Ford Foundation

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Ford Foundation - Online Letter of Inquiry Form

by Aaron Makaruk

Submitted 1/15/12

Briefly describe your organization (100 words)

Open Source Ecology creates economic development programs for low-income individuals and communities that provide long-term benefits with both urban and rural applications. We redesign vital industrial/agricultural machinery and publish it under the open source licensing platform, thereby drastically lowering its cost and improving its accessibility and ease of service. Based on the technology, we incubate open source enterprise models and train fellows to fabricate their own capital and establish businesses around it. We also provide extensive online distance learning opportunities for independent replication of the business models and machinery through a comprehensive documentation platform.

List those who will be engaged in the project along with their qualifications (100 words)

Founder - Dr. Marcin Jakubowski – PhD in Physics – TED Fellow/graduate of Princeton and the University of Wisconsin

Resource/Organization Development – Aaron Makaruk – Youth On Record (Founder)

Advisor – Adrian Hong – TED Fellow/Pegasus Project (Director)

Media Director – Isaiah Saxon – Encyclopedia Pictura (Director/Founder)

True Fans Network – 520 supporters

Network of collaborators and independent replicators: forum, wiki

Describe the purpose of the project(100 words)

We are accelerating the development of an open source economy based on relocalized industry, where communities generate wealth from readily available resources. Both the opportunity and incentive are there for this type of service, given our society’s high state of technological development and widespread unemployment/underemployment. We work to create long-term solutions to poverty through economic self-sufficiency.

Outline the problems and issues the project will address(100 words)

High unemployment rates are partially due to the globalization of the labor market, and we expect this to be a long-term problem. While an alternative is to establish a small business, the costs can be prohibitively expensive both at the onset and for ongoing operations. Also, fundamental economic needs are reliant on an international distribution system that has a high degree of risk in its architecture, given the volatile price of oil. By creating open source designs for industry and business, we can lower costs and relocalize production developing communities more in tune with the management of natural resources.