Open Source Ecology

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Integrity, courage, true collaboration, immortality, and humility to serve the world.

  • Immortality - lifetime design, leaving a legacy. Good is the enemy of great.
  • Humility - attending to needs greater than yourself. Level 6 Leadership. The meek shall inherit the earth.
  • Integrity - integration, honor, ecosystems both human and wild
  • Courage - The fear of a life unlived. Life without courage is a life unlived.
  • True collaboration - sharing. Of economically significant practice.

What is it?

Open source ecology is a public organization that envisions collaborative design for a transparent and inclusive economy of abundance. OSE is an education organization that hosts immersion workshops and training programs on hands-on, applied skills to design and build just about anything.

Open Source Ecology is incorporated as a nonprofit organization in the State of Missouri, USA. Originally founded in 2004 by Marcin Jakubowski, Ph.D., OSE moved to a land-based facility in Maysville, MO, in 2006. In September 2013, OSE attained 501(c)3 determination from the IRS. OSE is also tax-exempt for Missouri state tax. You can see more corporate information on our website [1]

The Founder, Marcin Jakubowski, came to the U.S. from Poland as a child. He graduated with honors from Princeton and earned his Ph.D. in fusion physics from the University of Wisconsin. Frustrated with the lack of relevance to pressing world issues in his education, he founded Open Source Ecology in 2003 in order to make closed-loop manufacturing a reality. He is now working on open-source blueprints for civilization - the Global Village Construction Set (GVCS)— an open source tool set of 50 industrial machines necessary to create a small civilization with modern comforts. His goal is to create the next economy - the open source economy. His work has been recognized as a TED Senior Fellow, in Time Magazine's Best Inventions of 2012, as a Shuttleworth Foundation Fellow, and a White House Champion of Change in 2013. See his TED Talk for an intro -

OSE proposes not only 10x, but more like 100x improvements in the performance and quality of the technosphere. Products can indeed be designed to produce Mutually Assured Abundance - as the next paradigm of global security. In practical terms, there is evidence of about 100x improvement: 2x by efficiency (integrated design), 2x by modularity, 2x by lifetime, 2x by extensible (adding perforamance as needed), 2x by interoperable (open standards), 2x by distributed (distributed producibility for DMS, 2x by swarming (speed increase).

  • Modular design - 2x improvement. Interchangeable parts with universal interface design.
  • Integrated design - if design for a product is done as a system, then the costs are lower. 2x. For example, a PV system designed at the house design stage is 2x more cost efficient than a retrofit for the Seed Eco-Home.
  • Lifetime design - design for easy repair and maintenance for as long as one likes - 2x
  • Design-for-Evolution - product can be upgraded with new functionality through modular hardware and software additions. That means you can repurpose a given tool instead of the tool becoming obsolete
  • Circular economy - Recycling saves 2x the cost of materials.
  • Interoperability - if products are interoperable, then product ecosystems can be created. 2x. Think of all the companies worldwide that produce cars or tractor. If they collaborated and parts were interchangeable, much more value would be created.
  • Product Ecosystem Design - instead of designing individual products, we design for product ecosystems which can meet more needs in a more comprehensive way. Note that a civilization needs just about all available technology to thrive. This applies down to the city level, and circular, transparent, interoperable products can deliver value at lower cost. 2x.
  • Construction Set Design - this is quite similar to modularity - but is specific to the modularity of ecosystems where the modularity applies at the larger scale of products which comprise the product ecosystem as opposed to a single tool.
  • Flexible fabrication - 2x. If you can produce multiple products using the same flexible production infrastructure, then the production cost can go down. See The Second Industrial Divide.
  • Digital design and fabrication - 2x. Open source design allows for quality design with part libraries to be done by more people with user-friendly software, using design guides for assistance. Digital fabrication, such as 3D printing, allows for complex geometries, without having to do subtractive machining.
  • Swarm builds - Modular design affords Swarm Builds, with the potential to increase build speed at least 2x.

Strategic Plan

See OSE Strategic Plan 2023


The vision of OSE is collaborative design for a transparent and inclusive economy of abundance.

Open Source Ecology is a proposed paradigm shift to regenerative development of human and natural ecosystems by means of open collaboration, transparency, and democratization of the technosphere as a foundation for mutually-assured abundance. We believe that economic prosperity - defined as the ability of individuals to pursue a life of Self-Determination - must be a foundation for sound global relations. The world is currently far from this ideal. Please see the Roadmap for how to get there. The current main effort (2018-2028) is completion of the Global Village Construction Set, which is 33% complete. This is our proposed toolset necessary for a civilization-in-a-box tjat can be replicated for prosperity anywhere in the world - up to the technology level of semiconductor manufacturing.

To create the Open Source Economy, OSE is interested in gaining at a minimum a billion dollar annual budget via programmatic funding - to the furtherment of collaborative economics, as in its Mission.

Writing from 2013

Open Source Ecology Open Source Ecology is developing and testing the Global Village Construction Set


By weaving open source permacultural and technological cycles together, we intend to provide basic human needs while being good stewards of the land, using resources sustainably, and pursuing right livelihood. With the gift of openly shared information, we can produce industrial products locally using open source design and digital fabrication. This frees us from the need to participate in the wasteful resource flows of the larger economy by letting us produce our own materials and components for the technologies we use. We see small, independent, land-based economies as means to transform societies, address pressing world issues, and evolve to freedom.

Factor e Farm is the land-based facility where we are putting this theory into practice. Here we are testing the prototypes of of Global Village Construction Set, working piece by piece towards self sufficiency. Ultimately, our goal is to make this self sufficiency available to all. To this end, the GVCS is designed to be self-replicable. After the first set is complete, it will be used to fabricate copies of itself from raw materials (for the cost of scrap metal). At that point we will shift to begin developing networks of interconnected self-sufficient villages and homes.

Taken literally, open source means that the goods and knowledge for reproducing the complete product (the "source") is freely accessible (open), and ecology is the study of living interactions between organisms and their natural environment. From a human perspective, we seek to push our vision of ecology beyond ecological crisis and into ecological harmony and human productivity.

Meaning of Open Source Ecology - the Concept, not OSE Brand

  • OSE Legacy Website described what the concept of open source ecology means. The same concept is the name of our organization.

'III. What is Open Source Ecology? We derive our organization's name from a concept which refers to the integration of the natural, societal, and industrial ecologies- Open Source Ecology- aiming at sustainable and regenerative economics. We are convinced that a possibility of a quality life exists, where human needs are guaranteed to the world's entire population- as long as we ask ourselves basic questions on what societal structures and productive activities are truly appropriate to meeting human needs for all. At the end of the day, the goal is to liberate our time to engage in exactly that which each of us wants to be doing- instead of what we need to do to survive. All have the potential to thrive. Today, an increasingly smaller percentage of the world's population is in this position. - MJ 2003


See Also