Community Business Models

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The main aim of this page is to show the potential earnings of each sector of a open village culture. The gvcs development has been grouped into five distinct economic categories in order to stream line there developement and highlight the economic incentives.These catergories are Architectural, Agricultural, manufacturing, power engineering and computer automation. The development models are not currently complete and tested business models, however they are to be used as a base line to show the potential benefits to investors as well as the potential cost savings to the fabricators themselves thus allowing for a truely open business process to take place.

Many business models and phases of developement are needed to successfully replicate a working civilization on a small scale from a baker, to an electrician and everything else you can imagine. Hypermodularity should be maintained throughout so the waste products of one system are either recaptured or reused which continuously reduces running costs. Hypermodularity also helps interoperability, that means if its a really awesome product like the ipad, you can basically do anything with it! Systems must be ultra-optimized with integrated upgradability.(the opposite to design obsolescence) That basically means that unlike the iphone it shouldnt need to be thrown away after six months. We are approaching a point in technology where even the ipad will seem redundant and imagine a world where you will be able to reprint the latest model of pentiums processor in your house, print out a sheet and manipulate it like an ipad and then shred it, recycle it and get a better graphics card all in.

That would be ultraoptimised hypermodularity and we might be able to do similar things in a few years.

This is the level of optimisation possible with todays technology if creative ideas where encouraged and funded.

This list is not exhaustive;

Hydroponic Aquaculture

In hydroponics we use lettuce as a baseline crop in our discussions. A 4000 hole 'nft' hydroponic system growing a variety of lettuce that takes four weeks to mature would require 1000 lettuce to be planted and harvested per week. This would consist of 2 hours work per day for one person in a well organized system. Assuming a conservative retail value of $0.5 per lettuce this would give an annual gross income equal to $26,000.

Fish and lobster retails for $10 per lb making it the most expensive form of protein sold on international markets. The feed conversion ratio in an efficient aquaculture system shows that 1.2lbs of feed will produce 1lb of fish. Black soldier fly larva or worms can remove food waste and create a source of feed for the business. A 10,000 fish system can generate a gross income of $100,000 dollars per year. 10,000 fish need 200,000 litres of water. This would equal an area 2000sqft. Feed costs would be $8000 dollars assuming feed was not produced on site. The fish, plants and bacteria work together symbiotically to control water pH and ammonia levels making this system ultra-optimized. It would also be possible to run courses in aquaponics.

Seperately hydroponics and aquaculture are already highly optimized multibillion dollar industries and aquaponics would allow these systems to become even more cost effective, profitable and productive.

Geodesic domes, polytunnels and low impact structures

For 20 hours labour and $220 it is possible to create a 200sqft geodesic dome green house with a retail value of $1500.With an initial investment of $5000 dollars it would be possible to create a 5000sqft greenhouse on two stories that was the most efficient food production system on the planet. Four 3v geodesic domes can combine to create a pseudo-6v geodesic dome which is much greater in size, this makes the system hyper-modular. For $2500 dollars and 120 hours construction it is possible to create a small two storey 3 bedroom 1200sqft geodesic dome home with a small solar system and rain water collection system but with no interior, On land with planning permission this could be worth in excess of $100,000 dollars. It would also be possible to run courses on geodesic dome greenhouse and self build housing.


Its should be possible to create a fablab with a commercial value of $10,000 from readily available kits for $3000. These kits are already open source and this would allow the development of a self replicating, intrinsically upgrading and hypermodular fab lab that costs the price of scrap and electronics to expand. The facilities would have a $1000 laser cutter, a $1000 3 axis CNC mill, a $600 3D printer, a $300 bioplastic extruder and a smaller $100 circuit mill. This would be upgraded to a selective laser sintering machine, 6 axis cnc mill and a centrifugal metal atomizer.

In discussions about CNC machine self replication we use the 3D printer as a base line example. The cost of 3mm PLA filament is $40 per lb, the cost of PLA pellets is $5 per pound and eventually the PLA could be synthesized on site. The PLA 3D printer components retail for $75 each. The machine can reproduce itself in 6 hours requiring less than 10 minutes of manual labour which means 1 machine can recreate itself 4 times per day producing parts worth $300 for less than an hours work. Assuming all these parts are sold this would equate to an annual gross income of $109,500. As we can see if an entire fablab can become self replicating the potential savings or profit are huge. It would also be possible rent this facility to people and run courses in 3D design and machine assembly.

Metal Working Factory

A simple metal working factory can be created from scrap metal and two old microwaves which would include a drill press, lathe, mill, metal roller, band saw, welder and charcoal furnace or waste oil furnace. This facility would be able to manufacture any industrial equipment at the cost of scrap metal so the profit margin would be highly dependent on the local area and the skill of the worker. Manufacturing would also be labour intensive but the savings are large as this system commercially would be worth anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000 and upwards.


For approximately 5000 euros it would be possible to create a two story, 3 bedroom house that was totally self sufficient. The design would be a geodesic dome with strawbale super insulation, solar panels, battery bank, rainwater collection, reed bed sewage treatment, wood stove and biogas production. With planning permission this would be worth in excess of 200,000 gbp

Minimal Risk Investments

If you invest in anyone of these business models OSE EU is willing to offer a series of options that can reduce risk, improve payback times and increase profitability for you the investor. We are confident that our products can be on the shelf within a year and generating significant returns within 18months.

The investment options include but are not limited to; Taking a share of the particular production facility Free use of the facility for educational, charity or fund-raising events Advertising your products on our numerous websites and blogs Pay back in installments plus inflation Offering you a fixed term license to sell or distribute our product

If you have an open source business why not invest early in a project with your support so we can all help eachother.

OSE EU is willing to make negotiations on any of the above.

Buying Out At The Bottom

For 1000 euros a fully established community can provide an individual with sustainable housing, organic produce and work for up to a year. In which time we feel that the individual will be able to make 5000 euros.

With an offering of 5000 euros we can provide the chance, space, materials and support for any person to create a full CNC fablab for the community, metal working facility, solar power generation and hot water, a greenhouse facility capable of feeding 10-20 people or permanent accommodation for up to 3 people.(it should be possible to complete two of these large scale projects for 5000euros once all documentation is complete.)

15000 euros would be enough to create a complete homestead capable of meeting the needs for approximately 5 to 10 people. In 18 months it should be possible for that homestead to generate approximately 150,000 euros profit assuming the homestead is working at 33% utilisation. This would represent and easy life and quite a low utilization of the technology when compared to current business models that need to operate continously on a massive sacel.

This 150,000 euros represents the potential to remove 100 people from the current system and set up 10 new communities per year. If this money was reinvested in developing communities you could own a share of up to 150 communities.

Obviously this a ponsi scheme, the only difference being that this model was designed to provide for 99.9% of humanities needs instead of benefitting only the top 0.1% of population.

"This is the real news of our century. It is highly feasible to take care of all of humanity

at a higher standard of living than anybody has ever experienced or dreamt of.

To do so without having anybody profit at the expense of another

so that everybody can enjoy the whole earth. And it can all be done by 1985."

–R. Buckminster Fuller, The World Game, 1971

Links to business models

Any designs on these sites are not strictly open source so just use these sites to analyze the business plans and get some good ideas. 

Things to consider when setting up an Open Source or Community Business Model

(These point will be location, funds and (personal) interest dependant)

  • Funding
  • Material Costs
  • People - how many and what skills are needed
  • Hours Labour
  • Product/Produce Selling Prices
  • Market(research) / Customers / Other Communities / NGOs abroad (Design Development Summit
  • Ease of start?


  • Solar
  • Wind
  • Water
  • Batteries?
  • (sell machines, consulting, electricity, sell electricity back to the grid)


  • Powering an aquaponic system (rotating?) + Green House like Wisconsin one.

- Other OS Greenhouses + Business models?


  • CNC workshop
  • FabLab
  • Selling OS products
  • Service (maintenance) (for the public)
  • Renting machines
  • Use the machines at our place and take the products with you


  • Consider different construction methods.
  • Sell construction products


  • Training
  • Consultancy

Guidelines to follow:

Side Thoughts;

  • Specify how much it would cost to set up a Greenhouse and CNC workshop.
  • Research possible returns.
  • Outline an investment plan for ourselves and collaborators i.e. if you invest 10k then you get 10k back plus inflation?
  • Look at possible ways to expand into a chain of OS businesses once one is established?
  • Consider a plan that enables people to "buy out at the bottom".