Really good to hear from you. I am now in southern Ohio, USA and we are working here at Greenfire Farm with a team that is building the POD Prototype - which will become the POD Kit which is the key product of the Sola Roof Coop or the "COOP".
I envision the COOP as a global community and we can have Chapters wherever there is a cluster of POD Owners. The POD Owners will be COOP Members - an individual can be a member of any of the local COOP Chapters and also a member of the global Sola Roof Coop. COOP Members and COOP Chapters will both help capitalize the startup of the Sola Roof Coop.
We already have an understanding, in principle that Athens OH and St John's NFD will be founding Chapters. The two key people from St John's have just completed a one week working visit with us at Greenfire, in preparation for building one of the first POD Projects, which is in a planning stage for possible implement in October. By that time we will have the POD Kit in production and they can be one of early adopters. Anyone wishing to be POD Kit purchasor is welcome to join the Sola Roof Coop - perhaps they purchased a kit or perhaps they built with the same kind of "build from scratch" method that we are doing as we build the POD Prototype now at Greenfire, or some combination of prefab and custom build. We will transition to a POD Kit where most key components and systems are in volume production for the benefit of the COOP Members.
We are further ahead in Europe, because I was living in Europe since 2001 and have established the Life Synthesis business in Norway. We have a supply relationship with Sapa Group for the supply of the structure components (in aluminum) for the POD. This structure component and the B Gen machines (Bubble Generators) are the key components of a POD Kit. For the B Gen component we are now using Panel Fan units from Voostermans, Venlo and we anticipate to engage with them for the development of a pre-engineered, prefab unit that will be provided for the COOP Members.
We are doing this work on the POD Prototype so that the cost of establishing a POD Projects or COOP Chapters can be fairly and accurately discussed - although all such questions will become more clear as the early adopters of the technology bring their skills and talents to the task of improving and detailing the both the technology and the business model. However, we can say without question that we are committed to sustaining an Open Source community and building with the Cooperative business model. 2012 is the International Year of Cooperatives. Therefore, the timing of all these innovations, including the emergence of new technology paradigms, cooperative legal/business frameworks, the recognition of community itself as the solution, is now positioning our global collaborative to provide answers to Global Challenges, on a "just in time" basis.
Your willingness to not "re-invent the wheel" is the spirit of what is now needed and if this spirit goes viral and people everywhere start to apply what we hold collectively in the "Creative Commons" then there is hope to turn the tide on our problems and build a future of abundance for all. I therefore gladly accept and appreciate your interest to join us in this good work.
The Chapters of the Sola Roof Coop, which will be called the COOP Chapters in our documents, will be formed wherever we have a cluster of 9 POD Owners (or more) whenever these COOP Members decide to form a Chapter. Until that time we will work through any POD Works team who can support and serve the growth of the community and the eventual formation of the local Chapter for that area. The COOP Chapters can elect to form Re Generation Regions for Bio Regional cooperation. And there will be the Global level of cooperation, having a role that is determined by the COOP Chapters, through collective consultation.
I invite you to consider participating to promote and establish a Chapter in your locality, and if you wish you can also be one of our authorized COOP Organizers in your area with the authorization to organize and establish (in conformation with our Chapter formation guidelines), which calls for Capital Contributions from the Chapter Members. You might have these funds yourself or can raise this money in the community. This money is used by the Sola Roof Coop to underwrite the costs of startup and outreach to support the COOP Chapters. COOP Members also will each contribute a small amount of Capital at the time they register as COOP Members. As members they will have access to the POD Kit through the COOP with collective buying power of all Members and Chapters, globally, as the advantage to obtain great value for money when purchasing the components of the POD Kit directly from the Manufacturers.
The COOP Chapters would be the authorized hub for training, certification and provision of services to the POD Owners. At the level of the Chapter we would organize POD Works to facilitate sales, support, installation and operational services that will be in demand as the community grows in numbers in the area. Any of the COOP Chapters can operate as a social enterprise and participate in the SE Net that we envision. It is possible to own a POD and also have job opportunities with the COOP Chapters - operating the education/training/certification activities within that POD. Or, when decided by the COOP Chapters any of them can collectively establish a community owed POD for these purposes. Generally, POD Owners can train others and also sell the POD Kit (working closely with the new comer), but the capacity to offer Certification would need to be granted by the COOP Chapters.
I have been talking with Lori about establishing a Chapter in St. John's (as well as establishing the global headquarters) and on the first look there seems to be proposal shaping up that appropriate Capital Contributions to register the COOP Chapters is suggested as $2500 USD and that registration the COOP Members would pay $100 personal registration fee. These Capital Contributions shall be approved by the formative Board of Directors of the COOP and are used to cover the startup costs, including the development and demonstration of the POD Prototype and development the POD Kit product for all members.
This is probably enough to think about for now and based on your response and also other interested teams around the world we are on the verge of bringing the Sola Roof Coop into the world.
On Fri, Aug 3, 2012 at 5:33 AM, Cédric Born wrote: Hi Richard,
I hope you're doing good.
I don't know if you received my last email ?
can you send me a detailed information on the requirements for establishing a chapter of your Sola Roof Coop ?
2012/7/21 Cédric Born Hi Richard,
Sorry for this late reply but I was away from the internet for a few days ...
I'm very pleased to read your email and I have the feeling that we share the same vision of a beautifull future.
This is definetly of interest and the question is now, how can we go a step further ? can you send me the requirements for establishing a chapter of your Sola Roof Coop ?
2012/7/20 Richard Nelson Hi Cedric,
I am really pleased that you have connected with me. You may be aware that Sola Roof is very active in Europe and this is because I own a company in Norway, called Life Synthesis. With support from an Eco Innovation grant from the EU we have business development in several EU countries and I would be really pleased to establish a representative of Sola Roof in Belgium. You could consider establishing a chapter of our Sola Roof Coop - this is a global network of associated Co-operative enterprises. I would ask you to invest some capital and to purchase a "POD Kit" and build a showcase POD project.
This is a business startup situation and you would be in on the ground floor with lots of potential for growth - the Sola Roof Coop will not have exclusivity on Sola Roof technology but I am confident that we will be leaders and gain a good market share as people everywhere become aware of this great opportunity to produce food/water/energy at home and in the community for profit or non-profit purpose.
If this is of interest we can talk about it and see what kind of plan can be developed. I appreciate your interest to apply advanced technology like ETFE and our Sola Roof organization will help facilitate applying advanced materials and technology to make or products the best on the market.
I expect that you will find this opportunity to be rewarding financially and also achieve great satisfaction as we enable everyone to create a small space to make the world a better place.
All the best,