Jeff Thomas

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Jeff Thomas

Team Culturing Information

last updated: 8. February, 2011

WHO are you?

  • Name/Nationality/Ethnicity - Jeff Thomas, United States
  • Location – Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States
  • Contact Information – theaterjock@triton.net616-648-3111
  • Introductory Video -
  • Resume/CV

I work in three largely distinct fields: web design, nonprofit research and development, and technical theatre. Having not had cause to present a resume in two of those three fields recently, suffice it to say that:

1. I graduated suma cum laude from Northern Michigan University with a B.A. in Civic Communication, an individually created program of study combining elements of communication, art and design, and various social sciences.

2. As close as I come to a traditional job at the moment is working as the volunteer executive director of and as a contractual researcher for Nonprofit Innovations, Inc. (

3. I am actively involved with a number of other nonprofit and political organizations as either a contractor or volunteer.

4. I will happily elaborate on any of the above at length upon request.

  • Hobbies and Pastimes - Political and philosophical writing, soccer, video games, acting.

WHY are you motivated to support/develop this work?

  • Do you endorse open source culture?

Broadly speaking, yes, though I am not yet entirely certain that it is a suitable model for all forms of human endeavor.

  • Why are you interested in this work?

The GVCS concept speaks powerfully to many of the concepts I found appealing in Schumacher's Small is Beautiful. It could provide many people with an amazing opportunity to improve their material circumstances while simultaneously gaining increased agency in their own lives. Also, in reviewing the wiki, I found that you have implemented (or plan to implement) a number of ideas similar to those I had previously come to in my own thinking about how to solve various of the world's problems, which suggests that we're broadly on the same wavelength.

  • Are you interested in teaching about the GVCS?

Only if someone else teaches me a lot more about it first.

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


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

They would not fit readily into my life as it is presently arranged, but I could imagine doing either or both at some point in the future.

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


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

If a market for them developed, yes.

  • 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?

Conceptually, yes, though my personal freedom to participate in such an endeavor in the near-term is significantly limited by my existing obligations.

  • 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 find the idea conceptually attractive, though I am less than confident that my community would be particularly receptive to such an endeavor anytime soon.

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

Moderately - though I still have a number of practical and philosophical concerns about the local food systems concept.

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

Academic studies and papers, not so much. Books and analysis, I would consider.

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

Depends what they are.

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

I am, but I do not yet feel that I am in a position to make any meaningful predictions about either the impact of your work or its future interactions with the existing economic order.

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

In theory, yes.

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

In theory, yes.

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

Not particularly.

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

While I am open to changing my views on this point, I'm not altogether certain that this is really an issue that the GVCS, as I understand it, currently addresses in a particularly meaningful way.

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

Inasmuch as the GVCS enables communities to forgo or locally produce materials that presently have to be extracted from particular parts of the world, it could potentially reduce the incentives to engage in conflict over said resources.

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

While I am open to changing my views on this point, I'm not altogether certain that this is really an issue that the GVCS, as I understand it, currently addresses in a particularly meaningful way.

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

Inasmuch as the GVCS enables individuals and communities to meet their basic needs more efficiently and sustainably, I would expect it to have a proportional impact on resource depletion and environmental degradation. However, the physical GVCS tools will most likely not achieve this without the backing of a coherent philosophy of how to use them.

  • 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)

Aside from completing this form, nothing yet.


  • I am a reasonably adept writer and video editor.


  • I have a fairly broad base of experience with nonprofit organizations, and my limited experience suggests that I am a reasonably good public speaker and/or debater.

Computer Support

  • I am a web designer and developer, and I prefer working with open source CMS whenever possible. I have also developed an original CMS for one of my own projects, which most likely will eventually become open source.


  • I would love to participate in such a project.

Home Economics

  • I can cook and I am a backyard gardener.

HOW can you help?

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

I would be most interested in contributing to the online elements (website design, etc.) and in any aspect pertaining to the social sciences (philosophy, political science, economics, sociology, etc.).

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

I can - the number of hours will depend on the time of the year, the duration of the project, the state of my other projects, and my degree of interest in the matter at hand.

  • 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?

My normal hourly rate for web design work is $25, though I would be willing to do a certain amount of work for free or at a reduced rate given my support of the cause in question here.I do also work at fixed project rates, which typically range from $450 to $1500, depending on the project.

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

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

Because I just became acquainted with your project this morning, so I have not had nearly enough time to determine the true depth of my enthusiasm or commitment.

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

That would depend on what you wanted me to do - but potentially.

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

Certainly, circumstances permitting.

  • 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.

Interested, but alas probably not able.