Open Source Hardware Community

Dadamac network is wider than our website shows. I wrote this email to the  globalvillages and learnhowtolearn yahoo groups to introduce some of my contacts there to Dadamac. Copying it here can, in turn, help to point Dadamac people to those yahoo groups:

Several emails recently at globalvillages and learnhowtolearn have mentioned the need for people in the Open Source Hardware Community to have somewhere to try things out. I think particularly of Franz Nahrada's response to Lawrence Kincheloe's" Musings Upon the Nature of Open Source Hardware as a Business", and also of Marcin Jakubowski's Open Tractor (and some discussion about showing that it would work outside of Factor e Farm).

In that context, but thinking of other possible projects as well, I draw attention to the opportunities that Dadamac provides for people to bring new ideas to Attachab Eco-Village http://www.dadamac.net/projects/attachab in rural Nigeria - and try them out there - as Marcus Simmons did with the eco-dome  http://www.dadamac.net/projects/ecodome and as he hopes to do with other buildings and building methods when funds are available).

Dadamac exists to:

  • Introduce people to each other (in this case introducing you to Fantsuam Foundation and Attachab Eco-Village)
  • Make communication easier (despite physical distance and cultural differences)
  • Build shared understanding (so discussions and plans are rooted in reality)
  • Help set up practical projects
  • Collaborate on practical projects

As long as the project is win-win then we can provide the location and people and a strong support system  (the support is not like being part of a big corporation - more like belonging in a large supportive family).

We do not have finance for anything and rely largely on voluntary effort, so you need to have your own strategies for raising money.

If this seems of interest then there are various ways to go forward.

  • If Dadamac is gaining in knowledge from working with you then we can contribute our knowledge freely as a  Dadamac Open Knowledge project.
  • If we are not gaining in knowledge you can still use us - but we need to be paid - you hire us through Dadamac Limited
  • If you are contributing something of genuine value to the local community - from a training course to a tractor - then Dadamac's partner organisation Fantsuam Foundation can provide you with various resources in return (it cannot financially subsidise you, but can give you use of premises and equipment, people to help you, local knowledge and introductions, and generally smooth your path in invaluable ways - as long as it is genuinely win-win.)
  • If you are planning to go as a volunteer and need to raise money through sponsorship and fundraising then you may find it helpful to do that fundraising through the structures of Dadamac Foundation which is a registered charity and has mechanisms for online fundraising.

Rural Nigeria is not the easiest place to work in some ways, but it does have certain benefits - such as a freedom from red tape - benefits that people from tightly regulated societies can find helpful and liberating. Fantsuam Foundation is a wide-ranging  holistic community development initiative. It offers many benefits to collaborators, including a unique mixture of "rural communities" and "good connection to the Internet". There are practical reasons to work there, as well as strong ethical and environmental reasons for trying things out in rural Nigeria (more on that in a blog http://www.dadamac.net/blog/20091015/pam-we-want-street-lights ).

Please contact me if you think you might have an interest in working with us.

Pamela McLean
Dadamac  UK-Africa Connections
pamela.mclean@dadamac.net
www.dadamac.net

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