TED Fellows » TED Fellows Network » Marcin Jakubowski

Marcin Jakubowski

Farmer + technologist

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Marcin Jakubowski

Professional Role

Current Titles:

Founding Director

Current Organizations:

Open Source Ecology


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Practical Post-Scarcity

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Global Village Construction Set in 2 Minutes

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Open Source Ecology Enterprise Plan for 2012

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Global Village Construction Set
08/18/2004 – present
The Global Village Construction Set (GVCS) is a modular, DIY, low-cost, high-performance platform that allows for the easy fabrication of the 50 different Industrial Machines that it takes to build a small, sustainable civilization with modern comforts. The GVCS is a project of Open Source Ecology (OSE). The goal of OSE is to create an open source economy - an economy that optimizes both production and distribution - while providing environmental regeneration and social justice. Our first step is deployment of the 50 GVCS tools by year end 2012. Our second step is determining whether such a tool set can produce a modern standard of living for a community of Dunbar's number in size - with a requirement of 2 hours of work per day - as a route to facilitating the pursuit of higher purpose towards the solution of pressing world issues. We are a global network of engineers, builders, farmers, and supporters. The core development facility for GVCS technologies is licated in rural Missouri - Factor e Farm. The goal of Factor e Farm is to become a world-class development center for the open source economy - where open source product development and testing of distributive enterprise business models can take place. Kay participants are an onsite development team, expected to grow to 12 full time core developers and executives by year-end 2012, and hundreds of remote collaborators who contribute to our wiki, to product design, fabrication, testing, documentation, and replication of our machines.
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A Polish-American who is starting a new civilization -- from scratch -- in the Midwestern US. Marcin came to the U.S. from Poland as a child. He graduated with honors from Princeton and earned his PhD in fusion physics from the University of Wisconsin. Frustrated with the lack of relevance to pressing world issues in his education, he founded Open Source Ecology in 2003 in order to make closed-loop manufacturing a reality. He began development on the Global Village Construction Set (GVCS) (see his 2011 TED Talk), an open source DIY tool set of 50 different industrial machines necessary to create a small civilization with modern comforts. His work has recently been recognized in his acceptance as a 2012 TED Senior Fellow, a 2012 Shuttleworth Foundation Fellow, and his TED Talk was named the top 6th in the Huffington Post Best of TED 2011. His goal is to create the open source economy - an economy that optimizes both production and distribution - while providing environmental regeneration and social justice. To this end, Marcin is currently building a team of global collaborators and on-site builders for his land-based facility - to take this from concept to reality. He believes that the norm in society should be pursuing autonomy, mastery, and higher purpose - as in Daniel Pink's talk - and that achieving such a state can take us beyond artificial material scarcity. He believes that the open source economy is indeed a prerequisite to the type of autonomy that allows people to pursue mastery - consistent with higher purpose. His main interest is helping the world evolving to freedom by eliminating artificial material scarcity from driving geopolitical relations. He thinks that this can be achieved by open-sourcing modern technology and adapting it for maximum human service: by lowering the barriers to enterprise. His approach to this is building an economic foundation for the open source economy - by deploying the 50 open source tools of the GVCS by year-end 2012. Thereafter, his plan is to engage in a social experiment to determine whether a modern standard of living can be achieved with the GVCS tools. He claims that the scale of a couple hundred acres in a community of Dunbar's number is sufficient to create advanced civilization - namely, a civilization in which people have time for one another. More particularly, he claims that 2 hours of work should be sufficient in such a community to provide modern material prosperity - all the way down to smelting of metals and semiconductors from local resources. At the point of material post-scarcity - he claims that society will not be magically healed - but it will have a fair chance of evolving a higher level of harmony and cultural advancement where pursuit of higher purpose begins to weave back the societal fabric. Marcin's motivation was formed by observation that gross terror and suffering is persistent, and that making a better tomorrow is a choice that all responsible individuals must make, proactively and without fear. With stories of grandparents in concentration camps and in the Polish underground of WWII filling his childhood memories, Marcin gained the conviction and passion to make a better world - to live the life of evolution that he talks about. He is an ambitious entrepreneur whose passion is fueled by constant learning, meditation, and a desire to live from local, sustainable resources. He claims that living the technology-enabled option of local resource use should not be an eco-elite privilege, but a transformational force that is a prerequisite for improving personal and geopolitical relations. His vehicle for transformation is development of the Open Source Ecology paradigm - an open source economy where open technology is a way to reconnect to one another and to our natural life support systems.

Fun facts

Favorite meal:
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bigos">Bigos</a>, second only to spicy Indian food.

A funny story about me:
I arrived in America at the age of 10. I went into a bathroom at a train station on our way from Canada to the US, and observed that some people would insert coins into a peculiar device on the door of a bathroom stall prior to doing their business. I wondered why. So then it was my turn, I went in. I did my business, was ready to exit the stall - and then it hit me - the door was locked! It was a pay toilet. I freaked out for a second, before noticing that I could wiggle out with embarrassment by contorting myself through a narrow space under the toilet door. That was my first experience with commerce in the US,

Vital Stats

Fellows Class
2012 TED Senior Fellow
Living in
Maysville, United States
Working in
Maysville, United States
Born in
Slupca, Poland



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