Crowd-sourced knowledge repository of restoring water cycles in arid regions?


@cindy, @William,

I submitted three hacks to Open Hack already. There’s only a few days left. Cindy, why don’t you start writing up the hack in the format David suggested and the rest of us can add to it.


@Cindy @Gien I have been filling in the doc that @sigmundpetersen started on

I have a meeting this afternoon so won’t be around for a Skype then but can do so around 6 PM GMT Cape Town is I think GMT +2 i.e 8 PM and for Cindy (I think at GMT + 11?) , so 5 AM :frowning:

I have some time between now and when I leave in a couple of hours.
I will make sure I’m free (with a short break to eat)


Hi @Gien @sigmundpetersen started a collaborative draft of our hack a few days ago, which @William has kindly been working on -

@William and I had a long skype call a couple days back.

To be honest I’d really like to just start trialing what @William has already designed and built. I think it seems it will meet most of the functionality I hoped plus also having a whole better tilt on it all.

I’m swamped with work just at the moment but hope to be able to add some specifics into the EWB hack tomorrow. Thanks heaps for all you have done @William And thanks for bringing all these possibilities into being @Gien

@Gien how does it work with these hackathons? Can @William and I and anyone else interested just take off and design a trial? Or is there a process we need to continue on with?


Hey @William great amount of work!

I’m not in a position to review your additions so I accepted them all and you (and everyone else) can just use Edit mode from now on. Then @Cindy and @Gien and everyone else can use comments to clarify sections.

Yes Cindy I think we should build on William’s approach. Then the goal of the OpenHack hackathon would be to build an iteration further on this, or implement what is actually documented. This is the power of the crowd mind and open source; constant evolution and exponential improvements!


@sigmundpetersen as @Cindy said we had a fascinating conversation - for me it was inspiring to talk to someone involved in doing stuff to heal this damage - I’ve been dreaming of just that for far too long. Needless to say the conversation triggered all sots of thoughts as did the various Hackathon inputs. One is around how sustainable, equitable, fair and hopefully regenerative the Proposals are.
Having now been introduced to the work of Michal Kravcik and Walter Jehne I can see how important this aspect is.
It also reminded me we need to go furehr than just find solutions too which in turn reminded me of Ifixit’s repairability score - then look at how circular (as in Circular Economy) any product is and rate that too


Thanks heaps @sigmundpetersen

I’m not sure we can iterate on @William’s build yet because no-one has trialed it. He has already done a lifetime’s worth of work getting it to the point it is and it sounds fantastic. It would seem a pity to cobble more on or off it, when no-one has taken it for a test run to see how his pilot version runs. I caveat that, of course, that I don’t know or understand the insides of information systems. Perhaps someone like yourself who does @sigmundpetersen could assess it?

I love open source and the idea of crowd mind evolution and improvements, but I have to say in my networks we’re had this knowledge management problem for some time and right now I can see a solution, so I just want to run away and trial it. I know that’s probably very anti-crowd but I feel like I could contribute most back to the crowd by actually putting the talk into an action experiment an bringing back the results?

What are the rules here? Can we both continue this conversation but also let me go trial this?


I think it’s fine to trial, as long as you report back here and give people status update and also to invite others to join!


I don’t think there are any rules except to be open and share. Share and share alike. So any work we contribute on top of William’s acknowledges his work.

We also continue sharing and keeping everyone here updated to the progress…and also ask for help in case we need it. I think the main thing is not to get too isolated because you may then ranch off and never come back. Keep the community alive by regularly sharing at a rate comfortable to everyone.

Everyone will eventually splinter off into small working groups. That is a given. But the open sharing means everyone has constant access to a fresh supply of human resources that can help any of these projects to grow in unexpected ways. Heck, I mean, how did this hackathon start? Came from an idea. Ask William. He hasn’t known me that long, or that short and he knows I just try things. So the same thing applies with what your working group is now doing. Just keep it open and reconnect here and share so that others may help it to grow.


@Gien @Cindy @sigmundpetersen I’m very happy to modify and iterate what we have so far - with a caveat. If we are building a standard syntax/ontology/protocol then change management can be an issue . So if Cindy, her colleagues and I trial one syntax and another group trial and then modify the syntax, we will then have two syntaxes that might be difficult to reconcile.

As long as that is manageable I’m game for anyone to test out the concept, the more the better (within reason). As long as change requests for the standard are coordinated and have good logic behind them. I’d go further and say that the more people who try it out the better.

The intention is to have a software/web site process to guide people and groups through with input as they go. I have not built this yet, for several reasons.
A) One of the precepts for the design is that it can be done with absolute minimal tools and zero cost - in say a rural village in [choose your favourite impoverished country]. As long as someone has a text editor and an internet connection then we can collect their data. They can also see what others have done.
B) Another precept is that the meeting process can be for Issues utterly unrelated to anything like improving the planet - it could also be about organising a local fete, for example. If changes are needed for that, they may not fit a system looking at global ills, so need to be carefully considered.
C) With the best will in the world it is unlikely to be flawless.
D) Building a system takes time and ideally only wants to be done once.
E) We may find, as I now strongly suspect, that it makes more sense to start with the “solutions” end and make sure that end of the structure/syntax/ontology is robust and fit-for-purpose - before opening it up wider to more diverse groups to use and feed their data in with.

That said, if it works for any community but they feel the need to modify it, the chances are we can still combine the data. Even if it proves impossible to integrate some elements but it worked for the community that’s a plus.

It’s only when two or more standards emerge and we want to correlate data that we might have problems.



Please try to attend the Open Hack Livestream tomorrow. They worked on one of the hacks and will be presenting.

The live stream will be posted on the facebook event,

13:00 CET or 14:00 SAST

Would be cool to interact with them and say hi to them…could collaborate with them in the future but need to build social capital first.



UN World Water Development 2018 Report: Nature-based Solutions for Water