[BoST Call, June 27, 7pm GMT] - post-OSCEdays debrief

Hi @BoST, this is a bit of a long read, my notes are a little all-over-the-place, sorry! We had more of a meandering catch-up conversation rather than a point-by-point agenda, but I think some clear themes emerged by the end.

Participants in the call:

@sharmarval @TechnicalNature @Silvia @cameralibre

How was OSCEdays for each of us?

Silvia feels supercharged! she’s very happy about the Indianapolis event - it took place at an organisation that tries to empower young african-american men - a social enterprise for training and support. She worked with Kyle, who runs an engineering/prototyping business, so 3d printing was a focus of the event (applying OSCE ideas to the technology). This meant introducing notions of biodegradable hemp-based filament and having a critical eye on what is being 3d printed and why.
For more, see the full documentation of OSCEdays Indianapolis 2016.

Silvia was very happy that the event planted seeds at the grass-roots level - it influenced people not yet corrupted by the ‘business as usual’ mindset who can make a difference in the future.

OSCEdays London/Reading was a series of events in different locations over 4 days. Erica said that the event at the Machine Room was partly about trying to advance last year’s event, as there were many returning participants. This was a useful activity but it took some time to get new people on board.
The team spent a lot of time making an action plan - to try to help people in makerspaces to make good decisions. Kind of like a checklist to evaluate the reasons to make something and then how to do so in a sustainable way.
There was also a really interested and enthusiatic crowd at Greenfest in Reading.
One nice connection was that Chris (who helped with openLCA analysis in London last year) was in Sibiu this year, and he joined in with the local OSCEdays event, and was able to compare and contrast London and Sibiu - a nice example of the knowledge transfer, and hopefully we can get some documentation of his experience online soon…?
On Sunday there was an OSCEdays event with MakeSense, which included writing a letter to the new Mayor of London.

For Sharon, OSCEdays was a surprising success - there was a lot of buzz internationally, it felt much bigger than last year.

I suggested that this ‘surprise’ may be due to the relative decrease in activity on the forum, i.e. last year we had fewer events but more of them were active online leadingup to the event - this year we had no word from many events until we suddenly discovered a whole lot of activity on facebook/twitter etc. But maybe that’s just my impression?

Sharon pointed out an unanticipated aspect of the community calls - there seemed to be two separate motivations to take part, and we only supported one of them. The local organizers came to share what was happening at their events, but other people came wanting a general discussion of OSCE and its implications. We should keep this in mind and provide a space for this in the future.

I shared my experience from Berlin - unfortunately I could only be there for 2 days due to other work commitments - but I was generally impressed with the amazing work the local team had done to fit out the space and assemble such a large, broad and enthusiastic crowd. However, I felt the open source concept was not that well explained, supported or practised, and there were some struggles in maintaining the ‘zero waste’ ethos.

Some of this is just down to lack of resources - for example in my own area of interest, open source documentation, I felt held back by the fact that I did not have the time to set up an effective process this year - last year I had folders, links and QR codes for each challenge printed out and on each table, which helped to facilitate and encourage documentation (see below). This year I had no time available to do so.

To me this was an indication that we probably need to be better funded internationally so that we can better support local events to understand, communicate and live the values we stand for, and we also need a better process for filtering and supporting projects and challenges so that they are well aligned with the OSCE idea.


Some of us felt that we wouldn’t be prepared to do another OSCEdays in the same way again - it’s just too much work for insufficient real impact. It feels as if we need to have a much clearer purpose, and focus on specific, high-quality outputs.

At one point in her report from London, Erica said “I don’t actually want to be an event facilitator” which resonanted very strongly with the rest of us. She wants to work properly on this, on the actual topic - rather than just organizing events and running workshops, and rather than the work that she currently has to do to earn money.
This got all of our heads nodding.
There’s a real need to reconcile the work that we do for money with the work that we do because it’s meaningful/interesting/important.

For me personally, this means a change in my focus with OSCEdays - my main activity here over the coming months will be on organising, funding and facilitating an OSCE animation, because I feel that this activity is better aligned with my paid work than many of my previous OSCE activities, and I feel more enthusiastic and confident when I’m doing something I’m good at.

Erica mentioned an idea that she recently came across: when you’re spending too much time on something that you’re not good at, then it becomes stress.

In terms of the global team, especially if we are going to continue to expand it, we need poeple to put time into it and really deliver on projects - there is a lot of work to do and unfortunately it currently seems to be quite unevenly distributed across the team. Somehow we should try to make the work that goes into OSCEdays more explicit, so that people don’t take it for granted and so it can be valued and potentially funded. A time bank of some kind was suggested to aid with this.
Contributing to OSCEdays is still very confusing, so we need to improve our communication for collaboration as well.

OK, time to look at some of the possible next steps we discussed:

Disruptive Innovation Festival 2016

Erica met Joe Iles again, it seems that the Ellen MacArthur Foundation are super keen for us to join the DIF again this year.
Silvia is a bit cautious about EMF - they work with a lot of dodgy corporations, eg Walmart, US chamber of commerce, so we need to be careful with how we engage.
Personally I am keen for us to have a presence so that we can authentically present OSCE, fight openwashing etc.
We will have a video call with Joe soon and discuss more - we’ll be clear about the fact that we can’t promise anything huge, and that we would likely need funding.

A Clearer Purpose

We discussed the issue of ‘a clearer purpose’ - are we an activist group, an educational group, a research or policy thinktank…?
Perhaps we can each specialize a bit more so that we don’t have all of us working across all these different fields?
Perhaps we could better curate our activities into different work streams (eg circular cities, food, materials) to provide a framework for our projects and better communicate our purpose. Maybe this could be something like the SDGs of OSCE? :slight_smile:

Communicating Impact

It took a lot of effort to get the Impact topic on the website, and then it was taken away - but this is something that we need to be communicating more effectively.

Siliva suggested a showcase of work produced in OSCEdays '16 - this could be, for example, an online show-and-tell of hardware projects that takes place in a google hangout or something, with an accompanying blog that links to documentation.


The introduction of a regular newsletter has been a nice improvement over last year, and we would like to continue it. We would like to send out a quick newsletter to the local organizers very soon.

Content: 'thanks for taking part, check out cool things A, B and C, please document what happened, and send feedback! We’ll be in touch more with info on future plans…

OSCE Association

We all agreed that we should not give up on developing a structure and organization, even if that is a mid- to long-term goal, rather than something we can put time and effort into right now.

We feel the need to be slow and steady over the next couple of months - let’s focus on strategy with the people who are really active and then decide on the next steps for OSCE.

Did I miss anything?
We didn’t discuss it in the call but it would be great to set up another call to talk about this with more of the BoST sometime soon, rather than waiting two more weeks - early next week perhaps?


Recommended reading: a relevant topic on post-event activities…

Hey guys,

Sorry about yesterday, completely forgot about it. I am delivering a few client project and am a bit overwhelmed.

Will do my best to be there next week.

Thanks for the summary @cameralibre, really cool to see what has been going on and to see that events have been so successful.

Overall I agree with everything.

Hope to see you soon!

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@BoST Please read and respond to the debrief, to help us all decide on the best path forward.

Next call Monday July 11th at 7 pm GMT (we can schedule 10 am GMT if needed)

Please confirm or suggest another date and time.

Thank you, enjoy summer/winter, have fun, Silvia

I can join for Bost meeting on Monday. Speak then.

10 AM GMT would work better for me, but I could make the 7 pm one if needed. Love have some audio in catching up with you guys this time. :wink:

I can join at 7pm GMT, no worries. Looking forward to it!

I prefer 10am but can join 7pm briefly if that is not possible.

I will be on Skype for the 7 pm GMT call, if that does not work for some of you, I will start a Google hangout with the link posted here.

See/hear you tomorrow, Silvia

Hi Silvia,
I will join the call today at 7pm GMT.

Hi Johnny, please connect with me on Skype, if you can attend our call now.

Hi Gien, please connect with me on Skype if you can join our call now.

I’m so sorry! I put it in my agenda for next week! I feel stupid now. Anyone in for bringing me up to speed through skype somewhere this week?

Don’t feel bad, we are going to write-up our conversation for all to comment on. If you want to talk on Skype this week, answer my request to connect and call me when you see me online.

We are moving on!

Dank je wel, Silvia

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Hey Johnny!
You have been notified about the write-up of our conversation.
Please feel free to add your thoughts on the topics we talked about :slight_smile:

Hey everyone!
Sorry I couldn’t make it, I was too busy at work.
I would also appreciate meeting minutes.

Thanks for breakdown Sam!

“One nice connection was that Chris (who helped with openLCA analysis in London last year) was in Sibiu this year, and he joined in with the local OSCEdays event, and was able to compare and contrast London and Sibiu - a nice example of the knowledge transfer, and hopefully we can get some documentation of his experience online soon…?”

Gien: Can we open a discussion with Chris to explore how we could integrate OpenLCA into OSCE Days? I’ve always dreamed of a platform design in which OpenLCA can become an integrated tool of the platform. This would allow participants to be able to use the tool to assess the cradle-to-grave footprint of their designs. It would be a great tool that would make all our work more meaningful. If we could offer this, it would be a unique selling point that no other organization would have. In the spirit of open source, if we all become experts in the tool, we can mentor anyone else who joins the network on how to use it as well.

“Sharon pointed out an unanticipated aspect of the community calls - there seemed to be two separate motivations to take part, and we only supported one of them. The local organizers came to share what was happening at their events, but other people came wanting a general discussion of OSCE and its implications. We should keep this in mind and provide a space for this in the future.”

Gien: I posted a comment somewhere else about exploring the possibility of creating two OSCE entities, a long term and a short term one:


(where X is a branding word to be collectively decided upon)

  • OSCE X becomes the static organization promoting open source circular solutions. It retains the current OSCE Days platform for year round work and onboarding.
  • OSCE Days is a 1 week celebration and convergence of OSCE change agents. We have all worked year round on our projects but we can showcase them, share them and celebrate at the annual 1 week event.

Within Stop Reset Go (SRG), we have been championing the emergence of Michel Bauwen’s Global Commons. I believe our current OSCE Days platform can morph to become that global design commons and can be a virtual repository for OSCE designs that can be shared with the world. The idea is that we can have a whole value chain of design, from initial concept to final professional, industrial design. Each organization belonging to the OSCE X network can work on their own specific design and when finished, it goes into the OSCE X repository. SRG has developed the concept of the OSCLE-coupled Global Design Commons. OSCLE goes one step further than OSCE, it adds “Local Economy” to it. Hence it converges the power of three critical democratizing global movements: 1) Open Source, 2) Circular Economy and 3) Local Economy. The power of an OSCLE-coupled Global Design Commons is that ideas naturally find home on the internet.

As human beings living in a society globally connected by the internet, we inhabit both virtual and physical space. The internet allows ideas to propagate at the speed of light to anywhere on the planet. Shared immaterial ideas are perfectly suited to reside on the internet. However, as human beings, we also each live in a physical, brick and mortar world. We each reside in a local community somewhere on the planet. So the idea of OSCLE-coupled Global Design Commons is a system that converges and leverages the strengths of both the virtual and physical world; we use the internet as the global repository of open source circular designs, but once designs are downloaded, those ideas can then act to transform the brick and mortar world. It’s extrapolating the idea of the power of 3D printers, where global ideas are coupled with local production.

I would like to explore this idea further with the OSCE community as I see it as a way we can have enormous global impact. Within SRG, we have already been designing the system architecture that would support this but I see OSCE X and OSCE Days as the natural space to house it. It has to be an open and transparent system that all citizens can have access to. Indeed, as Michel Bauwen says, this could be how citizens unite to actively participate in the future of our planet, rather than be dragged along passively by decisions made by large entities we as citizens have very little actual control over, such as governments and big businesses. OSCE X and OSCE Days, if used strategically can be what unites and truly empowers countless citizen change agents around the globe.

With the OSCLE-coupled Global Design Commons, we have the potential to have massive global impact. By making our designs available to everyone in a systematic way, communities around the planet can download the designs appropriate to them to construct their own OSCLE-based local economies. Our capital driven system has created long term wealth concentration, climate destabilization as well as resource and social exploitation. With a system such as we envision here, citizens can converge and promote an alternative system that reverses all these trends. Circular Economy alone is insufficient and not a complete and holistic solution for people and planet because it still does not address the wealth concentration aspect of existing dominant supply chains. Circularizing without open source, without a commons approach will simply result in more ecologically friendly ways of wealth concentration and social exploitation.

In short, perhaps OSCE Days needs to pivot.