Paul, the community manager
- Paul from Kent, United Kingdom
- Age 38, married, 2 sons
- Freelance consultant
- Several leading OSPD actors consider him as an “open source evangelist”
Demographics / Curriculum Vitae
He has a PhD in chemical kinetics. After his PhD, he worked for 5 years for a start-up developing a new battery technology, where he dealt with the financing and project management, but eventually quit three years ago in order to follow his own path as a freelance consultant offering technical audits for large-scale chemical processing applications. Convinced that the citizen will always be alienated if he does not have access to means of resources and production, he and two other guys started an OSPD project two years ago aimed at harvesting secondary materials. He is convinced about the necessity of a circular economy and therefore insisted from day one for the project to be geared towards modularity, serviceability and reusability. He grew up in an arts colony where he has been confronted early with doing practical things in a communal setting which due to the remote locality even encompassed working with machines and planting. After living in London for the last 9 years he and his wife recently bought their own house in the countryside in Kent, where they also installed a garden house to grow their own fruit and vegetable and a micro combined heat and power (CHP) unit to produce their own power and electricity. Since he and his wife decided to live an almost ascetic lifestyle and they have a fair amount of savings from the eventual sale of the shares of the start-up (he worked for) to an institutional investor, he can follow his activities without them running into serious financial problems. His wife is a graphic designer, which allows her a great amount of flexibility as she works from her home office. She sometimes supports him with his projects but generally prefers to stay out of it as she considers it his thing.
A day in the life of Paul
Ever since he and his associates founded their OSPD project he has completely revamped his consulting activities to allow him the needed time to also focus on the project. On a normal weekday, Paul has fixed times to take care of meetings and requests to answer for his paid and open-source work at the same time. In order to use his time efficiently he even combines business trips with his OSPD projects to meet up with people face to face or participate in conferences i.e. after doing audits. This has led him to become the face of the project out of the three founders and he now has less and less time to participate in development and prototyping tasks. At the beginning of the project he used to work with the other guys in the project in a small workshop they organized in a nearby small village one of them is living in. However, most of his time, he plays the role of a manager. He takes care of good project publicity, tries to involve other people, manages the project documentation, and encourages other people from similar projects.
Leisure activities and interests
- Spending time with his family as a hands-on dad is very important for him. The most important thing in his life are the people around him.
- Doing things with his sons, e.g. hiking, DIY (fixing things around the house)
- For him, he does not like for things to be wasted so always prefers to repair them or get them repaired.
- Physical exercise (running and trail running: he ran a marathon one time)
- Heavy Metal, he used to have a band where he played the bass, but he doesn’t really have time anymore.
Personal goals & values
He is very committed to his cause thus convinced of achieving his goal. He is entrepreneurial and has a pragmatic approach to problem solving.
Motivation to create: He aims for the resources available to humans to be used more wisely. And by doing so create a circular economy. He believes however that this will require the emergence of a subsistence economy and a restrained way of living.
Vision: An economy where people do not “work for the man” but can create their own wealth. Where one can produce what one needs instead of buying from large industries. Setting up a new organisation of technological progress where products are created by the citizens. Creating a lean, agile way of developing and producing freely available goods. This idea forms the connection between his professional career and the OSPD project.
Motivation for openness: Empower the average citizen to have influence over the technology the use in their day to day life.
Communication and Interaction
In the past he attended several conferences to speak about the topic of open source circular economy, often as a key note speaker. He is well-known and is regularly invited by grassroots communities or NGOs to report about his experience. He also follows and supports numerous projects and often meets people to make plans. The other two people who founded the project with him are living in the same vicinity and try to meet up at least bi-weekly to align on recent developments and decide on complementary action items for the progress of the project, which are usually separate from each other.