GOSH Community Forum

Day 2: Resources

Participants: Alex, Michael, Bronwyn, Shah, Ting, Matt, Thomas

Summary: In this session we discussed the challenges (and some potential solutions) to gaining access to equipment/materials for OSH projects as well as repair information. We discussed locational barriers, including lack of distributional infrastructure in some countries, import-export regulation barriers, and lack of local knowledge or expertise regarding specific pieces of equipment. We discussed several potential solutions to these challenges, such as a platform for equipment/documentation sharing and a ‘stuff swap’ arrangement for the next GOSH unconference.

Questions:

  1. How to support community (outside university) who don’t have resources
  2. Finding intangible and tangible resources
  3. How to house information that has been developed in different projects – centralized storage
    Emphasis on physical resources, information and sharing

Notes:

  • Access to equipment: collaboration with diverse people/travellers
  • To get materials, take advantage of people travelling
    o Limited: physical barriers to transportation
  • Online orders: difficult to get to Cameroon
  • No policy to overcome these practical barriers
  • Developing your own tools/materials
    Challenges
  1. Repair information source
  • Broken down equipment: lack of money or expertise to repair
  • Giving/taking on forums: more reciprocal arrangement
  • Good tools but poor documentation (how to use)
  1. Material/Hardware source
  • Physical barriers
  • Political barriers (import-export)
  • Online deliveries are limited
  • Open Source software vs. Freely available software quality
  • Managing surplus and scraps of material: will necessarily be local – how can this be replicated, including in areas where there isn’t the infrastructure? Will form around existing community
  • Dealing with bureaucracy/company protocols
  • Liability of sharing space and equipment
    Solutions
  • Travellers : network to bring/distribute hardware
    o Tips/tricks on how to bring materials/hardware
  • Platform to build resource collaboration (import-export issues?)
  • Wishlist
  • GOSH forum: one designated place to organize this collaboration
  • Self-sustainable material generation
  • Informal network of people with equipment (laser-cutters etc.) that communicates to use equipment in down-time (navigating back/forth, shipping costs, etc.)
    o Something for small community: send files in and print/deliver
  • Educational component: how to repair (via video, picture etc.)
  • Online request system for hardware, similar to Stack Overflow
  • Can also source information directly from developers
  • Sharing materials/e-waste centers: generally localized solutions
  • Freecycle lists, Facebook Marketplace
  • Informal: “Geek Christmas” – organize with friends to share e-waste
  • Slack platform (Matrix by Riot)
  • Tips/maps on available resources/local knowledge

Deliverables

  • GOSH forum dedicated to bringing resources together
    o Share advice, cross-boundaries knowledge-base
  • Platform for sharing repair information and material exchange
  • List of reputable sources for hardware
  • WIKI for hardware sources
    o Also software FreeCAD, Open S CAD
  • GOSH Swap Meeting: organize for GOSH meetings in 3-4 weeks prior
    o Incorporate tips/tricks on import-export processes
  • Tagging system for material/immaterial resources
  • Knowledge/Skills Exchange: list of who has what equipment (frame with guidelines: here to help to certain extent – bigger projects are collaborations; no credit system – this should take no more than ½ day; beyond which it will be considered a collaboration; don’t ask with an immediate deadline)