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.


  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


  • 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
  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
  • 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


  • 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)