Gift Economy Works


I would be very pleased if I could work with you to implement my vision of the Solaroof community as a DIY portal for sustainable development technology. All the know-how presented on our site will be provided on an “Open Source” basis which means that there are no proprietary restrictions and no payments are required for the use of this technology. Furthermore the technology and information is available to all members for their personal non-commercial use without any cost (but also without any warrantee as being fit for any particular use) and can be modified and reproduced without restriction. Our community is business friendly; any individual or group can make commercial use of the know-how and those who can afford are requested to make a voluntary payment of 3% of their revenue from the use of the know-how, according to the value received and their desire to support the Grass Roots Projects. Many small professional and construction services business may be established – all with access to the same growing body of know-how. All funds (called Honor Payments?) that flow from commercial Partners, who are Materials, Components and Product manufacturers and Service companies, firms and consultants will go (as described above) to the support of the current Grass Roots Projects. Businesses will be linked to the community website and our Members will relate to them not as “consumers” but as a powerful and empowering collective purchasing group that can set specifications and standards and obtain commodity prices.

Individuals are asked to make a voluntary contribution of money for their personal use of Solaroof concepts in their homes or communities. Individuals and families in the developed nations (the North) are encouraged to assess the value received and in exchange offer a contribution to the Grass Roots initiative (Families helping Families). When these Grass Roots Projects have had a beneficial result and have helped families and communities in the South to rise out of poverty these people who have been helped are encouraged to extent their support and financial assistance to others who have need to build a project. This “Pay It Forward” policy is similar to that of Habitat for Humanity and can involve the contribution of direct labor by those who have previous experience to offer in the construction and implementation of Solaroof projects.


Solaroof projects are appropriate for both the North and South and will help to bridge the development gap by enabling the North to consume less non-renewable resources and to use natural, renewable resources more efficiently. In every home or community our methods will create food & water supply security and safety and contribute to energy self-sufficiency that create the LOCAL conditions that contribute to GLOBAL security and peace.

The Grass Roots Initiative will engender Leadership and Participation by individuals, families and communities. It encourages the formation of Teams that will bring North and South together (through the internet and intranet) in a GLOBAL collaboration that brings wide spread human resources to focus on practical support for the LOCAL implementation of projects. The publication of project plans and results will assist the diffusion and adoption of best practices for sustainable development. The Solaroof policy of “Open Source” publication of know-how will inspire worldwide collaboration, has the potential to arrive at fundamental solutions to hunger, and could mobilize the creativity necessary to win the war on poverty. Sharing our experience with sustainable living and livelihood will help to pull everyone up the learning curve and many mistakes and loss of time and effort will be achieved.

I believe that Solaroof can enrich the lives of thousands, perhaps millions of people and I look forward to your feedback.

Regards, Rick Nelson

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