[Discuss] Planning an Open Source Hardware Summit in Vienna, Austria

Franz Nahrada f.nahrada at reflex.at
Sun Dec 16 19:36:01 UTC 2012

Dear members of this list, let me shortly introduce myself. My name is
Franz Nahrada, I am living in Vienna Austria. 20 years ago I started a
research association with the talking title GIVE, which means "Globally
Integrated Village Environment". Its also subtitled "Laboratory for Global

In fact this association studies and supports the emergence of a
decentralised society, with drastically increased capabilities at the
local scale. We have long standing friendships and connections to friends
in the US. I was making a lot of connections to computer people,
architects and community builders in the eighties and nineties, and they
gave mne the idea to found a research project that is based on dialogie
and multi - disciplinary input.

We started the dialogue about drastic social and spatial changes in and by
the information society here in Vienna - by organizing a small conference
in the Technical university named "Global Village" in 1993. And our daring
hypoothesis was that information exchange would increasingly empower
people to build their worlds themselves. We focussed on the increasing
importance of local communities and urban / rural citizen participation,
supported by unprecedented tools and services that allow to solve problems
locally. "Global Village" became the central IT event of the city of
Vienna, attracting up to 60.000 exhibition visitors by year and hundreds
attending seminars and networking events - for seven subsequent years!

In the new milennium, we went to case study of a "village university
outlet" in Kirchbach/Styria which uses interactive broadband Video streams
to bring knowledge and abilities to people in rural villages. We think
that Information Technology will change the relation between urban centers
and countryside to the poositive, by allowing people to spread where they
really like to live and get closer to nature again. 

So there is a natural connection to Open Hardware. I was program building
manager for the third Oekonux conference in Vienna 2004
(http://third.oekonux-conference.org/) Oekonux is an artificial term
combining "economy" and "linux". The assumption was and is that Free and
Open Source Software is a game changer for the economy in general. Already
then we invited Marcin Jakubowski of Open Source Ecology to Europe and
featured some other emerging Open Hardware projects. He came a second time
in 2009 and left some important traces. At the same time, at teh other end
of the spectrum, Universities and Cities became interested in the subject.
The city of Linz, home of the Ars Electronica event, declared itself "Open
Source City". There is a rich maker scene in Austria and Vienna has
several distinctive hacker spaces.

So it is quite natural that recently we took the decision to create an
Open Source Hardware Summit in Vienna. We want to give you guys the
credits that you deserve and build on your experience - and start the
dialogue and work in Europe on similar paths. Please note the date: it
will be in the framework of Vienna Linux Weeks, 2-4 of may 2013.

It is extremely important for me if there are some people on the list who
are in the area and would like to participate. Please send me a private

Thank you and keep up the good work


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