Matt Smaus

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Team Culturing Information

last updated: 6. April, 2011

WHO are you?

  • Name/Nationality/Ethnicity - Matt Smaus, USA
  • Location - Seattle, WA
  • Contact Information -
  • Introductory Video -
  • Resume/CV -
  • Hobbies and Pastimes - Growing food, raising chickens, building things and fixing things, drawing and designing, backpacking, wilderness skills, running, commuting by bike, tai chi, writing & blogging, living with others, learning new things and teaching them.

WHY are you motivated to support/develop this work?

  • Do you endorse open source culture?

Based on what I know about it: yes.

  • Why are you interested in this work?

Because the project brings together so many of my interests - local resilience, sustainable economies, community development, appropriate technology, innovation, organic farming, permaculture, and individual and group empowerment - and emphasizes implementation.

  • Are you interested in teaching about the GVCS?

Learning then teaching, definitely.

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

Very much so.

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

Passionately. All of the above. A lot to learn.

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

Yes. A school for youth and young adults uninterested in conventional education to learn by building and doing and developing a real sense of agency within their environment.

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


  • 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, as appropriate to particular places/ cultures/ situations.

  • 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?


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

Absolutely! If there were an available opensource walk-behind tractor right now and I knew how to make it and had the time, I would.

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

Yes. Presenting on the subject at events, journalism, blogging, potentially academic papers.

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

I think so...?

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

Yes. Import replacement is key to economic development. The more people have access to the technology to create products and innovate solutions, the more local and locally-appropriate innovations will arise to replace prior imports, thus strengthening the local economy in a more resilient way than purely export-led growth. In other words: technology in the hands of the people will simultaneously make people less reliant on imports (more resilient local economy) and stronger participants in the export economy (stronger world market participants).

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

Definitely. Decentralized power grid! The way to energy security and non-heriarchical interdependence.

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

Yes, and being part of one.

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

Sure. As a "system backup" and a fun project/ experimentation station.

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

I don't know that I have the expertise to speak on this with total confidence, but if small communities can provide their own needs at a level that maintains their economic and social connection to the world - not just food but energy, internet, vehicles, etc. - they could weather times of economic stress with much greater security, and would to some degree be immune to inflation and deflation. Real things have real, lasting value.

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

It will not stymy greed-based resource conflicts (e.g. land-grabbing) but it will alleviate conflict based on scarcity of resources, and some of the sense of desperation that people feel in regards to resources. I see it touching energy much more than water or agricultural land, resources that are increasingly becoming sources of conflict and which technology has a more difficulty time replacing. For these, we still need political solutions and "management" innovations such as the adoption of permaculture practices for water conservation. Someone tell me if I'm wrong.

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

WIth a little luck, less desperate people will sire fewer children, which the data bears out so far. Also, people that depend on their immediate environment for their well-being will be in a better position to recognize the constraints of their environment.

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

See above.

  • Other comments

I think one of the most powerful aspects of the GVCS project is its ability to inspire people to become makers of their world. I don't know how far this can go, but the sense of ownership over one's own/family's/community's fate is compelling. I think expanding the SKILLS to non-scientists is both possible and crucial, and that is where I want to make myself useful, by learning the skills and documenting the learning process while developing a curriculum.


  • 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)

So far just sharing it enthusiastically with friends, classmates, people at work, and via social media and my blog.


  • Yes. A clear, succinct, articulate writer, a "published" gardening blogger (until the newspaper went under and their website lost traffic), a freelance web content writer, and an amateur desktop publisher and designer of presentations.


  • I am studying nonprofit program design and management, as well as developing an entrepreneurship curriculum for youth. I am a good public speaker, and have years of experience facilitating groups, teaching, and designing curriculum.

Computer Support

  • No. I used OpenOffice but didn't like it so switched away. I am open to learning more about it, and making another go. I have a feeling it's a lot more rewarding when you're a programmer.


  • I am learning how to write business plans.


  • Yes. I live in a highly functional cooperative home (5 years now) and have led small groups (10-12 people) for weeks at a time in the wilderness. The modern village would be on a larger scale, but is definitely something I'd love to be a part of.

Home Economics

  • Yes. I have cooked for up to 60 people on numerous occasions and worked as a line cook for several years. I grow food and perennials and write about it. I come from a gardening family and have gardened/landscaped professionally. I consume organic farming and permaculture books, blogs, and podcasts like candy. As goofy as it is, I make flashcards on farming techniques and specific plant culture and keep them in my pocket and quiz myself on them.


  • Some design, nothing fancy. Would love to learn more.


  • A fair amount of carpentry experience, including professionally. The rest I would love to learn.

Electronics and Magnetics

  • No and would love to learn.


  • Not at all and would love to learn.


  • No would love to learn!


  • No.

HOW can you help?

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


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

Soon. When implementation time comes I would love to participate in usability testing and in the community prototyping.

  • 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?

Would love to, but doubt I'm there yet.

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


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

Not right now.


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

Yes, in the next couple years, as a GVCS learner/ curriculum designer/ trainer-to-be and organic farmer/ permaculturist.

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

Absolutely. I think the only useful technology for me at this moment would be Microtrac. Building codes in Seattle make CEB impracticable. I would like to become well-versed in all the machines.

  • 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.