Introducing Open sustainable hardware solutions in communities

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Victor Valenzuela


Project: "Introducing Open sustainable hardware solutions in communities"

This project is part of FLOK Society project and RedEC (Collaborative Evolution Network, Chile). For this, Víctor Valenzuela will work in the “Hardware and connectivy: sustainability and sovereignty of techonological infrastructures” work area of FLOK, focusing on the open hardware solutions and working with communities.

In this topic, he will try to cover two methodologies for the insertion of Open Hardware: spreading the word and helping to replicate Open Hardware. With these he'll achieve his aims, which are to develop ties with the community and to show them (or build with them) open solutions that could solve their problems in a socially and ambientally sustainable way.

The project consists in supporting RedEC through Victor Valenzuela who will travel to Ecuador to work in the FLOK Society project to collaborate in the Hardware and Connectivity area.


To get to know the real needs and problems of some communities, and try to solve them through Open solutions.

To develop ties with the communities, broadcasting the project.

To develop ties with vocational schools and university faculties related to Open manufacturing, analyzing new technicques and ways of creation.

To develop OSE (Liberator and Powercube) local teams and other Open Harware (Arduino, 3D printers, scanners, etc.) in communities

To know in deep the FLOK revolutionary process so, in a future stance, the project might be replicated in Chile.

2) Implementation

It is important to note that the present diffusion program of the project is unknown and, specially, how it’ll be focused in the “Hardware and connectivy: sustainability and sovereignty of techonological infrastructures” work area. We believe that our support will be framed in the “Equipment: Open sustainable harware, buying criteria, technological market problems and hardware sovereignty, recyclable, etc.” because, as an organization, we are pioneers in Latin America in the replication of the CEB Press and the power module created by the Open Source Ecology group.

Moreover, in the group, we have experience with Arduino, 3D printers and scaners, and other open hardwares. Other abilities inside the group are related to programming, networks, web pages and platforms, documentary films and edition, basic sciences, engineering (mechanical, electrical, industrial, biotechnology, chemistry), etc.

To accomplish a correct implementation, we think that two similar mechanisms are necessary, depending on the goal: if it is diffusion about generic open hardware, or if it is to replicate one of the OSE machines.

2.1.- In the first case, we should:

Define the communities (cantons, parishes, provinces) we’ll assist

Analyze the community: describe the main characteristics, actors of importance, relations between actors, problems inside the community, main needs, etc

Define the structure of the project: based on the analysis of the community, stablish how could open hardware help them solve their problems. It's not the idea to impose problems or machines which won't have a sustainable development (do you agree,agree víctor? yo creo que esto es fundamental!)

Search for local people willing to work in the project

Inform about the project, with help from volunteer peers, to teach the basics, explain the program and generate practical workshops programs

The idea is to create a basis of people willing to keep on working even after the project has ended. The goal is the establishment of the community working over the same issue.

As always, we (including the local members) must document the entire process, so others can replicate it.

After this intervention, the idea is to keep being a partner of the community as RedEC+FLOK.

2.2- If the process is the replication of the OSE machine, the steps to follow could be:

Analyze the community and define the structure of the project, as in the first case.

To make a general meeting in the community with all the people interested in the project that want to get involved in it.

To raise a data base with habilities and responsabilities, and also the available time of the assistants that will participate.

To raise a map of the community, in which we could recognize the diverse local providers, the different factories and groups in need of machinery

To study the design (document elaborated by RedEC) and adequate it if necessary.

To budget, buy and build.

To help training the users of the machine and design a maintenance manual.

To document the entire process so other can be able to do it by themselves.

After this intervention, the idea is to keep being a partner of the community as RedEC+FLOK.

3) Person involved:

In this project will participate Victor Valenzuela, student of Industrial Engineering of the University of Chile at Santiago, in representation of RedEC. Yoy can follow us, for now, through this Facebook group:

Victor’s got the virtual support of RedEC, organization with 20 active members (and growing) and 70 virtual members with knowledge in different areas related to the FLOK Society project.

Victor’s idea is to inscribe this labor as an internship. He can finance the trip to Ecuador, but he needs support for the stay and feeding.