Open Source Ecology is a project creating the industrial machines needed for a sustainable modern life, from farming to circuitry, in open-source and low-cost format.
Initially preparing for post-scarcity in a Midwestern US setting, there could be much broader applications right now. Namely, the costs are but a fraction of what they'd be otherwise, and the internet community which inevitably arises out of open-source (and a good Communications department!) fosters dialogue and collaborative learning. There's also the general attitude of experimenting and most importantly: allowing mistakes to be made and learning from them.
That doesn't generally sit well with donors with tighter budgets looking for evidence-based approaches and tangible results.
However, the open-source movement can bring ideas to those who maybe have a little more wiggle-room. Open-source is about pooling creative energies and work, maximizing the possibilities for innovation. It is, generally, dependent on internet access. But edtech is increasingly bringing these ideas into the field of education, and combining that spirit with development projects can be very powerful indeed.
With power, as always, comes ethics - experimentation is always part gamble, part risk, and it's easier to risk the design of an operating system than the design of the tools that will ultimately help feed your family. Treading carefully, this could be great.
[Thanks to Terry Elliot]