Hack.Solar(): Open Source Solar Technology Hackathon

Please consider donating to my crowdfunding campaign described in this YouTube video.  The goal is to use the trip to Lakota Solar Enterprises as a catalyst to learn the skills necessary to start the Hack.Solar() open source solar technology network.

I attended the largest open source programming conference in the world this past February 22-24 called Hack.Summit().  Visit their site here to watch all the talks from the virtual event.

Now, I am going to host a similar virtual event for solar energy production via local community efforts in an effort called Hack.Solar().  Using CrowdCast.io and Google Hangouts we will assemble a virtual event with solar hackers from around the world.  One virtual event uniting humanity to find sustainable, affordable, and local solutions to climate change.

Open Source Solar Technology for everyone!

Helping Lakota Solar Enterprises in the Pine Ridge Reservation


I am a chemist passionate about social and technical solutions to climate change originally from Atlanta, Georgia, USA. I am raising money so I can travel to the Pine Ridge Reservation in Pine Ridge, South Dakota and volunteer my time to help Lakota Solar Enterprises. Lakota Solar Enterprises is a 100% native-owned and operated social enterprise founded by Henry Red Cloud of the Oglala Sioux Tribe that seeks to help tribes achieve energy sovereignty. Lakota Solar Enterprises uniquely considers the social, ecological, and economic consequences of technology, providing a model of how sustainable businesses can be run. Any money I do not use for logistics (transportation, food, and shelter) in my volunteering will be donated to Lakota Solar Enterprises for their continued work sharing solar energy with First Nation peoples.

Many Native American communities across the United States face high unemployment rates – some as high as 80% – and few business opportunities exist for individuals interested in starting their own companies. Lakota Solar Enterprises empowers Native American students to embark on green business entrepreneurship by helping them create workable business plans and job training in solar heating, sustainable agriculture, and earth-friendly home construction. In this process, Lakota Solar Enterprises stimulates Native American economic growth while simultaneously reestablishing connection to the natural environment leading to long term cultural growth.

Over time, I have grown aware of the environmental consequences of my own American middle class lifestyle. The carbon emissions emitted due to my lifestyle have a direct impact on nature due to their impact on climate change induced ecological disruption. In my volunteering efforts, I hope to learn a new way of living that shifts my own behaviors towards minimizing my own carbon footprint and investigates the social factors necessary for inspiring others to take concerted and collective action to address climate change. During the process of volunteering with Lakota Solar Enterprises, I will keep a detailed online journal that captures with as much detail as possible the core principles taught to me by Lakota Solar Enterprises and my fellow students necessary for economically sustainable living that is harmony with earth.

Long-Term Impact
So many people want to help find climate change solutions but do not have the time, or have their own families to look after. I can make the time to help, and with your help I will. Support me in my desire to serve as a bridge to a new future of cooperation around the issue of providing solutions to climate change. As we all share earth, coming together across cultures and ways of life is an important first step to providing a future that following generations can thrive in. I promise to communicate diligently what I do and learn to you in regular updates.

Thank you!
– Kaya Erbil

About kayaerbil

I am a Berkeley educated chemistry Ph.D. who is moving into the area of working on developing appropriate technology for communities that are subjected to socio-economic oppression. The goal is to use simple and effective designs to empower people to live better lives. Currently, I am working with Native Americans on Pine Ridge, the Lakota reservation in South Dakota. I am working with a Native owned and run solar energy company. We are currently working on building a compressed earth block (CEB) house that showcases many of the technologies that the company has developed. The CEB house is made of locally derived resources, earth from the reservation. The blocks are naturally thermally insulating, keeping the house cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Eventually, a solar air heater and photovoltaic panels will be installed into the house to power the home and keep it warm, while preserving the house off the grid. A side project while in Pine Ridge is a solar computer. I hope to learn about blockchain encryption software for building microgrids. In addition, it is an immediate interest of mine to involve local youth in technology education.
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