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Get involved in developing open source blueprints for civilization!

See the 4 minute Global Village Construction Set TED Talk for an introduction:

If you have seen the Global Village Construction Set TED Talk and are curious about how to get involved as a student (or anyone else) - this information is for you.


Download Flyer for Printing and Posting: File:OSE Summer 2014 Flyer.pdf

More Details

OSE carries out most of its overall development at its headquarters - Factor e Farm - a 30 acre facility in the Kansas City area of Missouri.

Participants are selected based on an initial application and interview. The program cost is $450 per month, and includes food and dorm-style accommodations. People also have the option of camping out in our summer campground.

Development happens most intensively during our Summer of Extreme Design/Build. In 2014, we will emphasize swarming – working with a group of 24 dedicated developers on a single machine or module design/build each week. In this way, rapid development and prototyping occurs on the time scale of a week – harnessing a weekly effort on the order of 1000 development hours. Areas include machine prototyping, infrastructure-building, and testing our machines in agriculture. Our summers are focused on University students – though anyone can join.


Go to Dedicated Project Visits to apply - we have a form that takes about 15 minutes to fill out.

We are looking for a wide range of interdisciplinary-minded, systems thinkers and doers!

In 2014, Open Source Ecology is teaming up with top Universities to design and build the tools of the Global Village Construction Set. We are looking for interdisciplinary-minded, system thinker-students (and others) in:

  • Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Architecture
  • Education
  • Open Source Hardware
  • Creative Writing
  • Engineering
  • Agricultural Engineering
  • Agriculture
  • Design
  • Multimedia
  • Information Architecure
  • Information Technology
  • Social Enterprise
  • Appropriate Technology
  • robotics

and many other engineering-for-good, community service, and other social good areas.

What's in it for you?

Students can benefit from an applied, hands-on internships and collaboration experiences with Open Source Ecology. For one, this builds your resume - while taking on a meaningful project. There are several ways university students can get involved:

  • Summer internships
  • Alternative Break programs
  • Capstone Projects
  • Independent Study projects

Special opportunities exist:

  • Architecture Students - we can structure an internship so that you receive Professional Development Hours.
  • Class Credit - by making the necessary connections with your professors, we can structure a for-credit learning opportunity
  • Engineering-for-good Groups - groups such as Engineers for a Sustainable World or Engineers Without Borders can work on projects with OSE - so you can encourage your group to get involved with us.
  • Capstone Projects - by securing a supportive faculty advisor, you can do a Capstone Project or group project with OSE as a Client, and a professor as a facilitator.
  • Education - creating education curriculum is a key part of our work, so we welcome students in education
  • Volunteering Time - some universities require community service - and OSE can be a client for whomsuch service can be rendered. We are a nonprofit organization.

What will you do?

The OSE schedule involves design, rapid prototyping, and build-outs of our technologies and of our infrastructure. We will work as a team of 24 people, where we use open tools and teach each other how to work effectively in a highly collaborative environment - to achieve rapid development velocity and prototypes being cranked out on the time scale of a week from design to build. We will be doing research, design, documentation, video, rapid prototyping with 3D printers and laser cutters, and up to a real builds of heavy machines, as well as smaller digital fabrication tools. We will do work in the garden testing our tractors. We will work on the laser cutter, 3D printer, CNC torch table, industrial robot, CNC mill - all open source. We will be making improvements on the tractor, backhoe, trencher.

As soon as machines are built, we will test them, whether in the workshop or in the field. We will take the tractors to do actual agriculture work, such as working our 2 acre agriculture plot.

You will be involved in building our new workshop, greenhouse, and recreation center - and at the end of the day - you may be able to dive into our new pool. We are in the middle of nowhere - though Kansas City is an hour away - but it helps to build in our own recreation infrastructure.

We are aiming to create a world-class research and development center for open technologies - and you will be part of a historic effort that results in the first full OSE facility. If we attain a solid, 1000 hours of development time each week - we will be well on our way to complete the GVCS by the end of 2015.

You will get involved in:

  • Design, build and documentation of one of the tools of the Global Village Construction Set
  • Exploring how enterprise models can be created around the tools or products of tools.
  • Immersion Experience on a working research farm - nature, machines, ideas, digital fabrication, production, learning.

Summer Internships

  • Duration: from 4-12 weeks.
  • Location: Factor e Farm, Maysville, Missouri - a little over 1 hour away from Kansas City International airport.

This summer, we will host more students at Factor e Farm than at any time before - 3 teams of about 12 students. However, we have a total of 21 shared rooms (from single to triple, dorm style) spaces in our living quarters, HabLab, while the rest of the people will be camping out in our campground. At the same time, we will be building more Microhouses, and making other improvements.

The program will consist of an immersion, collaborative experience - typically a classroom-like setting of teaching in the morning - typically by the Founder, Marcin Jakubowski, Ph.D, and other invited remote guest lecturers on topics directly related to current developments.

We will work together on development, design, problem-solving - where we are engaging in an experiment dedicated to pushing the limits of open, collaborative design. Our team architecture will involve a number of roles from design, documentation, technical writing, animation, engineering, building, video work, publishing instructionals, economic analysis - all the roles involved in a rapid, collaborative process. We will typically spend a full week of development - followed by a build. The build happens only after the design has been completed; complete, spotless documentation has been produced; and after some test-driven prototypes have been built; and after all the materials are on site and ready; and after careful production team design has been documented so that a large-scale, parallel build occurs in an extremely rapid time - of one day.

See tentative Summer Schedule.

Are you suited for this experience?

We are looking for collaborative, open-minded team players who thrive in a dynamic, changing environment. We are looking for interdisciplinary problem solvers who are not afraid to fail, and who are not afraid to work openly and publish their results online for review by the rest of the world. We are looking for determined, resilient, emotionally stable, and independent individuals - who thrive both in a team and in a solo environment. This will be a demanding experience that builds your peak performance - as we strive to show the limits of human possibility to the rest of the world.

You will be expected to maintain a positive, constructive attitude. We will all be part of a team, where regardless of our backgrounds or abilities - we all pull together to a common goal - in an open, collaborative way - where our aim is to teach one another. Any harassment, passive aggression, or egotistic behavior will not be tolerated and may be grounds for expulsion.

Nobody knows what this will be like until they arrive. We have a trial period, for cases when the experience is not a culture fit for you.

We will have a dedicated cook and residential advisor in addition to the 3 staff. We are looking for more than one residential advisor for the summer, so if you have such experience, please let us know.