Articles, Blog

Building Communities of Commons in Greece. A documentary on networks in Sarantaporo area.


Building Communities of Commons in Greece
A documentary on Networks in Sarantaporo area Sarantaporo is a mountain village located in northen Greece,
in Elassona prefecture. Its economy -based on husbandry and agriculture-
was hit by the crisis. But even prior to this,
state care for the region was poor. Its youth were migrating in big cities or abroad,
there was no Internet access and the locals were living in isolation
and deprived of basic services, like proper healthcare. At 2010 a group of people forms a community wireless network
aiming to connect the villages among them
and with the rest of the world. – Hello guys, hi!
– Hello! What is your opinion about the new website “Sarantaporo.gr”? – Perfect! Great! The best, straight A’s! When will it be ready, that’s the question. – Next Saturday.
– Saturday? We are very pleased
to have it next Saturday then. Attention!
The guys from the web site said… anyone that has a laptop or netbook,
take it and bring it to the square. Today. At half past five, in the afternoon. I repeat: The guys from the web site said… anyone that has a laptop or netbook,
take it and bring it to the square. Today. At half past five, in the afternoon. In order to shoot a videoclip. Thank you. Bravo to these young people! Not just from our village,
but also to the others who developed these technologies
and worked together to bring them to our area. All this is surely an accomplishment.
So, make room for the youth so that we can all progress. For our children. We don’t know much, but it’s good for them.
All the children are excited. I advertise the web site a lot. It’s super awsome! I mean,
I visit sarantaporo.gr every single day. It’s all I do! – What do you expect from it?
– Everything! For a lot of young people from the village,
it will give them the opportunity to exchange views
and get to know each other better. Because I think they are very remote to each other,
and so all this, it’s very good. I expect, personaly as head of our association
and in cooperation with other associations, that we will be able to reach out to all the more people from Sarantaporo
and keep them in touch with what is happening here… We have too much unemployment…
the worst thing. Don’t say!
Technology reached our village? This is great! It came this far? We’re talking about a fantastic progress.
Until now we felt left behind. It will be very usefull for the youth,
also for us in our work.
All this is very positive. It was a necessity for the village, to have Internet access and be informed. Therefore, I would like to have Internet access 24/7
and the maximum of Mbps, as much as possible. – Brilliant!
– What do you expect?
– Everything. I come from Sarantaporo village in Elassona municipality.
But I was born and raised in Athens. Nevertheless, as both my parents come from Sarantaporo, throughout our childhood
there was no vacation or holiday that we weren’t visiting our village. We would go to the village and feel we were all one group of friends,
regardless the age. We had all lived part of our childhood in the village
and we had learnt what it meant to play ball or ride a bike.
We had learnt to share with each other. I believe we are still doing the same,
and that this was our drive to get into this… So we got in the process of creating a web site. Next step was the networks. We had the opportunity
and we set up an Internet sharing network in our village
and then in other near villages. Along with the website,
the need for a wireless network appeared
as Internet was not well diffused in Sarantaporo so that people in the village can have access to it. And with the support of a funded program from GFOSS
we were given the opportunity to create
the wireless network in our village. It came as result of the plans we were making
– especially because it’s very tangible, in a way –
the prominence of the wireless network. The wireless network built up quickly up to a point,
as things at the beginning were pretty simple. What I mean is:
we installed several nodes subsidised by GFOSS and this was achieved with the support of all the local
institutions and associations, as well as residents and volunteers. The period when we were looking for a solution
in order to give Internet access to our village, there was an open call for a project from the GFOSS,
the Greek Free Open Source Society, the project Open WiFi. According to that project, the GFOSS gave
wireless networking equipment free of charge to anyone who made a proposal or a suggestion so as to network
their neighborhood, their beach, their village and so on. And as long as this was moving forward,
we started to look for prospects about it. At the beginning, the Internet feed
was through mobile carriers’ 3G connections, but in parallel we put some pressure on telecom operators
with massive online connection requests. I believe we broadened our horizons a bit. A few years back we were more introvert as a community. We considered that there was no need to be connected
with the rest of the world. I believe that this is slowly changing not for everyone, but we are on the right track for all of us to be part of one big team
not just us in Sarantaporo. And I think this is what these guys are doing, uniting many people who have common interests,
not just in the village. “three hours later…
I finally did it!” “Tsapournia, ok
Kokkinoyi, too
Dolihi and Pithio… and all the rest!” – How’s the signal?
– Ok, ok. – Everything working ok?
– Yes, yes it works fine. Wireless community networks have enormous power
with respect to creating relations between people. What is taking place in Sarantaporo now, was also happening in Athens
when I first met with George from the Sarantaporo area. Together we built a node, his node,
and connected it to the node in my house. I sensed that the Sarantaporo area was ready to develop
and a bigger network could be built people could join it
and it could work for the benefit of the area. In our area, there are villages that back in 2010 and still today
do not have any access to the Internet not even through a telco as a commercial service. So, people and associations in near villages
after having heard of our activity in the Sarantaporo village, contacted us and they asked us to expand the network into their area. So, in a time period of 2-3 years, and in collaboration with cultural associations,
active citizens and simple network users we succeeded to interconnect 15 villages in the area. It was like a small explosion that was heard in surrounding villages and immediately they started to approach us,
mostly the local associations, but also we approached all the friends and people we knew since our childhood in order to expand the network one step further. Given the opportunity of the EU project CONFINE I suggested to the guys to join us. We could build their network, so that the regional areas
can profit from what existed only in Athens, through AWMN. This idea, this little dream we had at that moment,
became reality they succeeded to receive a grant
in order to deploy the network and also to invest it
-same way we did in AWMN-
on a community. We started to develop, not just the infrastructure
but also a relationship between us… and now we organise better, we have a different contact
that can take us further in other fields as well like networking people to promote more activities,
e.g., their own production or cultural activities or whatever development issues or problems they face in the area. So, in the context of CONFINE
they managed to connect with the TEI of Larissa and through VPN connections, to connect back to us. And not just to us, but also to other networks in Europe,
in Germany, Austria, Belgium, UK, and others
connected with AWMN. And this way, let me just say here,
we come back to the theme of community how a community is created, how it becomes part
of other communities and they engage in a dialog. We are talking about a communication channel
whose value does not lie only on its research aspects but even more so as a communication channel
between the participating communities. Our location is Melouna, Elassona, or else Tsaritsani
… where we have one Sarantaporo.gr node the node that connects Larissa to Sarantaporo. We see here the installation… and, straight on this direction is Sarantaporo – unfortunately it’s not visible today – and on the other direction
is Larissa. I am Dimitris Davosis, from Kalivia/Kokkinopilos, Elassona
former Olympos municipality. Around 2010-2011, and as people here
have always been considered “akrites” [frontiersmen]
there was no Internet access, so upon learning that some people in Sarantaporo worked voluntarily
to bring Internet access in Sarantaporo we came into contact with them, we worked together
and brought Internet to our village as well. It works very well and people loved it
because it’s useful for them in all sorts of issues. Most of all we needed it for the local health centers and the students in general, that need Internet access in daily basis. The only thing required to connect to the network
is to simply press a button: “Connect”. There are no passwords, nothing… It’s free. Surely, a bigger community will bring more interest,
better speeds and better expansion. Basically, I’m a student in Thessaloniki.
I come only during holidays. – Do you use the network when you are here?
– Yes, regularly. Very frequently, actually! – And are you satisfied?
– Yes, in general I can definitely say yes. – How do you connect, with a laptop or … ?
– Laptop, PC, through my mobile. I use several devices. When you leave from the village, you get used
to another way of living. When you come back you need to keep a balance.
Through the network, you can achieve that. For example, as a student I get information from my faculty,
announcements, lessons. Overall, it’s helpful. But I have also noticed something else: we introduced elders to new technologies,
people who had no contact with them before. This is very important because we bring them
closer to us, to the young people. It is important that this effort was by guys of a neighbouring village
who don’t seek economic or other profit one perceives it differently than if it was by a big company,
which would be suspicious. I think it is completely different
because we know that they serve a good purpose. And we have to also admit that they upgraded our area. We are talking about a good,
around which a community of people grows using it to reinforce their relationships
and expand them further. That is to expand the community itself into
other communities, through this media. The wireless community network can be seen
as a production model: if one wants to produce a service,
instead of using individual resources (material, economic, etc.) we can all come together
and each contribute a node, as a part of the infrastracture we can observe that together we can create something
even larger and of much greater value. I work as a professor in the TEI of Thessaly,
Computer Science Dept, working on networks International best practices have shown that
similar groups abroad achieve similarly important things. Therefore I was happy to keep contact with this group
and follow its progress they not only achieve great things at a local level they are also collaborating with similar groups abroad,
forming a pan-European network they exchange visits, know-how,
interconnect their networks, conduct research … It is a very dynamic movement that
surely has a lot more to offer. At a practical level, they have accomplished
what dozens of european projects, subsidies, and funds of millions of EUR
didn’t manage in the past years The model that works, is that of the volunteers who succeeded
in bringing very good results. And these results have shown endurance:
this network is still fully operational, not like others set up just for the inauguration
event and then abandoned. It’s working consistently,
offering solutions everyday to many people. The wireless network Sarantaporo.gr
has no relation whatsoever with the greek state. It is an initiative of a group of young people
who came back to their village… They, of course, had the know-how. We in Sarantaporo had no knowledge
since we never cared about the Internet. These past 4 years, it has been
the best thing that happened in Sarantaporo.[ doctor guiding the patient ]Today, here in Sarantaporo we conducted a functional
respiratory check-up, a spirometry. It’s mainly used to diagnose COPD
or Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease,
a disease common among smokers. We asked the people to fill in a questionary
and the findings where dissapointing. 2 out of 3 persons where completely ignorant about COPD
and 4 out of 5 have never done a spirometry. As a rural doctor in the health center of Elassona,
I frequently visit the villages connected to this network mainly to write prescriptions. They are villages with large population
and, especially Sarantaporo, remote. So, the inhabitants cannot easily
visit Elassona’s health center regularly
for their prescriptions. In 2010, the doctor would come to the villages only to leave
without being able to prescribe for, or attend properly to the elderly. Therefore, the existence of a network
with good Internet connection is of vital importance for the residents
that need to prescribe their medication in monthly basis, but also for the country doctor that travels
long distances to perform his duties. Difficulty in online prescribing due to slow or no connection,
makes it difficult to carry out his duties. Since our area is mountainous, even the telcos
couldn’t provide satisfactory Internet service. This probably gave us free space
in order to develop our activities and even ordinary people,
that might not understand the details of the technology, realized what type of solutions
this technology can offer and what needs it can satisfy. For sure, a network that broadcasts in Sarantaporo
cannot be as effective as a network in Elassona. This is clear.
Because of the available infrastructure. Comparing though, villages like Sarantaporo
with other villages outside of Elassona, the difference is evident and becomes more evident
in cases of villages with large population. When there is no strong WiFi signal,
fast prescribing, etc. a large number of patients remain dissatisfied,
because they cannot be served, waiting for the doctor for one or two weeks, and at the same time, they are forced
to go to the Health Center of Elassona, which means extra strain for the patient and also for the general
and rural doctors in the Health Center. While this is exactly the value of the existence of the
rural medical centers and the prescribing there, it is not implemented.
Period. They tell us:
“Hey guys come and install a node in the medical center, because the doctor comes to serve us
and many times he leaves empty-handed.” While now, it is feasible for him
to do his duty and serve the people. In the Elassona province, where we stand, separatism was strong
and the villages were isolated. Now, via the existing wireless network people are given the opportunity to communicate and share,
between all these villages. All the activities of the association
are disseminated through the Internet. The dances, the library and
all the events organized by our association are uploaded on Facebook, I could say,
and from there everyone gets informed. There is exposure, we are not
isolated anymore, we are not alone. Many of us,
feel like we are all together again. Our association was founded on 2002,
so it has a long history. – So, you are from Pontos. – We are a mix. Some came from Grevena.
Pontic Greeks & Koupatsarei. We are two tribes in our village! Last year we transmitted
the local festival through live streaming. There was also a theater show that we also
transmitted, for the first time, through live streaming. And next year, I think that we will have
better bandwidth to live stream it again. I met many people through Sarantaporo.gr. There were people who had left
the village many years ago, and now they meet each other again. People from Lofos village
who live abroad, some of them in Australia, more of them
in Europe, Germany, Belgium, Holland, now they can see
all the happenings in our village. We will remember
all the old songs of the village. We will contact people
and all the testimonies must be recorded and through Sarantaporo.gr
everyone can learn about them. It happened once, in an event organized
by the Sarantaporo.gr core team, a member of our core team,
who lived in the US, to connect, address all the villagers live, through a large projection and communicate directly with them
through the Internet. “To all the villagers, here and abroad, I want to say
that we should all help to keep the web site alive.” “Like a flower and a tree that needs watering, our web site requires care,
communication, so that it keeps alive and updated.” “I send you my best wishes and I hope next year
to come and celebrate together. Thanks a lot.” We identified the need to organize
some educational sessions on the use of the Internet. This digital communication should also take place
in the physical world. And how do we achieve this? Either by supporting cultural events,
that bring people together, or by organizing such events ourselves. The first time that Internet access came,
we offered some Internet lessons to people. For those who didn’t know how to start a computer,
to send a photo. Now at least they know the basics. Through these “Info-Point” events,
we educated some people… on how to send an e-mail, how to search
cheaper products, fertilizers for their fields, I think that taking advantage of this network,
if someone now wishes to use it, it will be very helpful for his work,
the farmer, the breeder, as he can find a lot of information through the Internet.
Everyone who uses it already knows that. I was the educator for a session about
safe Internet use, which was divided in two parts: one for the parents and one for the children. We try to help them see
the good aspects of the Internet use. Because, connecting the whole village,
we were worried that it could be harmful for the children, if they were all day using Facebook,
or downloading songs or playing games. We are currently at the national road, traveling towards
Larisa and Sarantaporo village in Elassona municipality, to participate at the
Wireless Battle of Mesh v5 Warmup event. It is an introductory event
for the Wireless Battle of Mesh v5, that will take place next week in Athens,
at the Technical University. The WBoM is actually an international gathering
of people from all over the world, who are interested in
open source software and open networks. In fact, they are the people who create
the open source software and the network protocols, which are the basic ingredients
for the existence of a wireless network. And once a year,
they meet in a different country and city, in order to exchange views, to explore new technologies
and to organize the “battle of the mesh protocols”. That is, to compare different mesh protocols,
in order to further improve them. Participating in the organization committee of the WBoM v5, we proposed to visit Sarantaporo
and it was accepted by the majority. And now we are all here traveling towards the village. We are actually going to Sarantaporo village,
mainly to get to know each other, to have fun, and to “warm up”
for the main event. That is, to properly get prepared
for the event in Athens. Given the opportunity, we will present the wireless networks
installed in our village, in Sarantaporo, but also in other villages in the area. We are currently at Kokkinopilos village,
at the foothills of Olympus mountain, and we have just installed
the twelfth wireless network in Sarantaporo area. It was a great pleasure to host in our village
the creators of this technology, and to show them in real life
what can be achieved by this technology. How it can influence a community, like that of
Sarantaporo, and all other villages in the area, where we have installed
open wireless networks, OpenMesh. The potential, not only of the wireless network
but also of the human network, is to expand to other productive networks of the productive economy in the region. It could be a cooperative, and I don’t mean that this network itself
will create the cooperative rather that it would help through
the dissemination of information and of know-how, as to how such a cooperative
could best be set up so that the people of the region
form new groups to better enable them,
either to standardise their products or to process them and then
distribute them in the market. Especially our region is known
for its agricultural and livestock production. And indeed, the quality is admittedly very high. Every year, the production of the farmers is changing. Either regarding the required equipment
or the production methods,i.e. crop-dusting, etc. Using the Internet now, you can easily
search for your farm machinery, to see how each machine works,
and choose exactly the machine you need. I purchased a spare part
for this Italian tractor directly from Italy. Instead of buying it for 1.400€ here,
I only bought it for 720€. There was no case to find that here, where would I
find it? I found it on the Internet. Another example is weather, for planning.
We see today it’ll rain and tomorrow not; so we can crop-dust. One can search online if it’ll rain,
to decide whether to harvest the clovers or not. Because they used to have 2 out of 4 takes of clovers,
but now they have 3 or even 4 takes. This is very good. – So you need a local weather station, right? – If we agree …
– And what prevents you to agree? What prevents us is that there is no unity. In the old days it was due to age differences,
that we couldn’t really collaborate now there are no age differences and I think
we will manage to do this Over here on the estate this year fell hail.
The damage estimations will be done online from now on. No agronomists will come here to estimate the damages
on the field, but there will be an online procedure. There will be no need for the agronomist
to come here and conduct an autopsy, on the spot. – How will we be able to see
what damage has been done? – Through satellite they will be able
to see the damage They can even see the size of a pin through satellite,
can’t they see the damage of the apple? You can now visit the Ministry of Agriculture website
and submit the application form online. For example, you can use your producer code, your VAT number,
the necessary codes from the e-government taxis application and you can submit
the online application form. You then print it, pay the corresponding fee and get your distillation license.
Now it’s all done online. The past couple of years, since the network was installed, we started feeling closer to the centers. For example, last year I had 12 tons of potatoes in stock. In the end, through the Internet, thanks to the network,
almost 70% to 80% of that was sold. I.e. they would call me from Litohoro, 5 people would have agreed among them,
and tell me “we want you to bring a ton of potatoes there” For a ton of potatoes, it was worth it for me to go;
the distance and everything. It’s not like I would go to sell in retail;
a bag here, a bag there. For a ton, it was something.
It was, let’s say, 500€ each cartload. We had announced on the website that we have Zea mays,
and I sold Zea in Chalkida! This guy was going to Katerini
he dropped by, and I sold a ton of Zea. There was absolutely no chance that I would
take a ton of Zea to sell in Athens. It wouldn’t be worth the travelling costs
(tolls and fuel) for just a ton. So it was good for both: me that I sold a ton of Zea
and him coming empty from Katerini otherwise. Nevertheless, we are left behind
when it comes to standardisation. For this, we could join forces
either with people from the area, or seek out help from people in other areas
that know (about these matters)… we could, through collaboration,
advance in this issue as well. If the network can help them
– I don’t know in what way – to help them get to the processing stage,
which gives added value to the product. In the primary sector of production,
yes, one should be a good farmer, producing a fine product but after that the dealer will buy it very cheap. If the locals succeed to have an agreement between them,
and create a sales network of local products then the producers will profit
from the benefits of processing. The area there, as a remote rural area,
is in need of growth. Growth will occur through the daily activities of the people.
They want to live and live well. If, for instance, some almond producers want to form a cooperative,
they will overcome constraints with extroversion. They need tools. The infrastructure that we created
gives them the possibility to develop these tools. And, not only develop them themselves but it gives them the opportunity
to get in contact with others that can help them out. In this land, we produce horticultural products
like broccoli, cauliflower, leeks, cabbages, tomatoes, peppers the tree crops include apples, peaches, pomegrenades,
vanillas, pears … We could, for example, have our own refrigeration infrustructure
to preserve these products and gradually distribute them in larger markets. I believe it will be very useful in bringing us
in contact with cooperatives, most importantly, and to have better information, in order for us
to promote our products. Because, as we are very few here,
it is not possible for us to do much. With the Internet
the few will become many. This winter, we aim as a group
through the wireless network that assists us… We have already had talks with agronomists
about tree farming which interests us and have also found others, through the network again,
that can help us out… We have set 2-3 meetings this winter to get informed
so that perhaps, even later this year, to create the cooperative. We have in mind to set it in the area of the former municipality
of Olympos, where more or less we know each other. At least the villages of Flabouro, Olympiada,
Sparmos and Skopia, the villages that are around Olympiada, where we go for coffee
as there are no other coffee shops in the area, and as we have strong bonds among us,
these four villages could form a group. And we can talk with the Netherlands, with Germany… They are interested in grapes
– and we have the best grapes – so we can, from all of Elassona region
– what could Flabouro do on its own? –
trade for our grapes’ production. We need to sit down and work to make this happen. The network, right now, gives people the chance
to remain in their homeland. And this is very important. In an era, where young people leave the villages
and move to the cities pursueing a future we have built an infrastructure that can prevent this phenomenon. Either by preventing youth from leaving the area,
or by encouraging others to return and develop activities. Many young people come back with the ambition to cultivate… surely you must have heard this, they want to cultivate
mostly apple trees, peaches and pear trees. They want to pass on from the tradition of cultivating nut-trees
because the income these can provide is small, whereas the former, can be more profitable. And I think, perhaps through the network,
they could get information on this subject. I would like to bring up, at this point, another dimension… We are talking about the infrastructure
that we built as a common good but this, gives you the opportunity to start developing
other things as commons. Like, knowledge for example. Currently, George, we are making discussions
to prepair a project… in collaboration with the TEI and local farmers. This collaboration would aim to record farmers’ expertise
in traditional farming methods. Methods used for ages and which they
know and carry as a tradition, and which are perhaps threatened by
the intensification of farming. So, we are trying to record this knowledge,
and using the infrastructure we have built… to create a teleconference and tele-educational service. To bring together farmers and the academic community… so that they can exchange ideas, record their experience
and produce a guide that would perhaps be useful to young people
who leave the cities to go start farming land in the country, and they are looking for sustainable ways to do that. The farmers in the area, have that knowledge that if it’s recorded and distributed as an open access
repository of knowledge, more people will be able to make use of it
in other areas too. So, here is a good example as to how an infrastructure
can empower the process of diffusing knowledge as a free good. (the idea) was born in a cafe, among a group of friends,
as we were sitting together. From Nicoleta Vaitsi -I must mention them- and
Giota Galitsiou. They called me and said:
“We have an idea, would you help out?” “What’s it about?”, I asked
and they replied they wanted to organise a hiking event, starting from Elassona up to Sarantaporo.
“You know, just to shake things up a bit! Do something different.” The first time 60 people took part in the 29 km hike
from Elassona to Sarantaporo village… but until we reached Sarantaporo village,
the number of participants grew up to 100. We made a glorious entrance to the village… I mean, I really felt like an Olympics champion in ancient Greece
as people received us with flowers!“Is this a hiking event or a cycling one?”We continued in 2012, with the occasion of commemorating 100 years
since the Battle of Sarantaporo, with 250 participants! In 2013, again it was a success.
Now, in 2014, we expect 150 people to participate… We believe in it and we continue. It’s a genuinely voluntary effort and what really moved us
in the last event were the children. Almost two thirds of the 150 participants in total
where children aged between 7 and 18 years old. People embrassed this genuinely voluntary initiative
that aims to give prominence to the value of participation. All this participation makes me really happy:
seeing people smiling, feeling content… and it is something so simple, all this.
So simple. We ask people to join us and walk together. And when you see them being happy doing so,
you think that it’s all worth it. Some may wonder, why all this? Why all this effort, time or even money, etc. Why do you do all this?
Is there something else lying behind? Personaly, from my involvement so far
I can say that I’ve gained this: I have gained the know-how
in things I didn’t know in depth before. I got to know even better people from my village,
people from neighbouring villages too,
a chance I didn’t have before.. Through these activities, we have come closer,
got to know one another, and found out that
we have common interests and activities. Furthermore, we met people from all over Greece
that we share similar interests with, and now that holds also with people outside Greece. And now, we are trying to grow. Growing could mean
reaching the neighbouring prefecture. This is one of our projects
and a challenging goal for us: to be able to reach out to another social fabric,
which operates differently than ours. And we could easily spread out to neighbouring prefectures,
as they have contacted us asking for collaboration. At the moment, we have in the Olympos’ geographical unit… villages located on the one side of the mountain, where Sarantaporo is, and villages located on the other side of the mountain
that belong in different administrative units. Because they belong to different administrative units,
the level of communication among them is insufficient. They follow different development plans, depending on seperate priorities
set by each administration. Our Network gives the possibility, and we are in this process, to remove these administrative borders
and interconnect villages from both sides of the mountain. For the long-term, we would very much like to see
a state-wide fiberoptic network that would interconnect local wireless network communities
into one unified network. We would like to work in this direction and join forces
with similar initiatives in other areas. I think what is lacking in the area,
is information. Information, not only regarding technological issues of which there is poor knowledge anyway,
-though this is slowly changing- but information regarding issues
of their everyday lives, or work. On this aspect we are thinking to put our next efforts. i.e., doing workshops on the network itself,
so that it can become sustainable, either in terms of human resources -the people involved-,
either in economic terms, in development terms, or whatever. But also, in terms of network expansion.
I mean the expansion of the social relations between people and go beyond the limitations, if you like,
that we had as students, or as people 20 years ago. The wireless community network is an infrastructure
built by its users. Meaning, the user is at the same time the owner
and its creator, if you like You gain the know-how, i.e. instead of simply using a technology,
you get to “own” it. Especially in the 21st century, who knows how to use
contemporary technologies has a competitive edge. It is like in the past when
one would become literate to do well in his/her life, in our age, one has to be literate in these new technologies
to do well in life. Those that understand better the role of the network,
are those that didn’t have access to any provider. There are villages still lacking infrastructure
and, consequently, access to the Internet. These people understood the initiative from its early steps
and have been supporting it from the start. The rest, professionals or not, that may need access even more,
can opt for a commercial provider if available. But, at the same time they support the network
because they know that they benefit from it as well. Since people are encouraged to prolong their stay at the village,
the professionals are the first to benefit from this. They understand it and in many cases
they prove this in practice. The wireless community network is essentially an ecosystem
that contains different components. There is the core team that started it, that means we who developed it,
are maintaining it and keep it going. There are the users. There are the communities producing open source code,
which support us in producing the technology that we use, and more. There are the professionals of the area
who want to use it but still they do not know how. We are living in an era in which the discourse on common goods
has already started. We consider that our infrastructure is a common good. It is a good that all people should have access to,
use it and develop it by themselves and make the most of it freely,
based on their needs and capacities. In practice this means that as we have access
to a road that anyone can use in the same way, for the infrastructure we develop,
we want anyone who wants to use it, and needs it, to have access. We had a discussion on how to research
on creating a meteorological station. – From then on, how do you see your participation in all this? I mean, how come you had not done this kind of research
on your own until now? – Because there wasn’t the right kind of person
that would motivate us into doing something like this. We lacked both in knowledge and in experience in things like that. Who would take upon the task?
One says, he can’t leave his flock to start the research.
The sheep need to be milked. Another, needs to harvest the peach trees. And so, we leave things to their fate. No one promotes us. But if there is some one, like you,
to get us into this game, let’s say, it’ll be very good for you as well as for us,
and also for our land. And for our pockets. – Via this network, there are collaborations
that have been created with people from other villages. Can you, together with us, come in contact
with other producers in the area? – Yes, of course we can. This is 100% sure. Because it’s for everyone’s good.
It’s not for our harm. – Perhaps, let’s say, a group could come together…. among you… – That could happen, that could happen. Because we are young people, who see a bit further… … and, for example, the costs if we are many
would of course be a lot less and it would be good for us, economically.. but not only that,
for our products too it will be better.

4 Comments

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *