It is a great challenge to design a collaborative development program for creating a world-class facility for open source economic development. The first natural challenge is that we are asking remote co-developers to take interest in the project, without enjoying the full benefit of seeing the integrated fruits of the effort – namely, the building of the facility itself. We address this point by motivating the development of each of the 28 key technologies for infrastructure building as products in their own right. We divide and conquer, and propose the development of the 28 technologies through the avenue of explicit products that utilize these technologies. As such, we can attract stakeholders interested in particular products, and develop the key generative technologies as part of that process. We already mentioned that our endpoint is optimized production facilities for products.
The above paragraph begins to address the issue of gathering stakeholders for the development process. However, it does not addressed the various challenges that lie in the path of deploying the 28 technologies- the Global Village Construction Set (GVCS)- via a distributed, open source pathway. The key challenges and some solutions are proposed in Figure 14.
Figure 14. Challenges and solutions for deploying Global Village Construction Set component production for internal and outside markets.
The points of Fig. 14 are several:
- Synthesizing the entire Global Village Construction Set (GVCS) is an ambitious endeavor.
- If we are talking about 28 technologies, and perhaps a 6 month development period until optimized production for each, then there is no way that we could deploy the GVCS, and build a world-class open source research and development facility, within our proposed time frame of 3 years (2008-2010).
- The only way to meet the timeline goal is to proceed with parallel development of the technologies.
- In order to pursue parallel development, funding must be available to accelerate progress.
- We will pursue a bounty funding mechanism based on attractive product packages and clear definitions of deliverables.
A detailed, step-by-step process, or deployment strategy, emerges out of Fig. 14. for rapid deployment of essential technologies for Global Village construction. It relies on distributed stakeholder co-funding cycles of approximately 1 month in duration, utilizing a social enterprise internet platform.
OSE Product Cycle
This OSE Product Development Cycle is:
- Core Team: Assemble a core development team for each product. This team must serve the functions of: (1), social enterprise website development and fundraising management; (2), technical development; (3), strategic development; (4), review team.
- Ecological Review: Publish Ecological Review on website. This review introduces the product of interest and all its attributes, and requests feedback on product choice for meeting a particular service. For example, for renewable energy production, the boundary layer turbine with solar concentrators is considered. In this technology choice, we propose a certain set of deliverables, and challenge the audience to come up with a better solution based on ecological design and localization agendas. We provide the Ecological Review as a motivation for certain products, which is our marketing effort to attract stakeholders to our technology choice. After considerable review, we believe that our product choices represent the best available technology for meeting certain needs, as supported by the Product Selection Metric in this proposal, and as motivated by ecological features, ease of replicability, and localization potential.
- Product Definition: Beyond the Ecological Review we define the Product Specifications of the Deliverable. This fills the clear deliverables requirement of Fig. 14. This includes a timeline and budget for product delivery.
- Design Phase: Next, we produce a Design, BOM, Sourcing Information, and Fabrication Procedure. This is published on the enterprise website.
- Review: We then send the information from step 4 out for review. The first level of review is a technical review team. This team of about 5 qualified people reviews the (1) technological aspects, (2), social merit, (3), P2P economy effects, (4) Quality of Life merit, (5), merit from the standpoint of liberatory technology if production time is counted , (6) ecological and regenerative merit, (7), dissemination and replication potential. The results of this review process are then sent out to an external, distributed review team, to verify whether the technical expert opinion holds merit with non-experts in any of the fields.
- Bids: Three bids are requested from prospective fabricators for prototype fabrication after the design has been agreed upon.
- Fundraiser Recruitment: Now the fundraising cycle proper begins. The first step is to recruit a fundraising team. This team of 10 or so individuals who will lead a publicity effort to direct others to our social enterprise site to request funding. We are looking for a large number of stakeholders to share the development risk, with small donations, and a possible funding collection tool such as Fundable.org.
- Fundraising: The role of the fundraising team is to identify potential stakeholders, contact them, and direct them to the website. We propose a week of conscientious fundraising by this team to collect the necessary funding. After 1 week, progress will be evaluated to update fundraising strategy. Details of disbursement upon successful funding are determined on a project-by-project basis, and are to be documented in the deliverable definition (step 3).
- Product Delivery: After a successful funding cycle of approximately 1 month, the building of a prototype (or other deliverable) is funded and product is delivered to Factor e Farm.
- Product Testing: The funding cycle is repeated for every step of the product development process. The step after an initial prototype is product testing. This may require certain infrastructure or outsourced testing procedures, and if costs are associated, this step will cover them.
- Prototype Optimization: The next funding iteration is to deploy an optimized prototype. This includes any redesign, and involves the fabrication of an entire device, from gound-up if needed, to document the ergonomics of optimized production.
- Fabrication Development: The next iteration is to deploy an optimized fabrication facility. This is probably the major cost step for all the technologies, unless the infrastructure and machining requirements are already satisfied by the existing flexible fabrication capacity at Factor e Farm. The goal is to have optimal production capacity for several or all of the products being fabricated at the same time.
- Fabricator Recruiting: Factor e Farm will provide an in-house fabricator (person) at the outset of a particular production effort. New people will be absorbed into the operation as soon as possible so that the Factor e Team could proceed to other products. This requires preparation of training materials and training time for the new participants.
- Fabrication Optimization: After a fabrication facility is tested, production results are replicable, and quality control requirements are met, optimizations are made to the production facility itself. This may include installation of additional equipment or reorganization of the work space.
- Production: Once step 14 is complete, production can begin in full. Orders may be accepted and filled at this point.
- Enterprise Replication: Once full production is in place, we will teach prospective producers via freely-downloadable documentation, on-site training internships, and workshops.
We will test the above 15-step strategy immediately by applying it to:
- The CEB machine fabrication facility development, with XYZ table developed as part of the program (components: CEB, XYZ table)
- Solar Turbine electrical generator prototype fabrication (components: Babington burner, steam generator, turbine, solar concentrators, Multimachine, electronics fabrication)
- Swing-blade circular sawmill prototype fabrication
The above projects are prioritized to meet our building (CEB and Sawmill) and energy needs.