, and failure on other fronts. The machine was successful in that it shears even more than I’d specified, and that it actually works. The failures were in how long the machine took to produce (see my initial build proposal), how much the materials cost, and that I didn’t finish the punch element.

The current state is that we have a functional prototype, but still don’t have CAD or full documentation on how to build it. My Sketchup model is not entirely up to date either; it needs to have the updated shear tables, updated clamps, the reinforcement plates on the back side, and parts of the vertical linkages which had to be torched away. If anyone is interested in building, I can tell you the changes I had to make. Just email me at brianna at kufadesigns dot com.

I do not have any plans for finishing the remaining documentation, as I have moved back to California and will be working full time in the fabrication industry. OSE is looking for a draftsman to finish the CAD and 2D fab drawings for the machine. See the summary of existing documentation.


First, for the successes: the machine has been tested and can cut up to 1”x10” flat steel, and 3/8”x4”x6” angle steel. It should cut up to 3/8”x6”x6” angle steel, but we didn’t have any on hand, so we didn’t test it. Here’s a video of the testing:


The cuts were far closer to perfection than I’d hoped. What I’d been looking for in the cut was that there be no burr, and minimal deformation along the length of the cut. The cut was cleaner than any cuts of similar magnitude which I had seen on an industrial machine. The cleanliness of the cut is very difficult to achieve, as it requires the blades to be perfectly parallel, and to have a gap between .007” and .010”, which required very precise machining.

The 1"x10" cut

The 3/8"x4"x6" angle cut

The testing went smoother than expected, with only one failure. Read the rest of this entry »

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Press Release: OSE-Wikispeed Collaboration

Enabling Emerging Markets to Manufacture Their Own Ultra-efficient Transportation, WIKISPEED and Open Source Ecology Announce Partnership in Open-Hardware Movement

Seattle, WA, and Maysville, MO, USA (March 7, 2012)

The open-hardware movement got a tremendous boost today when WIKISPEED, an innovative automotive company building modular, high-performance cars using agile design principles, and Open Source Ecology (OSE), a group committed to providing free plans and processes necessary for building the global economy, announced that they are teaming up to revolutionize transportation in the developing world.

Taking on traditional, proprietary manufacturing R & D, the two companies aim to create an open-source product-development methodology that would allow communities around the world to quickly develop their own machinery and processes to support themselves, removing a dependency on industrialized nations for costly solutions.

OSE CEO Marcin Jakubowski is developing the Global Village Construction Set, identifying essential machines that are  required to build and maintain an entire economy. Jakubowski’s work includes publishing the blueprints for each piece of equipment and making the plans available for free via the Internet.

Above: Open Source Ecology is developing the Global Village Construction Set, the minimum set of tools and machinery for any community to produce and maintain a modern infrastructure in its entirety.

For his part, Joe Justice, founder and team lead of WIKISPEED, has pioneered the use of agile rapid-delivery processes (the same method used by leading software companies) for physical manufacturing and complex problem solving. This application has been highly successful, allowing Justice to design and build a high-performance modular car that gets 100 mpg and meets all U.S. safety standards, using a globally distributed team of volunteers, in just three months.

Above: The Roadster is only one of WIKISPEED’s modular, configurable cars.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Project Progress and Scaling


Global Village Construction Set development  is scaling. There are currently 9 projects under active development and 3 full time developers besides me – Aaron Makaruk, Brianna Kufa, and Yoonseo Kang, two of which are currently off-site. The active projects include: the Ironworker Machine (build started), open source Tractor (modification field testing), CNC Circuit Mill (build almost complete), CNC Torch Table (build started), Dimensional Sawmill (build to be resumed next week), Heat Exchanger (prototype 1 coil done), Gasifier Burner (complete design, rationale, CAD, cam files- details in next blog post), Modern Steam Engine (parts kit arriving next week), and Backhoe (design challenge is up at GrabCAD). You can download a linked map by Aaron that shows the scope of some of the activity in the USA.

Most intriguing to me is two of high school engineers from Pasadena- who are replicating LifeTrac independently – with a goal to donate it to South Central Farmers in Los Angeles. See their work and the LifeTrac t-shirts in their fund-raising effort.

Development priorities for this year have been outlined in the OSE Enterprise Plan video – which we are passing on to potential investors. More current priorities for the next few months are outlined in Read the rest of this entry »

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Organizational Development 2012

I would like to announce that I am now officially a Shuttleworth Foundation Fellow. This is a major development for Open Source Ecology, as the Fellowship provides a total of $360k of direct funding for the project.  I have blogged about my application 3 months ago, and you can see my application on the OSE wiki for reference

I am also a 2012 TED Senior Fellow – which I mentioned previously only in passing.  I am now one of 12 individuals selected from  the pool of 40 of the 2011 TED and TEDGlobal Fellows- to continue their TED Fellowship for another 2 years. This is important because TED provides major publicity.  My talk was featured as #6 in Best of TED for 2011, and the talk already has 671,000 views. The TED Senior Fellowship offers further speaking opportunities at the TED Conference. I am invited both to TED and TED Global, for a total of 4 conferences over the next 2 years. I am planning on giving a TED talk on the GVCS developments at TED Global.

These 2 distinctions are largely responsible for our ~$560k budget for first quarter of 2012, with which we intend to produce 12 further prototypes. See the Status Brief on the wiki for continuing prototyping updates. Aaron Makaruk, our resource developer, is working on $10M of grant applications by mid-year, from which we would like to see a 10% success rate. The goal is still to finish the 50 GVCS tools up to beta release status by December 21, 2012.

This requires a much more robust organizational infrastructure to manage a significant parallel development process. It seems to me that we will build up to that slowly, such that by mid-year, we will really accelerate. This is a rough Organizational Map that we are currently developing, and the next step will be recruiting.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Civilization Starter Kit DVD v0.01

Dear True Fans and Supporters -

We are proud to release version 0.01 of the Civilization Starter Kit DVD – our OSE Christmas Gift to the World for 2011.

While we could go on for weeks with improvements - our Publish Early and Often Policy dictates that today is the cutoff. The full DVD contents are now online, and we will author physical DVD copies by January 31, 2012. These will be part of the GVCS Kickstarter reward structure, and we will also offer these DVDs for sale as a fundraiser.
The most interesting highlights of The DVD are:
  1. Message from the Founder – The OSE Paradigm; Rollout Plan for 2012; Getting Involved in OSE; My Story
  2. Practical Post-Scarcity Video – an unscripted exposition connecting our theory to practice.
  3. OSE Enterprise Plan – a standard business plan brief – in the form of a 6 minute video.
  4. The core results are the CAD, instructionals, and complete assembly for the 4 machines, such as an 89 page A-Z instructional PDF for the CEB press. We are still working on the professional fabrication drawings.
  5. Initial construction results for 2011.
  6. Initial architecture plans for a hybrid CEB/Straw superinsulated microhouse, and more.
Still forthcoming for the DVD are:
  1. Jan. 1, 2012 – Professional fabrication drawings for CEB Press – PDF to take to your local custom fabricator.
  2. Jan. 15 – Professional fabrication drawings for Tractor. This will include the new quick connect wheels and the bent loader arms for improved weight distribution – and field testing in moving 3000 lb brick pallets and logs for forestry operations. Professional fabrication drawings for Power Cube.
  3. Jan. 5 – Completion of full architecture details for CEB/Straw Hybrid Microhouse
  4. Jan. 15 – Filling in additional information for the machines. We need primarily CAE analyses and other supporting details – listed specifically in the DVD Wanted List on the wiki. I am listing these task by task  - as bite-size chunks that lend themselves to volunteer contributions.
HabLab and Workshop construction will not be completed until after the DVD hard copy is published. We will publish those plans later.
We will be releasing 14 more beta products by April 1, 2012 – so our goal of rapid parallel development is materializing. We have $1/2M available as of today to kick it in high gear. More about this later.
After April, we will be preparing for the Build Naturally Workshop – using the hybrid microhouse plans. We expect to host the workshop in July, for which we will have the construction DVD ready – featuring full results from HabLab and Workshop construction, including embodied energy. We aim to have a small prototype of the Hybrid Microhouse built prior to the Workshop – so that we are actually making technique refinements.

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Best of TED 2011: Global Village Construction Set is #6

The Global Village Construction Set TED talk has been selected as the Best of TED 2011 top 6 in the Huffington Post. Read Isaiah Saxon’s followup blog post. You can also comment there (407 comments as of this writing). There is also a #18ideas you can use if you want to share via Twitter. It is an honor to share the Open Source Ecology paradigm with the world.


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Practical Post Scarcity – Video

This is a well-made explanation of artificial material scarcity and how it can be addressed by open source economic development:

Practical Post-Scarcity from Open Source Ecology on Vimeo.

Practical Post Scarcity from Open Source Ecology on Vimeo.

This is the core of Open Source Ecology’s work on the Global Village Construction Set. Scenes from hay baling onwards are developments taking place at Factor e Farm in Missouri, USA. This is part of going the last mile on the construction toolkit part of the Global Village construction set.

We are busy preparing the Civilization Starter Kit DVD. The latest need is professional fabrication drawings – the step beyond documenting the complete fabrication procedure. See sample fabrication drawing - a compact, information-packed format. Compare this to a sample fabrication procedure on the CEB press, which is much more expanded. We currently have complete 3D CAD of the CEB Press, and most of the Tractor and Pulverizer. The Power Cube is primarily in Sketchup.

If you can help us on the fabrication drawings, starting with the CEB press – let us know. We would like this to be done by Dec. 25. 2011.  We are looking for volunteers or paid professionals. The Kickstarter funding can be allocated for this purpose as needed. The timing is tight. While we will have full fabrication procedures, we don’t know if professional fabrication drawings will be done by Christmas. In that case, they will be added as soon as they are generated – as we would like to make replication as straightforward as possible. The professional fabrication drawings are what one can hand over to a metal fabricator to produce a machine anywhere in the world where fabrication shops exist. This capacity is worth millions, so help us share that with the world. Email me at opensourceecology at gmail dot com to help.

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Civilization Starter Kit Progress

Progress on the Civilization Starter Kit has been steady,  including fuel to fund it. This is from September this year:

and we have generated $173k in December from Kickstarter, crowds, and foundations. There is no evidence of funding deceleration. If you give nonprofit sector donations, please consider us.

TED put the Global Village Construction Set (GVCS) on the world stage – with almost 1/2M views of the GVCS TED  Talk by now.

We are becoming one of the most collaborative projects in the world. People can get involved locally at Factor e Farm (Dedicated Project Visits), people can contribute technical design to the Wiki, or make remote technical contributions as project proposals and bids for remote prototyping and development – whether directly on GVCS 50 development, resource development, documentation, design challenges, or many other supporting tasks. As we move forward, we gain the ability to pay others to opensource designs. I welcome the recruitment of a Project Co-Founder to help me allocate money – as more than money, we need qualified people to allocate and use that money.  For next year – we want a Farmer/Scientist to feed Factor e Farm with a full organic diet using our equipment; a Master Builder to house our increasing community; and Master Machinist/Fabricator to build out precision machining/digital fabrication/hot metal processing infrastructures. Yes, let’s finish the GVCS 50 by year-end 2012. If things continue as now, we’ll be done ahead of schedule.

We are building infrastructure to scale. The workshop is covered, and I already moved the FeF lathe into the new workshop. Framing for the living units is starting to go on.

We just achieved epic results on tractor fabrication in our new workshop. We documented the complete assembly from individual parts to full tractor: it took James Slade and Ian 8 hours to go from parts:

to a full tractor, while documenting.

The Civilization Starter Kit DVD v0.01 is moving along – section heads are working on parts of the Table of Contents.  We have more people arriving – Aaron to compose a Distributive Enterprise Business Plan for Earth, Luke to document the CNC Torch Table. Brianna is making progress on the ironworker, and buildout of new tractor drive system is approaching in 2 days. Great progress on steam engine – we have identified complete plans for an intensively/extensively scalable modern steam engine, and the heat exchanger/gasified burner to run it is coming along. Read the rest of this entry »

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Dear True Fans and Supporters: Emergence

Dear True Fans Backers, and Supporters,

I finally have a chance to emerge from full construction duty – 17,000 bricks pressed and countdown in our last week of brick pressing with cold weather producing diminishing returns. With Floyd recruited as our new construction manager, the building program is now in good hands, and I can focus on documentation and delivery of the OSE Christmas Gift to the World.

On the construction front, the roofs will go on first on both the workshop and living units. We will then build CEB columns around temporary posts. Then we can fill walls and work free from rain – and upon external walls being laid – we will do finishing work free from the cold. Read the rest of this entry »

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