HPE Living Progress Challenge
Posted for Bergnek Community Projects Cooperative
by Warren Te Brugge on Feb 05 2016, last modified on Feb 05 2016.
We'd love for you to vote in support of our project idea: Community Stewardship & Mutual Aid Network Platform
Here's what it is all about:
Community Stewardship & Mutual Aid Network Platform warren | 2 minutes ago The BIG challenges in the Bergnek Community are the total lack of…
We'd love for you to vote in support of our project idea: Community Stewardship & Mutual Aid Network Platform
Here's what it is all about:
Community Stewardship & Mutual Aid Network Platform warren | 2 minutes ago The BIG challenges in the Bergnek Community are the total lack of access to Water, Food, Education, Employment and Health Services. This is having direct impact on both the current generations as well as the children who will be the next generation within the community.
Part of how My Arms Wide Open and the community are dealing with this is to set up a Mutual Aid Network so that the community can work to solve these problems sustainably, instead of just for a period of time.
The beauty of the Mutual Aid Network is that its focuses on social, spiritual, cultural, educational and economic assets instead of just “needs” and problems that divide us. We recognize that poverty, social isolation, ill health and injustice exist and the approach of a Mutual Aid Network is to harness the energy of participants so that individuals, families, organizations and the community can benefit.
MAN pilot programs range from community-owned groceries, restorative justice youth courts and wellness cooperatives to TimeBanks, where members share skills, talents and service with others who request them. Some programs focus on local foods and gardens. Others build networks around the arts, personal care or non-monetary exchanges.
What brings us together is the desire to test new ways to enhance the quality of life for everyone in a community. We want to learn and share what we learn.
Here in the Northeast of South Africa, the Bergnek MAN pilot site is already working with the community to provide a 2500-plant vertical garden that helps provide food to the underprivileged in the community. We also manufacture and supply reusable cloth sanitary pads, which are washable, last up to a year, are cost effective and environmentally friendly. This replaced the primitive alternatives, such as newspapers, cloth rags and banana leaves, which are both ineffective and unhygienic, leading to long term health risk, such as reproductive tract Infections, Toxic Shock Syndrome or cervical cancer. Research shows that girls miss up to 50 school days annually due to menstruation. In most rural communities, a shocking 300 million girls and women are under 'house arrest' monthly during menstruation. In regards to clean water, we have supplied and installed a diesel water pump that meets some of the water needs of the Bergnek community. We have collaborated with Engineers without Borders from the USA to install two bigger solar powered electrical pumps that will help in making sure we have sufficient water for the community.
Our newest effort is the creation of a health care center for community wellness and brick manufacturing to combat the unemployment in the community at a larger scale.
By implementing the technology to support a Stewardship and Mutual Aid Network Program in the Bergnek community, that will include Time Banking, across a local access wireless system the community members will be able to access information about each of the projects as well as the overarching program and understand how to participate, contribute and create value.
Our solution needs to include use cases from a user, sys admin & management, and donor lens and view point. We are considering a smart phone as well as SMS based Apps to address the UI/UX needs, A backend OVN (Open Value Network - Think ERP in reverse) database and API's to enable information flow and exchange between community databases is also anticipated. The system will preferably sit in the cloud with community access through dual servers and the wire;less hubs communicating through a fiber backbone. We anticipate placing 4 hardware access points through out the community in addition to the mobile accessibility.
@WarrenTeBrugge and @KeabetsweKeithMosumane @LynnFoster @BobHaugen @TiberiusBrastaviceanu @StephanieRearick @EricHowe @patMontani
COMMUNICATION The SMS solution can be achieved through integration of messages into comment threads within Bergnek Communities website (bergnekcommunityprojects.org/)..) The website sits on CM's platform, which means all communication can be shared within the community itself, as well as among members of other communities who stand to benefit from ideas, solutions and opportunities that will emerge as these amazing initiatives evolve.
MAN TIMEBANK Using a crowdfund campaign, the timebank could be initiated by inviting investors in Bergnek projects to 'earn community hours' (say 1 hour per CAD$100 invested), that could be traded in for items made my community members, Skype calls with community members, local tours, inclusion in a Bergnek Documentary etc. Doing this would mean community members of all different skill-sets would be contributing to Bergnek Community Projects. They would 'earn hours' when an investor (or local!) purchases what they have to offer, that they could then trade with each other. As finance comes in, and work in building the clinic etc comes in, so other the opportunities to 'earn hours' would increase.
For every $100, funds would be distributed among identified needs. Suggestions:
1 - Existing Bergnek projects i.e. immediate needs, such as funds for solar water pumps;
2 - Routers for mesh network needed for basic internet;
3 - Communication - development of Bergnek site, media assistance with community and rewards for citizen journalists (which would be connected with MAN timebank) who are working to communicate in a way that effectively identifies and finds solutions to challenges and needs;
4 - Open Design: research for identifying how Bergnek can develop and benefit from open design. Could entail Tibi (founder of bergnekcommunityprojects.org/)) visiting Bergnek and talking with locals, so he may better understand potential process and needs.
5 - Development of the Network Resource Planning Map (NRP - VAS) that identifies inputs and outputs, such that we can demonstrate the interconnectivity of trickle-up, people-driven, economies being established, as well as identify future definition of wealth.
6 - Documentary for bringing media attention to the work, so that others – investors and community members – can become excited and informed of the opportunities being presented and why scaling the approach can help local to global economies, and planet to thrive.
The 'sell' to investors is one of a learning opportunity: the ability to conceptualise new wealth as the current economy dwindles out, as well as being part of a local to global story where we work together – uniting what we each have to give – in creating real impact on peoples lives, and the wellbeing of our environment too.
The overarching theme of which I see as using real needs and challenges to identify how we can unite what people have to give – community members, impact investors, economic innovation entrepreneurs, technologists and not for profit organizations (such as engineers without borders) – in manifesting social and economic value, that's independent from the centralized institutions (banks, governments, corporations) that all too often hold us back.
It's a boundless economy – birthed by the people – that will realize solutions and ways of working which can be replicated throughout the world.
The seed is the need. It's real. It's alive. Free from manufactured process, the progress this can achieve for people and planet will deliver prosperity that – will not only feed our physical and environmental needs – but will unleash the potential of humanity.
What we can achieve in this interconnected world has been held back for too long. Together we can change it. Together we will.
The following is from an email thread discussing the roll and needs of using a network resource planning tool to measure inputs and outputs as people invest in the opportunities being manifested through this proposal.
Use of the NRP (Network Resource Planning Tool) @WarrenTeBrugge I wonder if the best idea would be to focus on an NRP mobile app for this? The technology is completely different and separate to the web interface being developed, except it could use the API that is being built (I think). Right now we have no volunteers with mobile app skills.
Lynn Fosters But I don't know how that fits with your priorities on the ground, in particular the physical build out you need to support the different technologies. Or what your software priorities would be.
@CarolineSmalley My feeling is that what's important is that we track the flow of inputs and outputs. The main purpose - as I see it - is the ability to identify how the various aspects of / contributions to Bergnek Projects feed into each other. This will enable us to identify and evaluate 'real' value as opposed to just monetary. What we need to remember here is that Bergnek is developing a self-sustaining economy for increasing livelihoods that is independent from the centralised systems that have failed to serve them. It provides the NRP with a very tangible case study through which it can truly demonstrate its worth. I don't think Bergnek needs an app at this stage. It's too early. We need to discover how the NRP can best be used and develop from there. We won't know this until we actually start doing things like mapping the flow of hours in the community timebanking system.. and how this connects with existing projects like production in vertical wall gardens. So far as Maria's team is concerned, I am hoping that the investment coop will be able to help to support them. Having a better interface will make it much easier to use and scale. I see all projects being supported by the coop as items in a Cobudget - with investing members being invited to vote on how they think funds should be spent. We will need to describe what Maria's team is doing, how much finance is desired and how many hours it's anticipated to take. Warren - does this sync with your thinking?
Keith Mosumane The majority of people in the community are computer illiterate. The local school which is a combined school ( Primary and Secondary) Has one PC that they use. Fortunately almost everyone has an Android phone these days, i think people would be able to learn what ever app will be introduced. NRP would be a bit confusing at first, but i think we need to introduce it early so that the community can get accustomed to the app. I have been looking at what is happening at Sensorica, though i haven't fully grasp everything i am sure learning everyday. I will wait to hear your views
Lynn Foster A phone app would have the same functionality as NRP does, just using a different medium. Phones of course do have strengths and weaknesses compared to web interaction. Some NRP logging and coordination signals would fit beautifully into a phone app where people always have it, and don't have to go to a central place; some things will be better on a bigger screen.
@WarrenTeBrugge They use resources out of toocoder to get stuff done and so I don't see there being a big leap to including our resources. That being said, I need to ask the question and I will. When's a good time for us to chat so I can give you a quick overview? I could do something now perhaps as I am in between a few things, but I can certainly break out some time and have a discussion.
@WarrenTeBrugge In general yes we are in sync however the prospect of an app is a good way to engage particularly the youth in the community and the fact that so many have android phones it would actually make it easier to engage rather than taking them simply through a manual phase at this point so it is fast tracking it and it's a little bit ass backwards however I think it'll help on the engagement side of things. In addition to that, by mapping out the requirements for an app it will actually increase our own understanding and application so I'm using that app building process as a learning and education process for both ourselves and the community as a way to discover what the needs really are and ideas on addressing those.
Bob Haugen I think a phone-based conversational interface would fit very well into NRP. And work very well for Bergnek.
@WarrenTeBrugge I'm in agreement Lynn and as per my previous message I actually think it's a great way to engage them and teach them because we can actually use an app discovery phase and an existing application to actually figure out how to best map what we want within the NRP app by having the community 'play the games' to determine that.
I love the idea, but until we have implemented the MAN and attracted investments to projects, what is there to play a game with? I agree that this is where we 'want' to go, but I think it will be a lot easier to scope out once other things are in place. Once the community are able to actively contribute, then they will have an invested interest to use – and help develop – the NRP. If we try and do too many things at once, investors won't take us seriously. If we focus on using the NRP to map values as we implement MAN etc – with any funds from the coop going to the time it takes to do this, as well as the development of the web interface – I believe it will be a lot more believable and tangible. Games sound great but you need a gamer and we will do better once we have a clearer feel for what Bergnek and it's projects are all about. Suggest including a 'pitch' to the longer term vision. As shared, I see phase 1 of the project all about getting out there and discovering what's needed - building the teams understanding and creating media that helps attract more investments and interest. We then go to Design Phase where we propose and cost out what the 'NRP Gaming App' might look like (as well as other things such as development of Mobile Timebank and Communications Platform.