Open Source Ecology and the Re-Maker Society

Opportunities for UW Makers, Designers, Artists and Engineers

Welcome to UW’s Open Source Ecology project (OSE@UW). Following Marcin Jakubowski’s successful WICI talk in May 2014, OSE@Waterloo has developed a portal to coordinate internship opportunities, open hardware design competitions and Coop placements associated with the Open Source Ecology project in Missouri.

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Echoing the University’s renewed commitment to experiential education, OSE@Waterloo is looking to create collaborative making, designing and fabricating opportunities for students from across the University. More specifically, OSE@Waterloo has emerged from a growing commitment within the Department of Environment and Resource Studies (ERS) to innovative courses designed around project-based, kinaesthetic and experiential learning (see the ERS Experiential Learning Group). At the same time the project draws on the enthusiasm and expertise of a diverse team of faculty members drawn from ERS, Knowledge Integration, Engineering and English (not least the Critical Media Lab).

Research on Open Source Fabrication and the reMaker Society

OSE@Waterloo is also part of a wider research project on the problem of economic growth. Humanity is caught in a growth trap. Ending poverty, enhancing and expanding the culture of liberal democracy, sustaining the amazing pace of scientific discovery and technical innovation – all of these cherished goals depend upon continuing economic growth. But growth – i.e. the escalating throughput of energy and materials flowing through human systems – is necessarily achieved at the expense of natural ecological systems and the consumption of finite resources. And although mainstream economics presumes a never-ending cycle of expansion, there are clearly material and ecological limits to growth: nothing can expand indefinitely (at least not without breaking the laws of physics). Every schoolchild knows that rampant consumerism is devastating planetary ecology. But impending resource constraints are likely also to place an unbearable strain on the social and political institutions of liberal societies, and to create geopolitical disorder on an unimaginable scale. Our room for manoeuvre is thus circumscribed – by the maximum scale of economy compatible with the ecological integrity of the biosphere and the minimum scale required in order to sustain a globally-connected, technologically progressive, science-based, liberal-cosmopolitan society. What seems certain is that this leaves no room for rampant consumer capitalism.

Please join us in creating new opportunities for teaching, learning and researching open source hardware, community-based fabrication and a political economy for the post-consumer society.

Contributing to the work of both the Waterloo Institute for Complexity and Innovation (WICI) and the Waterloo Institute for Social Innovation and Resilience (WISIR), the Metcalf Foundation funded project on the reMaker Society explores the possible relevance of community-based fabrication to a post-consumer society. Our idea is that the habit of actually making things may challenge logic of passive consumption whilst engendering a new kind of community-based economy. Although there is a compelling case for low/no growth economics (e.g. Jackson 2009; Victor 2008), this vision has not been demonstrated ‘on the ground’. The convergence of (i) new communication and organizational [open source, P2P] technologies associated with the Internet, with (ii) emerging micro fabrication technologies (e.g. 3d printing) is creating as yet untapped possibilities for small-scale, community-based economy which combines artisanal craftsmanship with both technical innovation and a much more integrated recycling, reuse and repair of material objects. This project tests the capacity of community-based hacking spaces and Maker projects to engage ordinary people, unpick the psycho-cultural attractions of consumerism, change behaviour and transform local economies.


Stephen QuilleyProject Leader:  Dr Stephen Quilley, Associate Professor, Environment and Resource Studies, Director of Development, Waterloo Institute of Complexity and Innovation and interim Co-Director, Waterloo Institute for Social Innovation and Resilience.


Katie KishProject support: Katie Kish, PhD Candidate, Environment and Resource Studies.


Paul FieguthProject affiliates: Visit our affiliates page to see a full list of our associated faculty, staff and students.

Upcoming Events

In our most recent workshop we built 3 power cubes!



Updates

See more about the comparison of average proprietary tractors compared to open source engineering:

opensourceecology.org/wiki/Cost_Comparison_to_Industry_Standards
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3 days ago

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Badgersett nut breeding - event in Philadelphia - Growing Resilient Alternatives: How to Feed a Warming World ... See MoreSee Less

GROWING RESILIENT ALTERNATIVES: HOW TO FEED A WARMING WORLD Saturday, March 25th, 4 PM to 9 PM The Experimental Farm Network is convening a unique and informative event to explore some critical issues for the future of our planet, mainly related to agriculture, organizing, and climate change. We have three speakers lined up. Following the talks there will be an extended networking social hour (or two), with cheap drinks for sale. Let's make connections and build! $10-$20 sliding scale cover (cash only, also no one will be turned away for lack of funds) With $2 (and up) drinks available for purchase $3 per packet EFN seeds KEYNOTE: CHESTNUTS, HAZELNUTS, AND EMERGING PARADIGM SHIFTS @[100001985692108:2048:Philip Rutter], Badgersett Research Corporation Philip Rutter completed his coursework for a PhD in Evolutionary Biology from the University of Minnesota in the 1970s. Instead of writing a thesis, he elected to buy a 160-acre farm in southern Minnesota and began his life’s work of breeding and growing hazelnuts, chestnuts, and hickory-pecans. This farm is named Badgersett, and so is the business: Badgersett Research Corporation. Philip is also the founder of the American Chestnut Foundation, dedicated to restoring the American Chestnut (Castanea dentata) to America's forests following its near extinction. Philip foresaw the unsustainable nature of annual corn and soy agriculture decades ago, before the word “permaculture” existed. And he decided to try to do something about it. His vision has always been to make these agro-ecological, perennial, staple tree crops serious contenders. His selection process is rigorous and scientific. With the proper economy of scale, harvesting machinery, and processing equipment, he believes hazelnuts could replace soybeans today. It will take dedicated small farmers learning, organizing, and rallying around each other to make this happen. HYPER-LOCAL: AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCER RENAISSANCE @[100006127386177:2048:William Padilla-Brown], MycoSymbiotics LLC William Padilla-Brown is a Social entrepreneur, Urban Shaman, Citizen Scientist, Poet, Mycologist, Amateur Phycologist, and a Certified Permaculture designer. William has spent most of his life traveling the world, stopping at such places as The Pyramid of the Sun, Olmec Ruins in Villahermosa and Campeche Mexico, England, France, Taiwan, and various States on the East and West coast of North America. He has run a non-profit in New Cumberland, PA, called Community Compassion for the past 4 years focusing on Radical Sustainability, and operates MycoSymbiotics LLC, a small mycological research and mushroom production business. He has educated children and adults on topics from mushroom cultivation to nutrition via various workshops and programs around the country. William dropped out of High School at the age of 16 and has since been pursuing a non-traditional independent approach to his Higher Education, actively promoting alternative education options. William received a certification in Permaculture from Susquehanna Permaculture and NGOZI. TOWARD A NEW PARADIGM IN AGRICULTURE: COLLABORATIVELY DEVELOPING NEW CROPS TO SURVIVE AND FIGHT CLIMATE CHANGE @[1403925:2048:Nathan Kleinman], Experimental Farm Network Nate is co-founder of the Experimental Farm Network (EFN), which he initiated in 2013. He has worked on various social justice and international human rights issues (especially in Sudan, South Sudan, and Latin America) since graduating from Georgetown University in 2004. He has been involved in numerous political campaigns, including running for U.S. Congress himself in 2012, when he was called “the first Occupy candidate” by Politico. He helped organize Occupy Sandy and InterOccupy. Nate has served on the Executive Board of the Project for Nuclear Awareness (PNA), the Cumberland County (NJ) Long Term Recovery Group, the Jewish Social Policy Action Network (JSPAN), and GMO Free Pennsylvania. He is a member of the Seed Advisory Committee of the Non-GMO Project, and the Education Committee of the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Jersey. As a plant breeder and experimenter, Nate has a broad range of interests, but he is most excited at the moment by perennial sorghum, mayapples (Podophyllum), seakale & Tartar Bread Plant (Crambe), perennial beets or chard (Beta), and currants (Ribes). He will be discussing how EFN seeks to spur innovation in sustainable agriculture by both facilitating collaboration on traditional plant breeding and other research projects, and conducting its own research. ****This is a 5 hour event and we are not planning to serve food. You should probably eat before you come, or feel free to bring something with you to eat and/or share at the event. If you do get hungry, Liberty Choice (try the falafel sandwich or store-made pita chips with hummus), Pizza Brain (slices available), and Soup Kitchen Cafe, are all within two blocks of Circle of Hope Church and we encourage you to go get food and bring it back. Lectures will run back-to-back with short breaks between each. We are looking into a potential food truck appearance.

4 days ago

Growing Resilient Alternatives: How to Feed a Warming World

March 25, 2017, 4:00pm

2007 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19125-1920, United States

GROWING RESILIENT ALTERNATIVES: HOW TO FEED A WARMING WORLD Saturday, March 25th, 4 PM to 9 PM The Experimental Farm Network is convening a unique and informative event to explore some critical issues for the future of our planet, mainly related to agriculture, organizing, and climate change. We have three speakers lined up. Following the talks there will be an extended networking social hour (or two), with cheap drinks for sale. Let's make connections and build! $10-$20 sliding scale cover (cash only, also no one will be turned away for lack of funds) With $2 (and up) drinks available for purchase $3 per packet EFN seeds KEYNOTE: CHESTNUTS, HAZELNUTS, AND EMERGING PARADIGM SHIFTS Philip Rutter, Badgersett Research Corporation Philip Rutter completed his coursework for a PhD in Evolutionary Biology from the University of Minnesota in the 1970s. Instead of writing a thesis, he elected to buy a 160-acre farm in southern Minnesota and began his life’s work of breeding and growing hazelnuts, chestnuts, and hickory-pecans. This farm is named Badgersett, and so is the business: Badgersett Research Corporation. Philip is also the founder of the American Chestnut Foundation, dedicated to restoring the American Chestnut (Castanea dentata) to America's forests following its near extinction. Philip foresaw the unsustainable nature of annual corn and soy agriculture decades ago, before the word “permaculture” existed. And he decided to try to do something about it. His vision has always been to make these agro-ecological, perennial, staple tree crops serious contenders. His selection process is rigorous and scientific. With the proper economy of scale, harvesting machinery, and processing equipment, he believes hazelnuts could replace soybeans today. It will take dedicated small farmers learning, organizing, and rallying around each other to make this happen. HYPER-LOCAL: AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCER RENAISSANCE William Padilla-Brown, MycoSymbiotics LLC William Padilla-Brown is a Social entrepreneur, Urban Shaman, Citizen Scientist, Poet, Mycologist, Amateur Phycologist, and a Certified Permaculture designer. William has spent most of his life traveling the world, stopping at such places as The Pyramid of the Sun, Olmec Ruins in Villahermosa and Campeche Mexico, England, France, Taiwan, and various States on the East and West coast of North America. He has run a non-profit in New Cumberland, PA, called Community Compassion for the past 4 years focusing on Radical Sustainability, and operates MycoSymbiotics LLC, a small mycological research and mushroom production business. He has educated children and adults on topics from mushroom cultivation to nutrition via various workshops and programs around the country. William dropped out of High School at the age of 16 and has since been pursuing a non-traditional independent approach to his Higher Education, actively promoting alternative education options. William received a certification in Permaculture from Susquehanna Permaculture and NGOZI. TOWARD A NEW PARADIGM IN AGRICULTURE: COLLABORATIVELY DEVELOPING NEW CROPS TO SURVIVE AND FIGHT CLIMATE CHANGE Nathan Kleinman, Experimental Farm Network Nate is co-founder of the Experimental Farm Network (EFN), which he initiated in 2013. He has worked on various social justice and international human rights issues (especially in Sudan, South Sudan, and Latin America) since graduating from Georgetown University in 2004. He has been involved in numerous political campaigns, including running for U.S. Congress himself in 2012, when he was called “the first Occupy candidate” by Politico. He helped organize Occupy Sandy and InterOccupy. Nate has served on the Executive Board of the Project for Nuclear Awareness (PNA), the Cumberland County (NJ) Long Term Recovery Group, the Jewish Social Policy Action Network (JSPAN), and GMO Free Pennsylvania. He is a member of the Seed Advisory Committee of the Non-GMO Project, and the Education Committee of the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Jersey. As a plant breeder and experimenter, Nate has a broad range of interests, but he is most excited at the moment by perennial sorghum, mayapples (Podophyllum), seakale & Tartar Bread Plant (Crambe), perennial beets or chard (Beta), and currants (Ribes). He will be discussing how EFN seeks to spur innovation in sustainable agriculture by both facilitating collaboration on traditional plant breeding and other research projects, and conducting its own research. ****This is a 5 hour event and we are not planning to serve food. You should probably eat before you come, or feel free to bring something with you to eat and/or share at the event. If you do get hungry, Liberty Choice (try the falafel sandwich or store-made pita chips with hummus), Pizza Brain (slices available), and Soup Kitchen Cafe, are all within two blocks of Circle of Hope Church and we encourage you to go get food and bring it back. Lectures will run back-to-back with short breaks between each. We are looking into a potential food truck appearance.

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Monday working team meeting recording. www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDarXyyf0N0&feature=youtu.be ... See MoreSee Less

5 days ago

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