Marcin “paper brain” did supply some information on what happened on May 20th. You remember, after Marcin very successful talk at the University of Klagenfurt, Carinthia, we did not get to sleep till 1 a.m. again. Michaela & Erich had told that they would pick us up at 10 a.m. next morning. Wonderful, we don’t have to get up at 6 a.m. like every other day so far. Shortly after 8 a.m. Michaela calls me: we have to be in Weiz, Styria by 10 a.m.! Weiz is somewhere east of Graz (take a look at the map on top) and it would take us 1.5 hours to get there by car. Emergency! Battle stations! Hit the decks! Well, I don’t know how we did it, but we did do it and on time too!
In Weiz we met a very small but elite group of people who had come from all over Styria just to be with Marcin. It was a very diverse group and we covered a lot of different topics but all of them connected to the common thread of open source, Global Village, sustainability, education, and much more.
Hey you guys in Weiz, I hope you are reading my Blog and will fill in the blanks of our meeting on May 20th! In my English training classes I always tell my students when they don’t participate: no input (form you) – no output (from me). Here the opposite was true: lots of input, more than my personal, internal hard drive (brain) could handle. Now I know why Marcin takes his “paper brain” everywhere. I need to make myself one and soon!
Then — in walked Ernesto! Webmaster of Keimblatt ecovillage and big hat and all! You have to see Ernesto, you have to hear Ernesto to understand this bundle of pure, high octane energy! (Marcin, video of Ernesto here, please!) At first he took us to the “Solar Pizza Place” in Gleisdorf and that is truly out of this world. The decor and the food was exceptional. He then whisked us through so many villages, small towns, workshops, studios, solar places of Styria …. at the end my head was spinning.
Two items did stick out though: his self-made solar tracker (Marcin, video please) and the CNC machine. I believe Marcin also made a video of this.
Ernesto then drove us to Vienna where we were supposed to meet with a lot of Solar Energy people at Franz’s Hotel “Karolinenhof”. Marcin didn’t know Vienna, I didn’t know Vienna and as it turned out, Ernesto didn’t really know his way in and around Vienna either. We had a most interesting unintended sight-seeing tour, accompanied by a lot of words from Ernesto that I’m not supposed to repeat here. A few calls from the mobile phone to Franz did not help much because we could not really tell him where we were. Ernesto had the fabulous idea of starting up his laptop and googling the hotel…. when the battery ran empty we were only a few blocks from the hotel… saved by the bell!
I believe it was next day that we all trooped into Ralf Schlatterbeck’s big van and were on our way to BÃ–ZAT http://www.grat.at/home_e.htm GrAT Center for Appropriate Technology. See Ernesto’s video of Marcin’s talk here
There were about 30 people there with whom we had a workshop on the subject of “linear solar concentrators”.
Afterwards the managing director, Dr. Robert Wimmer, showed us the solar tracker that his students had built. (Marcin, please add video). Marcin, Ralf, Ernesto, anyone who was present – please add more information where needed.
We went back to Vienna but the project was not finished. We went right to the “Solarstammtisch”, a well-packed monthly meeting of the “Vienna Solar Scene” hosted by Eurosolar, an NGO lobbying for solar energy all around Europe. After a long and somewhat tiring discussion about subsidies for feediong solar energy in the grid (I cant really get along with European mentality in this point) Franz opened a discussion space for Marcin to present his ideas. Again Ernesto did a video of this, here it is:
May 22nd: A Friday and finally a little day of rest. But we worked a lot on strategy. Here’s a planning session:
May 23rd: Franz took us through some beautiful areas of Lower Austria. Rolling hills, quaint villages that still looked like the villages of years gone by. It was Saturday, the sun was shining, very relaxing day….
In Streitdorf we met Wolfgang LÃ¶ser http://www.solarbundesliga.at/energiebauernhof/ and from an article in the daily “Ã–ko News” dated June 7th: http://www.oekonews.at/index.php?mdoc_id=1000620 (Marcin, please add videos). Energy-wise this farm is totally self-sufficient, they don’t need any electric company to supply expensive power. Even though the websites are in German, the photos explain a lot. Once Marcin has put up the videos everything will be self-explanatory.
May 24th: We took Marcin to the Vienna airport, we hugged and waved good bye…. till July 23rd when I’ll come to the farm for one month – trial period.