Franz Nahrada /

I changed to Facebook but might be interesting to save items from there:

Table of contents of this page
13.5.2009 Marcin in Vienna   
14.5.2007 Broadband Conference   
11.9.2006 Hans Werner Mackwitz' event   
! Comments   
! Comments   
Comments on 10.11.2005   
. 11.10.2005   
Comments on 11.9.2005   
Comment on 7.9.2005   
External Link   


Well I am glad that after one year of grave depression and burnout I am still here on this planet and every now and then there is a new beginning. Check out my special blog on the NitraConference


VillageInnovationTalks worked!


had to neglect this for quite a time since was offline - now there is a transition back to GIVE. It will take some time until we get this fully operational.


Looking at the stream from the Telecentre Summit in Istanbul

Daniel Ben-Horin for Techsoup (San Francisco / Warzsaw) talks about Telecentre history and Telecentre Europe. "Seize the Day, be aggressive about your mission and look for its sustainability". Telecenters might be small if isolated, but if they join together, there is an incredible network and a tremendous market power.

4 streams that converge and are available to telecentres:

  • Conceptual funders: willing to fund ideas, fund it before it is tangible. IDRC, and Microsoft "fund ahead of the curve and without them...."
  • "mysterious and great" fact that European governments feel obligation to support critical things that society wants to happen. "We dont have this kind of funding"
"The next two things are larger:"
  • Successful marketing of services
  • Numbers and scale: Very good observation that the real power of telecentres is in their network. "what you are doing is building the audience of the Internet" (Cisco) "These companies are willing to come together on our platform to give away their products for the people in need." "Say to them: We could put your logo on the outside of 100000 telecentres".
"You are very attractive partner to us".

  • He is taliking about the history of social networking at the WELL.
  • "We have an idea how telecentres could be our first line of approach to the population".
next to talk is Turkish Minister who has first encounter with telecenter concept, although they have PIAP project running.

here is the embed code....html is not turned on on this page:

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best way to plug in:

13.5.2009 Marcin in Vienna    

Marcin Jakubowski arrives in Vienna.
Marcin and me standing in front of the Vienna airport tower shortly after his arrival.
Marcin is going on a tour through Austria which is decribed here and here. I could make this possible by suggesting Marcin to one of my speakers at our recent Graz Conference "Invisible Intelligence" last November, Barbara Pirschmann (+). She was organizer of the subversive fair in Linz and Marcin has a booth for OSE and four days of massive encounters with visitors from all over Austria. From Linz he will go to Neulengbach, Klagenfurt, Vienna and maybe other places to meet people working on the ground.
We also can do a lot of work together and see what we can do for OSE (Note: Barbara died in a very tragic way few days before the event happened)

Shortly after we arrived in Vienna and I took him to a walk on Danube Island, we had an interesting encounter. there were two youn men with an ambulance on the island, waiting for emergecy - people needing first aid - and we had a chat with them... it turned out they are people who took civil service which is an alternative to going to the army in Austria. So instead of six months army service they prefer nine months civil service ...they get employed by NGOs and the state pays these NGOs for work in the public good - but not much since its a duty ... so they do hospitals, building, office works and many other things, some of them going to Africa doing development we envisioned young people with technical skills could also one day be doing their civil service with OSE to do "commons work".

A breath at the Danube....


After Andrius spent three weeks with me here in Vienna, we got a lot of stuff done and also we might finally manage to get our wiki functional.


Andrius, since the Worknets change the whole wiki needs enormous work to be useful again. I would be glad if Sasha could help me bring things in Order again...

SashaMrkailo July 1, 2008 10:21 CET Hi Franz! I am kind of busy right now with a small home rebuilding project but would be glad to help you. Hope your health is improving!

Yes, I am better for the time being, and I would appreciate your help very much! Franz July 2, 2008 21:39 CET

14.5.2007 Broadband Conference    

I am sitting in the Brussels Conference room

see /BroadbandConference


Andrius: Hi, Franz! I'm glad that you could make it! You're an inspiration!


I just came across this link which is very appealing and interesting. Sometimes I wonder how I could miss out this encounter, having spent considerable time in LA and with Iranian friends.


Sometimes I think we need more spam protection. People with anti - social behaviour feel free to delete the work of others without any consideration. The most crazy spammer statement I ever read before putting a page in this wiki in order again was this:

"I like you site! It is not advertising dispatch. I call to click nobody on these references. If they are placed on your page - this page is specially intended for public filling and does not contain any means of protection. I have the right to write everything if it is not unlawful. These references about online pharmacy and do not contradict the legislation. (blabla)...Therefore any your claims are not accepted to consideration! Many thanks! Best regards!"

A wiki is a training ground for people to build rules to positively reinforce each other. The garbage that is in the minds of people brought up in a society that never trains responsible behaviour, but thinks it can manage everything by legislation, can only be composted by that very training. That is the reason we want to engage people in constructive activity and have them set rules themselves instead of just obeying. That is a reason why these pages are not write-protected allthough it really costs me a lot of nerves. That is a reason of the Wiki Way. Dear friendly spammer, do you even understand what I am saying to you?


Hi Franz! Greetings from the Austrian Hospice in Jerusalem! where they have wi-fi! I think that some of the spam is automated and that some of it is by wage slaves in Chinese or African sweat shops. So they aren't in a position to reason with you. But also that makes it easier to deal with them. I'm asking Helmut for a way to limit the number of urls per edit to, say, five. Andrius


In the meantime, in Vienna, we went for the first time into the field with our "learning café", part 1 of our technological backbone for strengthening Global Village Learning. Thanks to Monika Erb and Bernhard Haas and Christoph Schönsleben for their support!

As you can see on these pictures and images, we presented the possibilities of fresh media combinations to be inclusive for people with hearing disablities and "translate" online learning from Audio to gestures an Initiative by Michael Goriany:

I see this also as a final and definite outcome of the partnership we started in the ERDE project. But it is also a new beginning: now we can start experimenting with new forms of group learning and have a really "living lab". We are in waiting position for the second part, for Videobridging. By setting such technological standards, we want to, as Andrius wrote, be able to create networks of local focal points. In a discussion with Andrius I felt the important outcome was that a Global Village is recognizeable by such a local focal point - a strong center creating a strong structure. This is a place where a community engages itself, sees itself in communication with others. And of course this is exactly what Jeff and Joy mean by UnityCenter.


Returning from a trip to Cyprus where I also had the pleasure to meet with Andrius and moderate the participation of MinciuSodas in an exciting new project called MIR - Motivation, Involment and Resources as main contributions of Adult Education to Local Development.

I am pretty sure after being hit by the gradual returning of the winter to Austria that I want to spend future winters somewhere south, and Episkopi would be quite a nice place. Our dear host, mayor Christophis Antoniou, rightly said that the main business of this village is exporting the sun. It is of course pretty mild there in the winter time and so many people are coming for many reasons to escape the latter. Among them are even soccer teams that use the nearby stadiums in Limassol and Paphos.

Episkopi wants to pursue a clear strategy in local development, part of which is a thematic focus on health and sports. It also has great archeological sites. I was especially impressed with an old Apollonian sanctuary.

So Episkopi wants to install a focal point for community learning and we have the honour of being content partners and ambassadors for this endavour. Which means we will put lots of efforts into finding out together the best ways adult education can positively influence the course of local development. The main purpose is for locals to be more flexible in their professional possibilities.

I also felt that there are new crossovers possible between established models of adult education as we see in germany, where adult education roots in a hundred years tradition, as well as new and fresh approaches like Minciu Sodas plan to build a community through the internet which allows people on the > edge to be empowered (and have access to a "virtual equivalent of a university". In MIR, we will collect people who care for learning processes that improve local environments, and hopefully have some cross-fertilisation.

read more here: and

Andrius has put out in the open my strategic plans about Global Villages, and I think this can possibly become one of them. My aim is to present in one year from now, when Cypriot Officials will meet us, the learning centre in Kirchbach and show them a working network of VideoBridges


What a day! I introduced a beautiful hopeful Global Villages Project in the mayors office in Vienna, then gave a presentation on a local cultural initiative (Beethovens Path) in Floridsdorf local museum. And finally I went to Metalab, where a workshop with Vik Olliver from the Waitakere rainforests in New Zealand took place. This fits very well to the previous entry. Vik presented RepRap, the self-replicating Rapid Prototyping tool that he is workling on with a small team, supported by the University of Bath. Vik seems to be the mastermind of the construction team and he was giving many details about the tricky development process of the genuine Open Source project: So far, the "printer head" for plastics is operational, while the head for metal is still in development.

I learned that the project is taken very serious, but I also learned that there are some young chemistry specialists in the Austrian team that wants to team up with Vik. And I saw that Vik is completely in line with the idea that we must avoid fossil-fuel-based plastic as soon as we possibly can. He even had some polylactic-acid granulate as the second (and better) solution with him and showed that he is already working in both parallel world. So I introduced the Metalab people that are going to work with Vic to Hanswerner Mackwitzes (see below) website ( Slowly, we are binding the strings together.

Vic liked the idea of Global Villages and he said there is not an absolute need for bioplastic factories, but you can brew things almost at home. Well, it seems we need to look closer into all that stuff....

As a former-life chemist I have to slightly intervene. The term "fossil-fuel-based plastic" suggests that there is a plastic not producable from biological material, which is wrong. Actually organic chemistry produces hundreds of thousands of different substances basically from very basic starting molecules, like Ethen (C2H4), Methanol (CH3OH) or Ethanol (alcohol) (C2H5OH). Presently these molecules are mostly produced from crude oil by cracking and other chemical processes. But they can be just as well be produced from biological material, e. g. Ethanol from wood. This is currently somewhat more expensive but even this will change during the next decades because of rising crude oil prices. So there is only one kind of "organic chemistry" which can start from different raw materials. --HelmutLeitner

11.9.2006 Hans Werner Mackwitz' event    

How did you commemorate September 11th? I went to a meeting of people that are absolutely out of the cycle of fear, anger and revenge. Hanswerner Mackwitz and Magdalena Reinberg were showing their film "The sudden disappearance - Bioplastic is winning our future" featuring the miracles of "green chemistry" and a biogenic turn away from petrol-based chemistry. Amazing that there are non - toxic plastic bottles that you can soon throw in your home composter! But there is much much more to it!

I also liked the speech by Bernd Loetsch, head of the Vienna Museum of natural history, who gave a fantastic account of the unique features of the "carbon age" that supplied us with all the oil that we are currently exhausting. It must have been a unique moment in mother Earths youth, when she grew lavish plants all over her skin, to later dump them in the dumping places we now know as oil fields. Could it be that we blew that much of the burried carbon in the air that we are bound to create a second anthropogenic "carbon age", ornating our planet with agroforestry all over and thus naturally sequestring the loose carbon? A very strong case for Global Villages.

But the real sensation of the evening was visionary songstress and Scribe Gina Citoli, a classic Rock singer with incredible voice. She agreed that her songs were used on the soundtrack of the film, and she even came over to Austria to participate in the first public viewing of the film. She sang four songs and each one seemed to be more energizing than the other. I hardly found an artist who can convey that much light energy on the spot. So here is a little contribution to Gina, who brought us some musical Earth Conciousness:

By the way, Ginas website is (and if this does not show up, try this:, it will play a very good sample of her work) - and she also has a great song titled "Chocolate Rocks ". I introduced the Chocolate work of Minciu Sodas to her and she liked it!


AndriusKulikauskas: Mostly by coincidence, yesterday I saw the film United 93 about the flight where the passengers kept the terrorists from reaching their target. It was a good and subdued film. I liked that they organized the film in natural time, so that all events took as long as they did in real life.

or did they?


After my returning from Rome where I gave my speech at the European Computer measurement Conference, we are busy in creating some elements of reality for the learning place mentioned below (see entry of 18th of January). In Rome I found a very interesting setting - the Inverso in Garbatella - around this organisation: Autopromozione Sociale is an iniative of a department of the city administration and seeks to actively support ethical and responsible young entrepreneurs.

The site I saw in the South of Rome is a kind of "incubator for social enterprises", a type of dedicated support center for start-ups of a different kind. Belgian manageress Els Reynart gave me a good and substantial introduction into the place and also showed me the network of related places. One that is of particular interest is the "Open Source Incubator" in the center of Rome led by Davide Gorini. It seems to me that there this institution carries very much resemblance to our Open Source - Open Business center in Kirchbach, Styria, and I hope that contacts will be established.

In the ground floor of the Inverso I met Davide Lamanna, who works with other people in a group called "Ingegneria Senza Frontiere (ISF) a name that is not easily translateable but everybody understands intuitively. These are people that work with all kinds of supportive technology, and in the Inverso they have a computer lab. I could not believe my eyes when I saw a very familiar picture, the same old configuration of a bunch of slow old Pentium-90 or even earlier PCs with two modern servers. Without even asking two much I told Davide Lamanna and his team that I think they were using discless clients. In fact this was an experiment that some Linux whizkid had performed years ago in the GIVE premises and that proved that with Linux and a network you could well bring old computers to life. This was the dream I had in mind to save our Cameroon project, but our wizzard at that time decided that he was not really going to continue support without getting substantially paid - one of the deeper wounds I have concerning Linux and free software. A year of work was wasted because there was nobody to take up the torch. Maybe I should have waited a bit before trashing the more than thirty old computers sitting idle in the Karolinenhof basement. The ISF people aptly call their project "Trashware" but they are wise enough not to ship old computers to Africa (the other burning issue of those days seven years ago, that burnt up more money than we all could afford. There was not enough local technical repair capacity! But thats a different story).

Rather they use them in local settings to bridge the digital divide. Maybe the knowledge could be shared and by that slowly capacity could evolve in Africa, too.

! Comments    

How do you evolve local capacity without shipping some (old or new or both) computers? Or you mean there's need to do more than that? There's a Linux User Group in Kenya. LucasGonzalez

When there is local support (and knowhow!) its OK to send computers. But we ran into a situation where there was not enough dedicated local support. FranzNahrada

Reading this I thought maybe the first network should or could be a network (walkie-talkie help-desk included) to help those who repair computers. (A bootstrapping pattern.) This could be done to feed from previous failures, i.e., places where there is already a number of unused computers. LucasGonzalez


Well, well, well. What a mess I really neglected my Blog.

OK, here it goes - I have to explain a little bit, and also I am trying to communicate something.

So: The last weeks and months have been busy with technical developments. I tried to gather some friends and visualize with them a concept for a place of learning that could really satisfy immediate needs here in the hotel and also long term needs of our work.

Should we call it "Learning Café", "Unity Center", "Video Bridge", "Piazza Telematica"? - there are many names:

So here is the concept:

We are build a prototype of a learning place that enables local circles to benefit from the potential of technology to enhance learning processes. The idea is to have a very flexible environment where people can sit in any distribution they like, turn the tables, small groups, teams, circles, cinema row, and use laptop computers; which is more supporting face-to face communication than fully fledged desktop computers with wires. The laptop computers are wirelessly connected by a WLAN, and a video server takes care of projecting images either from the participating computers or from other sources (DVD, streams).

The idea is to build everything on Linux and Open Source software, so that eventually costs are minimized and community improvement of software and hardware is always possible. The whole process of building and integrating this learning environment should be thoroughly documented, software configurations made available, hardware specifications and recommendations shared.We saw how important this is in our cooperation with Digital Opportunities Foundation Germany who are documenting and supporting non-profit internet cafs. The idea of networking such places and have them develop common standards comes with a lot of benefits:

  • a) there are standards you can follow and save time of experimenting, trial and error.
  • b) there are methodologies built on a certain environment that are easily applicable.
  • c) there is the possibility that local circles can connect to each other easier and on the base of those methodologies build more complex learning processes.
We want to constantly improve this common standards and have the community itself find the ways to use and augment the technology, while we are welcoming suppliers and support businesses to offer hardware and services under reasonable conditions. Since we want to apply this standard as widely as possible (and we know that the less things get "cyber" and the more the get "caf" the more we must include a lot of options for cultural variety) we welcome the installation and participation of learning places everywhere.

There is a common set of principles that we would like to share:

  • focus on the local development of a community, neighborhood, village, small region through formal and informal learning
  • focus on the development and expansion of open, improvable, public content that proves practically viable in ablities and copetences of people within a community., neighborhood, village, small region.
  • focus on tools and methods of synchronous telecooperation that have the best impact on using and improving this content.
  • focus on learning processes that also include the constant improvement of local social relations (and therefore favor the face2face approach we take)
There are a lot of technologies that we care about to support these principles:

  • any type of collective writing, idea-building, design, composition etc. supported by local and remote groupware, editing and authoring systems, content management tools, wikis, whiteboards, simulations, games etc.
  • any element that adds mobility, flexibility, adaption to the setting (for example making the videoconference equipment portable, so we can go to workshops, laboratories, special places, special people)
  • any element that adds quality and recognition in the process of remote communication, so we can even closely follow crafts or medical practises where they happen.
For the beginning, our project has two stages:

1. local collaboration tools and individual remote communication tools that can enhance local circles.

2. group communication tools that allow local circles at various places to follow a lecture, discuss and interact with each other.

generally, stage 1 will precede stage 2, but stage 2 is a great incentive to do stage 1. Eventually (with stage 2 fully implemented) , each participating place should be able to function as a "virtual college"and draw from the particaipatory resources of other places (e.g. a lecture or conference that can be transmitted)

This is a great opportunity for small educational places to enhance their offerings quickly. It has a positive and growth dynamics built in and it is a good entry point to "global villages" development in the local sense of the word.

! Comments    

Comment from Benoit:

Great news Franz. I had an idea when I saw (DVD, streams)

It concerns a technological development that I heard on a tv talk show with spokepersons from Sony and Toshiba, I believe is the other one. Both were representants in Quebec distribution for the 2 giants.

The conversation revolved around the next commercial war that the 2 are getting ready for. It will wipe out the DVD and bring on the new wave that they are manufacturing at the present time. They compared it to the war between beta and vhs. Sony and Toshiba are going to slug it out with the new product that will phase out the DVD.

Is there a possibility that Global Villages may benefit by taking on the lead to invite both of them, Sony and Toshiba, to contract out Minciu Sodas into building the Internet "boxing ring" to host them both to slug it out into an educational development that will serve to ground cyber space and local realities into the drive of socio-cultural healing, growth and adaptation? It would seem to be a logical venue to explore in the conjuncture of the official connectections that ERDE and RIC maintain toward a sustainable future.

The short and long terms point of attraction to which we invite the 2 of them, offer humanity the opportunity to demonstrate how to thechnologically proceed openly with a modelling movement of conflict prevention and resolution. It will define the circle of co-operation needed to keep competion within the boundaries in the sanctity and dignity of honourable sportsmanship. Such venture also provides a basis in reality to invite all authorities of all fields of expertise, to join in implementing the agreement of global human standard of civilisation.

Peace, Benoit

---> Benoit, I am really sorry but unless there is a real strong chain of Global Villages no one of the big guys will take us for serious. Also, these giants want to work with proprietory technology - and we want the Open Source community to take the lead in technology development. Of course there is a lot of attractive elements for businesses in what we do, but first we need to define the order parameters, develop and proof the pudding Franz

Hi this is from Markus Petz - I want to note that a perfect place to test such a concept and where it woudl probably be wlecomed is in the Council of Europe building in Budapest. Here lots fo different sessiosn are run with many diff groups as residentials - they do have soem equipment (PCs, mikes etc.) and also people can stay there to use this. I realise that this is effectively a youth base (I was running a youth conference called Sustainability and Solidarity), but the principles can be applied to more mobile settings. Dante G-M has also been there and seen the potential as a participant at this conference.

It would be worth approaching the guys there (esp. Goran??) to see if we can put stuff in there as an ISLE.

But ideally I like the idea if it works that we effectively have a portable road kit to take to any location much as journalists do when broadcasting. ta markus

---> OK, if it helps us in development. Again I would very much prefer a concept where the people active in GlobalVillages themselves would try to catalyze a local development near the place where they are anyway. I liked very much the idea of Andrius to install such a place right where he is living in the suburbs of Vilnius, in the basement of the youth club where he spends most of his time...


Greetings from Portugal. I am staying in this lovely mountain town and participating in the Grundtvig Contact Seminar "Adult Education and local development".

Also, I am meeting old friends here:

Jose Antonio Costa is both: a lover of Village life and a web wizard, his Village is Assentis and he is doing incredible things there and on his website which I consider pretty unique...for example a family tree information base to cherish relatish relations between people. I had only short time to talk to Jose but invited him to participate in Global Villages.

Comments on 10.11.2005    

Andrius: Hi Franz! I put up a logo for Global Villages because it was convenient to do so. It will be easy to replace, whenever you like.



Dear Globalvillagers,

I will be in Portugal (Sintra near Lisbon) from tomorrow until Sunday to take part in a GRUNDTVIG Contact Seminar enabling learning partnerships of adult education institutions around Europe.

The special subject of this Contact Seminar is "Adult Education and local development" and I think it is pretty much in line with what we tried to build up with ERDE.

I hope to establish contacts and promote the idea of ERDE as a network looking at innovative and fresh approaches for villages and regions.

I wrote the following letter:

"Dear all,

I am Franz Nahrada from Vienna Austria and I am as well sociologist and head of a research and educational institution named "GIVE - Globally Integrated Village Environment" (, - and I am also owner and director of a small hotel at the outskirts of Vienna. GIVE is doing targeted research in new local education institutions serving local communities through the strength of an emerging global Open Source education system (Wikipedia etc). Aside of that, we are interested in any aspect of the "village of the future" which might be socio-economical, architectural, ecological, technological.

Another Austrian who will participate in Sintra is my friend Arthur Spiegler, who is Senior Vice President of ECOVAST International, the European Council of Villages and Small Towns. ECOVAST was founded in 1984 as a volunteer organisation to promote sustainable development of rural area with special attention to cultural heritage and has members and national sections in 16 European contries. Arthur is geographer by profession and has been participating in the ERDE learning partnership, a meanwhile finished Grundtvig 2 project that I co-initiated 3 years ago.

ERDE means "European Rural Development by means of Education" and you can see an overview of our activities at - Our activities resulted in ERICA, a GRUNDTVIG 1 preproposal to professionalize the usage of the internet for adult educators who are coaching self-learners. This proposal was submitted recently and is now coordinated by the Foundation for Digital Opportunities in Bremen, Germany ( and was joined by many partners at the contact seminar in Bergen.

We have various ideas for new learning partnerships that we will bring to Sintra.

- Arthur is promoting the idea of collaboration with National Parks around Europe, to support the emergence of "Educational Villages" ("Learning Villages"). The idea is that National Parks are great environments to acquire knowledge and skills, they are not there just for preservation of landscapes&plants&animals, but also for humans to learn & interact with nature. While much is done for active learning with youth and children, more could be done in the sphere of adult education, especially when it comes to longer and more intensive stays. So this is intrinsically connected with tourism, and the shift in tourism from "fun" to "meaning" which is observed by leading experts. It would be good to see if some of you are on the same track and have existing or desired links to your national park systems.

- As for GIVE and me, we want to do research and development on integrated "places of access and learning" which support the life of people in remote regions, keeping young adults from migrating to cities. Our focus is on integration and density of learning opportunities and the ways global knowledge can be translated into local entrepreneurial opportunities for sustainable rural development. The village of the future is built around a vast knowledge base, partly local, partly global, which focuses entirely on improvement of quality of life, local division of labour, common goal - finding. The new wave of decentralisation and localisation combined with sharing knowledge and expending cooperatively can be a powerful tool to solve the crisis of our urban economies hopelessly plunged into schemes of meaningless competition (resulting in biased overproduction and joblessness). One special field we are working in is "regaining the strength of high tech self-providing" as laid out by Frithjof Bergmann in his book "New Work-New Culture".

In particular, we want to work with the newly founded European Rural University and with APURE, whose president Camilo Mortagua is Portuguese. Their focus is well beyond agriculture, it is enabling wholistic sustainable development and activating endogenous potential for rural areas as fully capable human habitat. We think that the "thinning" of rural areas can be met by "resourcing" between local educational institutions and global networks of knowledge sharing. How this "resourcing" works and what role ICT can play is the main focus of this our second intended learning partnership. We hope to consider all our projects as "pieces of a puzzle" supporting a renaiscance of rural regions around Europe.

Looking forward to meet you all in Portugal,

Franz and Arthur"

. 11.10.2005    

One month since my last entry. Too much to do and I also run a german blog in Dorfwiki (

I came about a link that looks VERY promising. Found it by accident but it could be a theoretical breakthrough for GlobalVillages:


Who wants to come to Vienna in December?

Read this call: GlobalVillages/Events


My contribution to this horrible anniversary is sitting and writing. I am grateful for the pressure and opportunity to present to an international meeting of students of architectural universities who gather for a month near the 10th architectural exhibition in the framework of the biennial (see to form a fringe event called URBS 2.

I am writing for my assignment to speak on 17th of September and I will fly there on 14th, Also meeting with our friend Giovanni Abrami from Padua. Look here and leave some notes on the discussion page!

I also have received lots of good emails this morning, from Frithjof Bergmann and from Jeff Buderer, and I want to answer them all keenly. I think Jeffs concern in reaction to my last entry deserves a lot of attention. He sent it out via the globalvillages group:

  • Franz, I checked out your wiki and couple of ideas came to my mind.
  • One is that people seem to struggling with their faith in humanity and civilization. I think this will only get worse as we are increasingly challenged by the consequences of our arrogance.
  • Another is that while you have created a blog in terms of the fact that the wiki is designed in a format that is chronological, it is not designed in typical weblog software format. It does not have full blog features. I would suggest that you actually create a blog using weblog software.
  • Finally I am reminded of the success of your hotel and realizing that you have many practical experiences from all that. Hospitality will be an important component of Global Villages. Your hotel is something very historical and special within Vienna and is based on cultural tourism. Might we consider something different but similar in relation to our vision and work. Ecotourism in its deepest forms is not just an process of showing people ecology but also offering an integrated experience of immersion in sustainable living in a built environment that is designed to complement local culture as well as ecology. So that is the real challenge for us to create something tangible and real from all this ICT talk and hype. I know people out there are doing it somewhere but I have yet to see real signs that it is being done anywhere in our network and that there is a strategy to replicate this success.
  • So I suggest that we design our hypothetical integrated ICT workspace to be a design tool to promote Chris Alexanders Pattern Language thinking as well as other similar concepts so that they can be used by sustainability field agents to promote sustainable development in practical and tangible ways in our everyday lives.
  • ''To cut to the chase Franz...I think we have an opportunity to take your experience in running your tourist business and develop a business plan for creating sustainability centers that would include a gift shop, resturant, hotel, tours, seminars, and long term stays (similar to Arcosanti). This would provide a portion of the revenue to sustain the
center and also eventually capital to provide financing to expand additonal centers. I see such actions as key to making our ideal visions of sustainability into practical everyday practices. What we now need is showplaces that show how it can be done.''

Lots to say to all these points. Grant me some time, Jeff, and I really hope that we find a way to meet.

Comments on 11.9.2005    

Andrius: Franz, it's great to follow your evolving work and relationships. Also, thank you for tending to the spam. I have written a Perl program which helped me find more of the spam hidden in the page history, I think that I have rooted it all out from our wikis. Here are the URLs that our wiki is pointing to as of today. Hopefully, that will help with our Google ranking. I also have thoughts on using our content from our letters.


A nice finding in Australia. I was googling for some images to introduce myself to a stranger when I found this one:

I was looking behind the story on the original site where it came from and I found an interesting man, ZdenekBusek, who stems from former Csechoslovakia and lives now in or near Melbourne. He shares his personal story with the world which is one thing that makes him a typical potential open leader Great Escape.htm

So I became even more interested. I have emotional ties with our families Czech past, I have spent a lot of my youth with the Czech elders of the Nahrada family, my uncle Adolf who was a hotel director, retired, they lived in Prague, and my aunt Vilma who went to be part of the first Czech mass tourist venture in Kupari, south of Dubrovnik. But that is all history, they are all gone, sometimes I want to go back to my roots and it is so close now (Our family stems from a small village named Vrzow - Wurzau - near Ceske Budejovice) , but there is no one to assist me and guide me.

So I took some time writing a mail to this friendly gentleman in Australia who was so friedly telling the story of my father whom he met on the refuge from Czechoslovakia. I also told him about FrithjofBergmann and [NewWork/Challenges New Work], because he is a [TheRealToolshed/CNC CNC] wizard, and I did not expect too much of an answer.

So when this friendly answer came I decided I have to share it and Zdenek gave me permission - here it is:

  • Dear Mr. Nahrada,
thank you for your interesting email, I have not absorbed everything from ityet, it led me to new areas, which I did not know they even exist but they are close to me and to the way I perceive this sometimes difficult world we live in.

I was looking at your Karolinenhof website - it is really nicely and professionally presented and the hotel itself is certainly growing bigger. I remember exactly the day when we came in (it was 3rd of July 1989), hot day, we were all thirsty and we sat in the reception or bar and drank lemonade and "talked" with your father as much as our German allowed us. There were few more people there, but I can't recall who they were. I remember that there were builders and your father was discussing something over the plans with them, apparently some renovation or extension, which you mentioned on the website. It was our first day in the "free world" and it was so much for us to absorb it. It is really pity and I am sorry that your father did not live to this day he could have remember us and it would be wonderful to say hello, it's us to whom you gave the first refuge in Austria. I have to say that during our 11 month in Austria we'd met only nice and friendly people and we were even contemplating the idea of stying there, because we got a status as "Annerkante Fluchtlinge" (not sure about spelling), which meant we could settle there. My wife's maiden name was Kunz, his grandfather was Austrian so we have some Austrian roots as well and for me German language would be much easier to learn than English. And with all the changes after the fall of Berlin Wall, we would feel as being at home.

There was however one thing I was not sure about - if we could ever blend with Austrian population. I felt it in Opponitz, a small village near Linz and Waidhoffen, where we made friends with a local family who were also involved in community and public life and the lady was a candidate for a position in local council, but she did not win the election. Her husband explained to us, that it was because she came from Vienna and for the local people she would always be a like foreigner. This is one difference from Australia, where 1/5 of population are ethnics and the rest came form somewhere or their parents or grand... unless they are Aboriginals. And the people here are constantly on the move - according to statistics, they move every five years, so the roots are not so deep in the "Grunt" and the communities are like fluid. On the other hand the life here is more in isolation, people know their nearest neigbourghs and that's it. Only if you are a church goer (which we are not) you meet people from the local parish. But this is life in Melbourne, it is different in the country, in an outback in the middle of nowhere in a town with several thousand people and with the nearest town about two hundred kilometres away - then people have to pull together. It is nicely described in the book from Bill Bryson "Down Under". Some Australians did not like it, but I think it is true. And with the economic situation being tougher it brings friction between people with different backgrounds and especially new migrants are unwelcome.

I think you would find here a lot of material for your research on Global Village and new way of life. I remember once I heard on the radio news that somebody funded a new project here in Australia - they were looking for volunteers to settle down in a land far north with no connection to outside world, with no modern technology and no services, just start like Pioneers with whatever tools they bring. But I never heard of it again, so I do not know how they succeeded.

The life here is more primitive than in Europe or America. It seems to me like a big village with wealthy peasants. People are not poor like beggars, the welfare system is still coping somehow, but the culture is not as developed as in Europe. For tourists or new settlers, coming from Europe and not knowing what to expect it is sometimes a shock what they find here. It took us more than 10 years to get used to it. Many people returned back home after few years and than they returned back to Australia - as you said - life is difficult in every corner on this planet now.

I was also looking on your other websites with Global Village initiative.

This is certainly an exciting project and I have to go through it once more to understand it better. I have been thinking a lot about how to survive as a mankind, I have changed my opinion on the western culture after 16 years of "live" experience as well. I am now opened to any philosophy whether it is Marx and Engels or Kant or Nietzsche. I think that this western culture got to a point where there is no outlook, it is like a dead end, no through road. The only way is way back or find something which will overcome the wall in front of us. It may be modern technology, especially IT, which will create new connections between people (as we are experiencing now) and which bring us to a new level of thinking and evaluating our lives. But I see the first problem in education. I was a teacher back in Czechoslovakia and I know how important education is for the future generations.

In this world of "money first", education is on the tail - it only drains resources. But it is investment in the future. If we do not invest, we can't expect results. And the lack of education or mistakes are very costly and hard to repair. I am always upset when talking with my in-law family, they are doctors and they look down on teachers. But, what is more important - to cure sick by giving them pills or drugs and the body will help itself anyway, or to teach hundreds of young healthy people and be responsible for their future life, for the road they choose, often based on our motivation we gave them, because teachers mould their minds. This culture (western) teaches us to be an individual and it cares about surviving of an individual. But we have to think about surviving as the whole mankind. Look on the animals, say rats - they can sacrifice they own kind to survive as whole group. I know this is rough theory and nobody would except it, but it does not mean that it is wrong, unless we find something better.

Well, it is much more on my mind and I hope we will have opportunity to discuss it more, I will be more than happy to help you as much as I can with your task of Global Village. But I work full time and besides I work at home on my software TheRealToolshed/CNCOffsetCalculator - it is my back door just in case I lost my job (as easy as one, two, three), it is my dream to become an independent developer. (It is easier to write software than to sell it.)

And one more thing I would like to ask you - could you please call me Zdenek, formal makes me feel too old.

Best Regards, Zdenek

Comment on 7.9.2005    

Andrius: Franz, what an interesting connection! and a great use of image search.


Not so very much action here in the Wiki, because from my side I invest a lot of time in the small Austrian brother, the Dorfwiki. (Village Wiki, In the meantime we founded the Research Network for Global Villages and held the founding meeting in [GlobalVillages/Kirchbach Kirchbach] - stay tuned!


It has been quite a time here, coming back from Germany and struggling with daily business. But we had wonderful days out of time last weekend. We went to Loschberg in Waldviertel where Sabine Knoll has maintained a Seminar Place ( Look at the beautiful images! This was also the location where the former School of Peace used to dream of the world peace village, maybe the ultimate sustainable habitat demonstration project that was ever conceived. The good news: it is very compatible with the landscape. The bad news: The suggested site is still in use for military purpose, although the whole region was stolen from the farmers by Adolf Hitler.(I met people from families who complained they never saw one Reichs - Mark). Roumour has it that Hitler wanted to eradicate his "Old Homestead". A very good metaphor: war and agression grow on the ground of people not being able to stand themselves....

Will we ever see a peace village there, where the second world war was trained and Austria hosted the army of the Third Reich?


I am making good progress on the RIC Brochure or Booklet and I think those mini-articles are very good starting points to deepening aspects that we all are concerned with. I just struggle with the idea of coaching, and I am not really satisfied with the result yet. See chapter six of the RIC Brochure:

"One might argue that with the advent of seaching machines like Google, with the availability of all those networking entities and support mechanisms described in the previous chapter the role of a person whose primary function is to actively support self-learners is of minor importance.

There are great self-learn tools on the internet, there is a host of support and guidance available, but all these carry with them the tendency to disrupt and devaluate personal encounters."

so I am struggling to describe Functions of Coaching:

  • help us understand the range of possible strategies to achieve a goal
  • help us to find shortcuts and make us aware of blindness and blockage
  • mediating us with people who could leverage our goals
  • facilitate group learning
Intuitively I feel that is of some importance but I would appreciate some good wording here. I imagine that people that synergize the potential of connected people in a local community will have a great deal of impact.


Currently I am away from home again, in Germany. I am staying at my friend Anneroses house in a little village in Hunsrueck. And guess what, even here I am confronted with urgent necessities to promote Global Villages ideas.

A crazy and unsustainable touristical project is planned to eat up 47 hectars of beautiful landscape in the immediate neighborhood. They want to build an artificial mountain of 65 m height with an indoor skiing hall, wasting 170 Million Euro. The project is prone to fail, but many locals are so desparate about the economy, they hail the investor. If the project is realised, it will be a typical case of corporate destructiveness.

Please look at the presentation of the project in German

fortunately, a local citizens group has formed to fight the project, with filmmaker Edgar Reitz ("Heimat") as prime advocate. Here is the citizens group website:

I am thinking of contacting some of the activists and propose global villages schemes instead. It is great we just had the subject of rural tourism at the ERDE meeting in Lithuania.

NOTE: the community council finally rejected the proposal in September. So I am looking forward to q quiet time in Hunsrueck; but with much community evoced though the happenings.


Returning from a trip from Lithuania. All in all, it was very educational. And very soothing. In a way, it made me feel many things that we have lost. Feels like Austria before it was economically invaded and globalized. I saw many services that we do not know any more. I ate food that tasted really natural. and so on. A certain sense of good life, of cultivation, of aspiration everywhere. Like the atmosphere that Austria had in the seventies - before we became a country of saturation and subtle monopolies. Of course I also saw depression, poverty. And I know that every history is different. The way people deal with Soviet past seems very traumatic. And not always rational. The dismantling of collective farms for example. It made agriculture go back dramatically. We saw lots of unused land.

One reaction to this is a widespread feeling that village life in traditional ways might be something very valuable. Lots of engagement for ethnographic work, folk art, cultural roots. I missed the balance with future orientation and innovation some times.

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