Conor O'Higgins

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Team Culturing Information

last updated: 8. February, 2011

WHO are you?

  • Name/Nationality/Ethnicity - Conor O'Higgins, Irish
  • Location – Based in Dublin, Ireland, but mobile
  • Contact Information
  • Introductory Video -
  • Resume/CV
  • Hobbies and Pastimes -

WHY are you motivated to support/develop this work?

  • Do you endorse open source culture?

Yes. We have the resources to take care of everyone on Earth to an excellent standard of living. Why haven't we done it yet? Because there is never enough money. Borrowing an image from Alan Watts, refusing to do something because there isn't enough money is like refusing to build a house because there aren't enough inches. You have the materials to build the house, the wood, the bricks, even the tape measures, but not the actual inches. It's an absurd situation, but it is what we are doing every time we say "We can't do that; there's not enough money!" We're saying that the means of measuring resources are more important than the resources themselves.Money stops us from doing the things that we have the materials, the know-how and the Will to do. Therefore, we need a way of working outside the monetary system. Open source culture is the answer.

  • Why are you interested in this work?

First, it seems to be pushing forward into unexplored territory. That alone makes it appealing.Secondly, arithmetic shows that we have plenty of energy, water, food, money and other resources for all our brothers and sisters. There is no lack of anything except money.Thirdly, there are pretty clear opportunities for improvement in the presentation of information. I a neither a farmer nor an engineer, but I can help with that.

  • Are you interested in teaching about the GVCS?

Hell yeah - I'd be willing to give talks about it to charities, universities, hackerspaces, philanthropists, exotic dancers. I'm willing to teach about it both online and offline.

  • Are you interested in economic relocalization possibilities arising from the GVCS?'

Gandhi figured this out a long time ago: centralized mass produxion raises the standard of living only for those who are connected to the means of distribution. If you cannot connect to the means of distribution because you are poor, then mass produxion does you no good. Decentralized mass produxion, on the other hand, is mass produxion with in-built mass distribution. The bit Gandhi didn't foresee (and we have yet to see this happen) is self-replication. I mean, once upon a time, there was only one molecule of DNA on Earth, but then it turned itself into the whole biosphere and now Earth without Life would be unimaginable. How did Life colonize an entire planet? By virtue of self-replication. Technology hasn't really gained this power yet (RepRap is not properly self-replicating), but I think it will grow explosively when it is made. Like within two years of the first productive self-replicating machines, everyone on Earth will have been influenced by them.

  • Do you want to use the GVCS technologies yourself? Do you want to build them yourself?

Some of them. I don't see myself setting up a heavy-duty machining workshop (I don't need it), but some of the tools might be fun to play with.

  • Are you interested in starting up enterprise using the GVCS technologies?

If that would be helpful. I have experience building largely automated online businesses, where production and shipping is outsourced. This model could possibly be applied to some of the GVCS technologies; a customer places an order with us, the order goes to an on-demand producer who makes it and ships it directly to the customer. This would require a minimal amount of labour from the OSE team.

  • Are you interested in having the GVCS technologies fabricated by your local custom fabricator?

I had the idea of outsourcing manufacture of the GVCS technologies to on-demand fabricators. Imagine OSE being partly funded by a business that goes like this:1. A customer places an order on an online shop for a GVCS tool, say the CEB press.2. A piece of software sends a request for the necessary parts to a custom machining shop, a custom circuit-board printing shop, and an electronic component shop.3. All the parts are sent to an intern in China who assembles the machine and sends it to the customer4. Customer receives machine. Customer is happy. Intern in China gets his cut, OSE gets theirs, parts suppliers get theirs. Everybody is happy.

  • Are you interested in applying the GVCS to third world development? To redevelopment of crisis areas? To development of derelict areas in the developed world?

Yes, this is what I am most interested in. A billion of our brothers and sisters are homeless or in shanty towns. 850 million are undernourished. Comfortable Westerners can worry about environmentalism or government control, but there is a much more pressing existential need to be fulfilled: people are really, really hungry, they are dirty, they are cold, they are wracked by bullshit diseases like leprosy. This is the important issue.

  • Are you interested in starting up Industry 2.0 flexible fabrication enterprises for your local community, by drawing from a global repository of freely down-loadable designs and fabricating using open source fabrication equipment?

I hadn't thought about it, but when you ask the question as charmingly as that, it puts ideas in my head.

  • Are you interested in the potential of the GVCS for developing local food systems?

Very much so. I am working on a project with replicable, local, open-source food systems - details to follow.

  • Are you interested in doing academic studies/papers, publishing books, or doing other analysis of our efforts?


  • Are you interested in financial investment opportunities arising from our work?


  • Are you interested in the distributive economic aspects of our work, and if so, how do you see this playing out?

'Distributive economics'? You guys sometimes just make up jargon on-the-fly, don't you?  ;-)

  • Are you interested in building renewable energy production facilities based on open hardware (solar concentrator electric, wind, biomass power).

Yes, that would be very interesting.I am particularly interested in microbial fuel cells (devices that generate electricity from the bacterial processes in waste), because it is a largely unexplored area where hackers without huge budgets or expertise can make meaningful discoveries. There is a potential to develop a very low-cost, open-source microbial fuel cell capable of generating significant amounts of energy.

  • Are you interested in building resilient communities based on access to the GVCS?

Not so much for myself (I'm a city boy.) but I think there should be autonomous microcivilizations all over the planet (and beyond!) as it would be an excellent way of decentralizing political power.

  • Are you interested in creating a bug-out hut using GVCS technologies?

No. As much fun as the total collapse of civilization into a zombie apocalypse would be, I don't think it's very likely. Sure there are a number of looming catastrophies threatening to destroy civilization as we know it - but when have there not been?

However, I am interested in building a self-sufficient hermitage.

  • How do you think that the GVCS can help alleviate the instabilities of global monetary systems?

By bypassing them. Saint Buckminster Fuller says, "In order to change an existing paradigm you do not struggle to try and change the problematic model. You create a new model and make the old one obsolete"

  • How do you think that the GVCS can address issues related to resource conflicts?

People who have their needs taken care of don't fight for resources. You don't see posh people from the swanky suburbs mugging people so they can buy new china dinnerware.

  • How do you think that the GVCS can address issues of overpopulation?

Having a lot of people around is not a problem. People are fun and sexy. If there were too many people and not enough resources, that would be a problem. The GVCS can address this scarcity.

  • How do you think that the GVCS can address issues of resource depletion and environmental degradation?


  • Other comments



  • What have you already contributed to the OSE project? (technical contributions, blogging about us, financial support, organizing events, translations, interviews, video editing, publications, publicity work, behind-the-scenes work, CAD work, wiki contributions, computer support, etc)

I have reorganized the wiki, because it made my head hurt when I first saw it.


  • I like to think I can write well. I have written press releases, marketing emails, adverts etc. I have experience in SEO, PPC, online marketing. I have worked in sales and trained sales teams. I have designed marketing campaigns for start-up businesses.


  • Yes.I have organized talks, parties, festivals, public events. I have designed strategies for companies expanding into new countries. I have done public speaking in many different contexts.

Computer Support

  • I could administer a wiki or write content for a website. I am not a programmer.


  • I have written business plans and helped several businesses to grow, so I have some real-world experience in business and entrepreneurship, but no formal training or qualifications.


  • Yes. I think that is is important for a community to have clear goals and values. Of course, this would have to be written collaboratively (otherwise it's not a social contract, is it?), but I'd have ideas to contribute.

Home Economics

  • I can cook. Cooking for many is actually the same as cooking for one - a lot of people don't realize that. I don't have experience on farms, but I have some experience in horticulture (growing plants). I'm learning how to grow food. I have one beehive.


  • I've helped with a few open-hardware builds, but I relied heavily on getting people with more knowledge to hold my hand through the process.


  • No

Electronics and Magnetics

  • No


  • No


  • No


  • No

HOW can you help?

  • How are you interested in contributing to the work of GVCS development?

Getting a coherent online presence. Building a 'brand'. Organizing information and people. DEvelopming strategies. I'm an ideas man.

  • Can you volunteer to work with us, and if so, how many hours per week?

It's very variable - some weeks it could be 20 hours, others it could be zero.

  • Are you interested in working with us for pay? If so, what services can you offer, and what is your hourly or per-project rate?


  • Are you interested in purchasing equipment from us to help bootstrap development?

Maybe. Do you want to build me a RepRap?

  • Are you interested in bidding for consulting/design/prototyping work?


Not yet

  • Would you like to see yourself working with us on a full-time basis?


  • Are you interested in using the technologies that we are developing directly?

You asked me that already

  • Are you interested in being part of the world's first, open source, resilient community? The GVCS is the preparatory step for the OSE Village Experiment – a 2 year, immersion experiment (2013-2014) for testing whether a real, thriving, modern-day prototype community of 200 people can be built on 200 acres using local resources and open access to information? We are looking for approximately 200 people to fill a diverse array of roles, according to the Social Contract that is being developed. This may be the boldest social experiment on earth - a pioneering community whose goal is to extend the index of possibilities regarding harmonious existence of humans, ecology, and technology – as a beacon of light to benefit of all people on Earth.

Yeah, I might be able to give a few months to help building it