Shuttleworth Foundation Fellows Gathering Report

I don’t think many people have heard of the Shuttleworth Foundation. Yet the Shuttleworth Foundation Fellowship is perhhaps the most prestigious social enterprise fellowship in the world, if the metric of evaluation is the funding provided. Is there any other Fellowship that provides $360k for one year?

As a Shuttleworth Fellow, I have an opportunity to attend 2 gatherings per year with the rest of the Foundation. I just got back from the Shuttleworth Fellows gathering in Berlin. Being surrounded by Open culture was invigorating. While for the past few months I have not felt good regarding my lack of communication – due to growing pains of organizational scaling – I think I may now be emerging for the next level of work/life integration – with a larger support team on-site at Factor e Farm and with remote collaborators.

Some highlights include meeeting Adam Hyde, where we are proceeding on utilizing Booktype for producing remixable documentation. This means that as changes are made to GVCS machines, the documentation can be updated almost automatically. This not only makes sense, but also, it will enable us to scale Civilization Starter Kit publishing. Adam Hyde started Booktype.

(see rest of Shuttleworth Foundation playlist for more videos)

Another highlight is finding out about the Open Design group of the Open Knowlege Foundation. I am invited to the Open Knowledge Festival in Helsinki later this year. Rufus Pollock, Shuttleworth Fellow, is the founder of the Foundation.


Another major highlight is Mark Shuttleworth’s project for Responsible Development on Principe Island off Africa. This could be the first authentic success in Responsible Development – an enthusiastic effort balancing the legacy of colonialism on this former slave trade island. This parallels much of the context of our small island in the middle of the American heartland – Factor e Farm.

Jose Gil Duarte of Essentia is the lead developer on the project, and we shared profound discussion on the practical and transformative aspects of this endeavor. Here’s a conversation from party time.



Personally, my revelation from the Shuttleworth Gathering was that there are so many tools available, many of which I have not previously considered – that are relevant to moving the GVCS forward. I think we could use P2P University as a platform for developing our educational curriculum materials. I think we can utilize the Pybossa platform for crowd sourcing GVCS development microtasks. I think that Booktype and book sprints will be critical to our success. I think that Harmony Agreements will be a way to propagate our user agreements. Other tools such as Codecademy or Mozilla Thimble can help one to learn programming, and useful tools like Annotator can help make sense of online content.

Personally, Jose Gil Duarte taught me that I should focus more energy on inspiring rather than working. This means, giving people more responsibility at FeF by teaching them skills, rather than continuing to do many tasks myself. That is a natural part of scaling an organization. To help me manage a large list of tasks, I now look at my work as a list of core tasks – where I strategically insert high-risk tasks to my list – but only if I pass off more established tasks on to others. This way, I continue to inject a high level of innovation, while core duties are not neglected.


You can see my playlist of other videos from the Shuttleworth Gathering here. ***



Documentation Plan


Directly connected to the world of Open – we have $70k from a Schumaker Family Fund + Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation grants that we would like to spend to reach the next level of documentation quality. Here is an initial allocation concept:


*Recruiting Full Time Factor e Farm documenter, 3 months x2, $12k – Skills required: video capture and editing, graphic design, creative writing, journalism, writing copy. Tasks: Developing ongoing documentation, script writing, video editing. as described under FeF Documenter on the wiki (***)

*Recruiting a Full Time blogger/vlogger, 6 months, $12k – Skills required – script writing, technical writing

*Recruiting a Full Time CAD Director, 6 months, $12k. Skills required: Working knowledge of professional CAD solutions. Organizational skills towards defining the problem statement for the open source CAD or Cloud CAD solution. Strategy development for CAD Sprints. Ability to organize and lead CAD Sprints.

*Hiring Adam Hyde for a Book Sprint to republish Civilization Starter Kit v0.01 PDF in re-mixable format utilizing Booktype platform – $5k. This will be our step to building a documentation community – to scale our ability to produce high quality documentation – indispensable to our long term success, See Adam Hyde video (***)

*Organize a Book Sprint on site with 12 documenters including 2 graphic designers on site. $10k.

*Recruiting a Full Time Documentation Community Manager – $12k. Responsibility: Developing a community of documentation developers. Working with Adam Hyde to document and publish Book Sprint methodology. Leading Book Sprints. Working with CAD Director to integrate CAD Sprints with Book Sprints.

*2 HD cameras, tripod, 2 lavaliers, mike, camera LED light system, and dedicated nonlinear editing laptop – $5k



  1. Elmo

    Should I maybe attend the Open Knowledge Festival, since I live in Finland? Is there supposed to be something interesting for a future GVCS builder?

  2. hayden

    Having the money to promote full time cad work is an excellent and important development!

  3. Hershel Daniels Junior

    We will donate a 50,000 sq. ft. empty office building for CAD/CAM OSE Joint venture. The joint venture would have access to our 154,000 sq. ft. of metal manufacturing space.

    We will donate our time as state licensed architects, engineers, general contractors and as union journey-persons. Our mewly established offices will be at 1500 Queen City Blvd, South Fairmount, Cincinnati, Ohio

    Our attorneys would work with you and PNC to create this by 1 July 2012.

    Our goal is to create fork based on a intellectual property pool that will give back to OSE IP rights under terms and conditions agreeable to both through written agreement that is executed in compliance with international law as interpreted in the United States of America.

    The Joint Venture will have access to Lunkenheimer et. al., which is a leading manufacturer for cast steel, alloy steel gate, globe, swing check, wafer check silent check, ball, and butterfly valves since 1865.

    Joint Venture Team Leaders are Hershel Daniels, Junior CCM and Fred hargrove, Sr. PE, MBA, CCM

    Academic Convener is Dr. Robert Day.

    The joint venture will create 1,000 sustainable geographic political states. We have chosen the first being Ohio.

    We have selected Cincinnati as our state headquarters. We have started a plan of action. See the cities interpretation of it at

    Feel free to ask questions and we will see if we can get you answers.


    /s/ hershel daniels junior


    * Co-Founder of Friends of the African Union
    * Mt Auburn Community Council Trustee
    * Business Development Director at Hargrove Engineering, LLC [MBE AEC/GC ICT Consultant]
    * Certified Lay Speaker in the United Methodist Church [UMC] and President of the United Methodist Men of Keys of the Kingdom UMC
    * Member of the National Association of Black Veterans, Cincinnati Chapter, the Cincinnati Black Brigade
    * Board Member at Martin Luther King March Committee of Cincinnati
    * Chairman of Facilities Subcommittee of the William H Taft Elementary LSDMC, the Cincinnati Public Schools only STEM K-8 School
    * Trustee at Cincinnati Change, Inc. and one of the Visionaries at the Cincinnati Change Ohio Fairness and Growth Campaign
    * Member of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition

  4. Gonzo

    It’s really sad to see that you are happy for getting $360k while you can get tens of millions of dollars in investments, if you just decide to supply machines and parts.
    Look at MakerBot – they got $10 million in investments just because they decided sell a 3D Printer.

    You can get a lot of money, Marcin, if you just agree to not only design, but also to supply machines and parts.

    The machines you design can sell in huge volumes, while Makerbot is probably selling a few thousand 3D Printers / year.

    Also you should think about adding washing machines and refrigerators to the GVCS, as they are needed by almost everyone – that can only make the project more popular

  5. Marcin

    Gonzo, MakerBot-scale funding is one route, but our design is to make our enterprise models scalable virally via replication. Therefore, we aim for a bootstrap-funding enterprise model – and yes, production is our route. Our next milestone is to clear $20k/month via sale of machines.

  6. Gonzo

    That’s great news indeed, that you will also sell machines! I hope you will supply parts too, for those who need them!

    Of course the purpose of the project is to be virally replicated but until the people will wake up and start to do it it will take years (or even decades).
    Therefore, there is little chance you will have competition for a good while. That’s unfortunate, but that’s also opening the opportunity to generate lots of sales.

    Open source hardware is a win-win situation:
    – Either you get competition and that makes the project successful (world-wide replication is the ultimate goal)
    – Or you have little or no competition and then you can make a lot of cash by selling and attracting investments.

  7. Siddiq Khan

    Hi Marcin, it’s great to see the project growing in such exciting ways! I showed one of your talks from last year to my girlfriend Elena and she immediately wanted to become one of the lifetime investors! I agree with Gonzo about the importance of washing machines and refrigeration – are they included in the GVCS? How are the folks at Factor E Farm taking care of those duties right now? These are actually some of the questions Elena brought up as she was considering investing in the project too.

    Best of luck to you with everything!

  8. June 14 Update | Factor E Farm Blog

    […] This does not include the flurry of recruiting that we are working on – 6 documenters for the second half of 2012, as introduced in the last post. […]

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