WHO are you?
- Name/Nationality/Ethnicity - James Clark/American/English decent
- Location - Eugene, OR
- Contact Information - firstname.lastname@example.org, 806-729-8161 skype ecophoenix77
- Introductory Video - coming soon.
- Resume/CV - 
- Hobbies and Pastimes- I enjoy talking, cycling, philosophy, meditation, building, writing, activism, technology, sustainable agriculture, and science in all its wonderful forms.
WHY are you motivated to support/develop this work?
- Do you endorse open source culture?
I most certainly do. In my opinion, it is the foundation of a truly sustainable cultural shift that will be essential for the future of our world, if we are to ensure that everyone has the tools they need to maximize their potential.
- Why are you interested in collaborating with us?
I think that distributive economics is the model that has the power to erode the power that the richest 1% have abused in their insatiable drive to control all wealth, and places it in the hands of the 99%. I think that a better system needs to take its place, and it starts with the GVCS.
- How do you think that the GVCS can address pressing world issues?
The artificial scarcity model is an outdated paradigm; we can see the flaws that plague it, from resource wars, starvation, environmental damage, and even the social fabric that has sustained civilization to this point. I feel that if we are to survive as a civilization we need a model that can meet the needs of people with local resources; such a model would address the issues of cyclical consumption that would only work if resources were unlimited, which they are not.
- What should happen so that you become more involved with the project?
I have been talking about the GVCS to the Occupy activist community that I have been a part of since I left Factor E Farm a year ago. Additionally, I went and did the Veterans Sustainable Agriculture Training (VSAT) course so that I could have the skillset I felt I needed to contribute to this project. By doing this, and building consensus with people about new ways to meet people's needs, I think I can help with not just technical things such as greenhouse aquaponics, but contribute to the culture of collaboration and community reliance that is undoubtedly occurring out at FeF, which I feel is just as important as the technical work that is the prime motivator of this project. I want to be more involved with the project, I think it is the most meaningful work I could possibly do. In order to do this, I have been building a project for the last few months, a means to grow superfoods, medicinal herbs, and fish in a zero-waste facility in a climate in which they would not normally grow.
- What is missing in the project?
I prefer to think of this question as "What more could this project do?" and the answer to that is a resounding Everything! Their is no horizon that I am capable of seeing that this project could not engage, present or future. I think it Will affect the very fabric of our collective existences. I think it will totally change our societal structures to a transparent global cooperative working together for the common good of Humanity; I think we have a lot to do! More specifically, I think that by doing aquaponics focusing on superfoods, medicinal herbs, and quality animal products, we can provide cutting edge nutrition to the people building the GVCS, which would raise productivity, but also by making value added products, we can internally bootstrap further GVCS development, plus open source the tool kit and knowledge of how to replicate this elsewhere, which is the core mission of the GVCS.
- What are your suggestions for improvement of the project?
I think that OSE is making fantastic progress on the development of the 50 fundamental technologies. I have been following what Gabrielle LeBlanc has been doing out there, and think she is making fantastic progress, and I think we could collaborate to realize the agricultural potential of FeF, and develop the open-source agricultural paradigm of the large mission (the 200/200/2 experiment), and also help make the agricultural development not only feed the FeF staff, but the larger community as well, which would help demonstrate the massive potential of the agricultural side of the GVCS.
WHAT are your skills?
- List all of your skills in these areas:
- Communications - I am very good at conflict resolution and talking through challenging issues. While a coordinator with Occupy Dallas, building consensus became very important to me, and is something I actively practice.
- Organizational - My logistical background and experience in collaborative environments help me integrate well into an organization. The leadership experiences I gleaned from the Marine Corps and in the student organizations I participated in also help me in this regard. I subscribe to the school of thought that leadership through example is the best way to motivate others, and that the we is greater than the me. I continued to hone this skill while at Occupy Dallas, where I played an active role in ensuring the basic needs of everyone in camp were met. For the last several months, I have been working with others on community development for progressive affinity groups that do not support corporatocracy or other forms of institutional injustice to develop community solutions that align with OSE’s goals of community development and care.
- Computer Support - I can usually troubleshoot and fix most mundane computer issues, as well as working with computer graphics, but my IT skills are mediocre at best, for the time being.
- Finances - I was Director of Finance at Occupy Dallas, so some ability in this area (spreadsheets, funds requests, etc).
- Design - I naturally gravitate to this and am rapidly improving in this area. I feel that function begets beautiful design. Do I have area for improvement? Yes, especially in CAD.
- Natural Building - My years of woodworking and my strengths in design do, without a doubt, make this my strongest suit.
- Electronics - Very specialized knowledge with electronics, mostly related to computer hardware, but need more work in this area. I would enjoy learning about this in order to develop valuable laboratory equipment (ftir. uv/vis, hplc, gas chromatograph, et. al.)using Arduino.
- Automation - I am very interested in this, and have given it some thought, via Arduino and similar open-source technologies. Although I don't have the programming experience to implement stuff like this.
- Metallurgy - I know a bit about the basics of metallurgy and crystallography in general from my chemistry background. I also think that I could help develop technologies for isolation of metals through various techniques.
- Engineering - Although I've very little engineering training, it seems to come to me rather easily. My knowledge in this area has mostly been solving practical issues via qualitative analysis, but I would like to learn to put my qualitative knowledge into more quantitative contexts.
- Fabrication - I have fairly extensive skill in woodworking and related technologies (kiln, steam bending, composites, bamboo) I would like to diversify my knowledge into metal and other media.
- Agriculture - I took the Veterans Sustainable Agricultural Training Course to increase my knowledge in this area. I have a robust knowledge of Good Agricultural Practices, greenhouse operation and management, agribusiness, integrated pest management, and land management practices. I am also a Certified Agricultural Irrigation Specialist, have my Food Handler’s Managers License, plus a social network committed and successful history of bringing organic products to market. Additionally, I have spent several months of the year on organic farms in order to learn how to do this.
- Energy - I have good working knowledge of most renewable energy technologies and their applications. I would like to engineer a small scale prototype of a fresnel lens (from out of the back of a rear projection tv) focused on a low albedo boiler body, with arduinos and stepper motors to track the sun. I do not have the technical expertise to do this yet, but figured that someone out there might and would teach me. I think this might be a key ambient energy collection technology to keeping water above 84 degrees in the cold of winter. Also in this, I think efficiency and capturing of ambient heat sources (decomposing compost, passive heating by subfloor water channels, etc) is intertwined with this concept, so I have thought of some other potential innovations as well, such as high albedo screens that reflect fixed percentages of sunlight back off walls of CEB bricks with low albedo as a way of creating greenhouse microclimates of predictable and controllable thermal capacity.
- Architecture - I have always been a "maker" and this interest spans this subject as well. I like creating beauty out of function, and as my knowledge in engineering and other areas increases, I think I will only get better. That being said, although it has not been constructed, I think I have designed a scalable, modular, locally sourced model of building that would meet LEED specs, perhaps even platinum level, with help. I feel that things like this take the vision of several people, but I would like to learn to use modelling software so that I could design a greenhouse similar in scope and ambition as the HabLab.
- Video/Graphics/Art - I am fairly competent in GIMP for making graphics and art, but not much in video creation/editing.
- PR/Marketing - My experience with True Colors, and the various organizations I have been involved with, as well as the work I have done up to now on my ideas have helped me develop some competence with developing grassroots organizations. I have also done a small amount of research in targeted advertising through mediums such as Google Adwords®. Pretty good at selling things.
- Education - I am a lifetime learner. While my higher education is not complete (I have approx. 140 hours of undergraduate courses towards a General Studies degree focusing on Geology, Chemistry, and Atmospheric Science) I have taken an intensive course 6 week course on organic agribusiness, but I’ve also learned that classroom instruction is not the only way to learn, and, quite frankly, might not be the best way either, at least not exclusively. I think being immersed in a practical environment emphasizes the junction between creativity, experience, and knowledge and the result is the skill to think critically, which is where true human capital is born.
- Construction - I have many practical skills in this area, and in the right environment with the right people, I can help build just about anything, including a civilization, both figuratively and literally. I have helped do everything from building wooden decks and painting and framing walls.
- Industry - I am very familiar with a vast array of tools and techniques, plus I have a great deal of knowledge about how to overcome many practical problems. That coupled with my geologic and chemistry knowledge should make me a valuable member of any team looking to develop energy efficient, sustainable, and innovative industrial solutions. I think this is where my strength will be in the future.
- CNC - No skills in this area yet, but something I want to learn sooner than later.
- Chemistry - First, I want to say chemistry is my passion, and I find the fields of sustainable biochemistry, ligand field theory, catalytic chemistry, and the application of such fields in material science fascinating. I have great lab skills, and believe that I can contribute a great deal in helping this organization win the future by harnessing cutting edge chemistry solutions.
- Product Design - I have always been creative; I guess it is just how I am wired. Combined with my inquisitive nature, it has become natural for me to look at other products and easily see how it can be improved. I have also always had an eye for aesthetics; I had to while working at True Colors, as we built furniture.
- Other - I would like to use this section to talk about me, as a person. I have always worked well with other people, and I think working together brings out otherwise dormant positive personality traits. I am, by my very nature, a collaborator. I have a thirst for knowledge, and I have an iron-clad belief that my purpose in this world is to make the world a better place, not for me and just the people important to me, but to the entire world, but I digress. Personally, I have an sunny disposition. I tend to approach issues sideways, and have a penchant for going off on tangents, and some people find it baffling at first. However, as you get to know me, I have been told that I have a huge heart, never hold grudges, accept constructive criticism easily, and always have the best intentions at heart. I think that it makes me who I am, and gives me a unique perspective, which is often needed when tackling tough problems. I perceive it as the source of my creativity. I would also like to say I have had a wealth of life experiences, that I give me a different take on things, and I think that it has molded me into who I am.
This is what is driving me to help see the construction of the GVCS through. It is what compelled me to discuss the GVCS as a solution to seriously consider, as it is the biggest piece of the puzzle to ending corporatocracy and all the negative symptoms of such. It is also what drove me to go out on my own, with no support structure to California to take the VSAT course, staying in a homeless shelter for a month, and still managing to not just survive the course, but to excel. This is the kind of energy I will bring to Factor E Farm. Last time I was out at Factor E Farm , I was still recovering from a long term illness. I am pleased to say that I have come a long way since then. My physical health is excellent because I have learned to manage it holistically, which is my personal reason for wanting to focus on superfood and herbal medicine cultivation; if it has been this much of a boon for me, what could it do for others? I consider nutrition as the base on which human accomplishment and well-being is based. Quite serendipitously, I think, when even partially manifested, it will not only contribute to the well-being of the people developing the GVCS, also be a means to internally bootstrap further GVCS development. On top of all this, I feel that to continue my own personal development, I need to become a generalist, and I believe that FeF is where that can occur.
- How have you already contributed to the project?
While I have not actively participated in the GVCS development, I have been actively gaining the skills I felt I needed to contribute proactively to the project that I realized I needed the last time I was out there, as well as talking to hundreds of activists about the GVCS. I cannot begin to estimate the impact I have had, but I think if a person is passionate about something, they should both talk to others about it and actively do something about it. That being said, to tangibly contribute to the project, I gained the skills I needed to continue assisting the agricultural potential of FeF and open sourcing it.
HOW can you help?
Short Term- Developing the Holistic Aquaponics Greenhouse Toolkit, helping do the manual labor that is required on a farm.
- How are you interested in contributing to the work of GVCS development?
I am interested in helping FeF meet the nutritional needs of the on site team first and foremost, and then demonstrating the economic potential of sustainable agriculture based on GVCS technologies.
- Can you volunteer to work with us, and if so, how many hours per week?
I would like to come out there and see the mission all the way through the 200/200/2 experiment. Nothing matters to me more.
- 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 motivators are intrinsic, and much like Dan Pink's speech on creativity, as long as my needs are met (which are small, as I have lived minimilistically for quite some time), I will be satisfied. The greater value is the experience and skills to be gained working with people that want to change the world. That being said, I would depend on OSE to meet my physical needs, and in the long term (post-2 year immersion experiment) , I would like to have the financial means to independently replicate the GVCS. I have spent quite a bit of time working on farms that are a part of the World-Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF), and I feel that the way their member farms operate is best; room and board provided, and perhaps an occasional stipend for other personal needs.
- Are you interested in a Dedicated Project Visit?
The project I would like to do will take well over a year to realize, so interested in something a bit more long term. For details about the project I am interested in seeing through is being documented under
- Are you interested in purchasing equipment from us to help bootstrap development?
- Are you interested in bidding for consulting/design/prototyping work?
See my explanation above.
- Are you a True Fan? If not, why not?
No, my finances do not allow for it. I wish to contribute my skills instead.
- Would you like to see yourself working with us on a full-time basis?
It would be my pleasure to do this. I would like to learn from this community the multi-disciplinary skills that are needed to win the future.
- 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.
Nothing would please me more.