POC21 WOW-Stories: SunZilla

As the camp launch date is getting closer, the stress levels are rising. There are still questions to answer and problems to be solved. But we are also making big steps forward, and there are quite a few success stories happening around POC21 nowadays, that give us huge motivation to continue. One of them we would like to share with you today.

 In December 2014 we organized a pre-POC21 event in Berlin called Open Energy Micro Camp (you can find more info about it here or in this little video recap ). The Micro Camp brought together some interesting open source projects. One of those projects was SunZilla, that is now taking part on the POC21. In 2014, the project team just managed to build their very first prototype. Now, in July 2015, they just finished the new one and made a tremendous step forward.

To make it more visual for you, here are a few pictures of the first SunZilla prototype:

And here is what SunZilla looks like now:

The progress is just astonishing! We had a short interview with one of SunZilla co-developers Laurin Vierrath: 

POC21: When did you start working on this project?

Laurin Vierrath: We are a part of a non-profit organization in Berlin called Bootschaft, that organizes open air events in Berlin. During those events, we would always end up using diesel generators, that are normally quite loud, require a lot of maintenance and pollute the environment.  So we though about creating a “clean” alternative, that would use solar energy and could be easily installed by anyone. This is how the idea for SunZilla project was born.  In 2014 we made the first prototype and used it during one of our events. Some of the POC21 team members happened to be there and liked the project, so we got invited to the Open Energy Micro Camp.

POC21: What did the Open Energy Camp bring to your project?

LV: We liked the multidisciplinary concept: the Camp brought together people from different areas of expertise, that helped us view the project from completely different sides. It was great to have designers on board and exchange ideas on how to make the prototype more attractive and user-friendly. When you work on something for so long, you sometimes get stuck on certain issues. So having people from the „outside“ look at it also meant a lot. They had a fresh perspective and we enjoyed getting their input.

POC21: The progress you have made so far is impressive. But are there still any challenges left? What exactly would you like to achieve during POC21?

LV: One of the main areas of focus for us right now is increasing usability, to make sure that people without any in-depth engineer knowledge can easily use the product. Another important thing we would like to achieve is adding a display to the prototype, to increase the clarity and add a more „visual“ side to it. Usually people don’t think too much about electricity, it sort of comes "infinitely" from the power outlet. So most of the time we have no knowledge whatsoever about how much electricity is being consumed at the given moment. We want to bring this knowledge to the individuals, creating a personal usage profile. Visualizing how much energy comes from the sun and is being consumed by the users can also be a good demonstration for the possibilities of solar power.

POC21: One last question: why open source?

LV: First of all, because it’s cool. There are so many ideas worth spreading and it feels good to be a part of this sharing process. After all, it’s important to understand that what we are doing is no rocket science. We make things from ordinary materials, that we simply put together in a different way. Making this ideas public and giving people the power to know that it is possible for everyone to do something for a more sustainable future is important for us.

We at POC21 are very excited to see SunZilla and the rest of our projects further develop during the camp. The getting real, folks! #letsgo

Friday Digest #2


This has been an awesome week for life in our solar system. As you have probably heard photographs of Pluto taken by New Horizon show “ice mountains…about as high as the Rockies” and the lack of impact craters indicate that the dwarf planet has an active geology. Pluto to this day could very well be sculpting its surface and even sustaining life with the heat from its core. Multiple ingredients for life right there on a planet erstwhile thought inhospitable. Take a look at these fascinating articles! Also see an unrelated robot space squid.

Back on planet earth the greening of cities has begun. In Milan a five hectare wheatfield thrived in a valley of skyscrapers. The vision of Agnes Denes, an American artist who has brought a harvest to New York City as well, the wheatfield featured odisseo seed and no agricultural sprays. On 9 July locals and visitors reaped the rewards: “everyone taking home a bundle of wheat and a bag of the seeds that were used to cultivate the plot. With this gesture, Denes seeks the opportunity to ask that we ‘plant seeds for the future generations to harvest.”

From the field you can see the Bosco Verticale designed by Stefano Boeri. This residential skyscraper “will host 900 trees (each measuring 3, 6 or 9 meters tall) and over 2000 plants from a wide range of shrubs and floral plants that are distributed in relation to the façade’s position to towards the sun.” And with plants and trees comes birds and pollinators. This construction contributes to the biodiversity and beauty of the city. For more info on these evolving developments see the articles at designboom.com, www.stefanoboeriarchitetti.net and cerealslok.sk

This may be too depressing to include but if you were looking for more articles



Daniel Kruse: Storyteller, campaign expert, co-founder of Wigwam responsible agency and OpenState, with a track record ranging from WWF to Amnesty International or Ben & Jerry’s.

How are you involved in POC21 ?
I´m co-founder of the Berlin team and thus of POC21 and meanwhile I really ask myself: „Hell, how could I get into such a mess of work again?!“. No, seriously: Back in 2011 Dominik, Simon and me were searching for more profound, going-to-the-roots answers on climate change, biodiversity loss and the overall destruction of our habitat, caused by our ill-fated modes of consumerism and commerce. And with a lot of persistence we´re here today and this thing we dreamt of is just one month away and sooo many more people have joined us on the road. That´s just awesome and I´m excited what we´ll all collectively come up with!

What future would you like to achieve with the project? 
I really value freedom in my life and I would love to see much more people create their own creative freedom, not being stuck in shitty jobs they once believed were good for them or being constantly blocked in their potential by their environment or own mindfucks. There is SOOO much more we can achieve together once we start believing in our own power. I hope in this little social experiment we´ll bring participants into their full potential and joy to create and liberating themselves to do what they were born for. Oh yeah, and let´s have lot of good red wine and French cheese, too.

What are you most afraid of during POC21?
Mostly being too stressed out, yelling at people and being imbalanced due to the high workload. Well, I actually wouldn´t yell, I´d rather walk in the woods and plug myself out 😉 No, actually, I do not believe much can go wrong with such a great mix of people. Every fight, tear, scream, hug, kiss and innovative techie breakthrough will happen for a reason, let´s enjoy all that to the fullest.

Stay connected: @dkomm

Neon orange is the new black

Preparing the press conference is a lot of work. But it can also become an exciting adventure. Like, when you have to spray 50 goody-bags for journalists with the POC21 logo (because we are all about DIY, remember?). Thankfully, we have an amazing design-guru Mariona on board, who came up with a plan and a stencil. So we got some of our wonderful Facebook fans to come over and help, and here is what came out of it:

Friday Digest

Introducing the new blog rubric - Friday Digest - where we want to share some interesting news around the POC21 topics and the scoop of the weekly news. Here is what caught our attention this week:

China is getting more environmentally aware. Right about time!

Just this past week China pledged to half its Greenhouse Gas emissions (60 to 65% reduction from the 2005 levels) by 2030. China plans to replace coal and carbon intensive industrial processes with renewables such as wind and solar and ''to achieve the peaking of carbon dioxide emissions around 2030 and making best efforts to peak early. China also calls for "improving energy efficiency of building and the quality of building construction, extending buildings’ life spans, intensifying energy conservation transformation for existing buildings, building energy-saving and low-carbon infrastructures..."

US + Brazil // Vatican + Naomi Klein

The United States and Brazil have issues a Joint Statement on Climate Change that promises restoration of forests and curbed emissions. According to the joint statement "Brazil intends to restore and reforest 12 million hectares of forests by 2030" and the nations intend "to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy to help power our economies...each intend to increase the share of renewables – beyond hydropower – in their respective electricity generation mixes to the level of 20% by 2030." Meanwhile, Vatican teams up with Naomi Klein to tackle climate change. “The fact that they invited me indicates they’re not backing down from the fight” says Klein. Pope Francis has been paying a lot of attention to the climate change issues lately. Can't relay on God all the time to save us, right? Its about time to take action in our own hands.

Something worth sharing

Citizens like Boyan Slat and the team at Vortex Bladeless have developed game changing technologies that thanks to instantaneous global connectivity and the empowerment of crowdfunding are now being put into practice. Definitely take a look at these projects: Vortex Bladeless and The Ocean Cleanup

We hope you enjoyed it! And remember: no matter what happens…



Please note: this job offer only exists in French language.

Nous recherchons un super chef de cuisine qui va nous sauver de la faim! 😉
POC21, c’est quoi?
POC21 est un camp dédié au développement en open source de projets éthiques et innovants.
Pendant 5 semaines, les porteurs de 12 projets seront accompagnés dans le développement de leurs idées par des ingénieurs, scientifiques, entrepreneurs, geeks…
Le poste consiste à penser, produire et servir l’ensemble des repas des organisateurs et participants au camp : entre 70 et 100 personnes en fonction des services et des périodes.

OU?   Millemont, 78, Ile-de-France, France
QUAND?  Du 1er Août au 30 septembre 2015

• Créer les menus pour toute la durée du camp, son installation et son démontage
• Gérer les approvisionnements
• Gérer la production
• Superviser les bénévoles – non professionnels – dédiés à la cuisine
• Gérer le tri des bio-déchets
• Garantir le respect des normes en matière d’hygiène et de sécurité
• Garantir le respect des locaux et du matériel mis à disposition
• Participer à la plonge
• Équipe de 4 bénévoles pouvant changer d’une semaine sur l’autre (2 permanents pour au moins 1 semaine, 2 qui vont tourner parmi les résidents)
• Locaux non professionnels
• Format de service en buffet principalement
• Nécessité de prendre en considération le rythme du camp
• Logé, nourri, blanchi
• 2 jours de congés par semaine
• Maitrise des techniques culinaires
• Maitrise des coûts
• Maitrise des normes HACCP
• Compétences organisationnelles et managériales
• Anglais nécessaire
• Permis B et véhicule serait un plus
Pas d’expérience minimum imposée
Les + :
• Connaître le milieu du traiteur
• Avoir déjà été en position de décisionnaire
• Avoir l’expérience du nombre
• Connaître le monde associatif
Organisation, créativité, réactivité, adaptabilité, convivialité, leadership, sensibilité au développement durable
En fonction de l’expérience

Perrine Wardack  –  perrine.wardak@wdk-conseil.com


If you only had 90 seconds to explain what is open source, here is what you could say:



BTW: this artwork is licensed under creative commons with cc.ascribe.io. Creative Commons France inaugurated the launch of the new website with a new tool that unlocks the value of the bitcoin blockchain for the benefit of the Free Culture movement. ascribe enables creators to share their CC-licensed work without worry of loss of attribution. So this tool supports copyleft through the Blockchain.

Cats, nerds and other fortunate events

A quick photo-review on the POC21 team reunion and monthly working session in Paris (June 16th - June 19th).

Working on POC21 is an exciting journey, but it can also be challenging at times. One of the most complicated issues is having a team that is spread between two countries - France and Germany – and trying to come up with the most efficent and transparent work flow, regardless the distance. Which is why it's important for us to bring the team together in one (happy) place every once in a while, in order to work through the most urgent and complicated issues. Of which there is enough, now that the camp launch date is getting closer.

The work started already at the airport and continued at the wonderful Chateau Miellemont : a fabulous castle near Paris that will host POC21 camp participants.

After a quick tour around the castle, we all sat down to discuss the most urgent topics in logistics, communications and overall camp organization.

Every once in a while, a friendly horse would come along, but it could not interrupt the overall concentration.

After hours of productive talks and creative discussions, we managed to work out most of the agenda issues. Proud, but tired, we we slowly wrapping up. Some of us used yoga to relax, others just fell asleep on the train to Paris. 

The remaining two days we worked together in the spasious and wonderfully green co-working space Volumes Paris. One of the many amazing features of Volumes: there are two ungodly sweet kittens living there. Good for the overall calm atmosphere and cuteness overload at the same time. 

The hard work continued in working groups and evening briefings. Issues were figured out and problems were solved. Everyone was excited about the progress. Some team members even broke out into spontaneous dancing. 

And obviously, since we are not robots, we had fun in between. Co-eating and co-joking and just nerding around.

To round it up: a ton of work has been done, and there is a lot more to come. But we stay calm and carry on preparing the sexiest project of the year. 

Meet The Team: Three Questions to Emmanuelle Pometan


Emmanuelle Pometan: Founder of the Press Office Emmapom.com and communications agency The Agency New Business.

Why are you involved in POC21?

POC21 is the perfect example of the new ways to solve current social challenges. Horizontal organization, co-creativity, autonomy of low-impact research, open source for leverage. I think this is the intiative that should be the megaphone for the media to talk to as many people as possible.

What future would you like to create with open source?

A society where individuals are autonomous in their everyday life, with a minimum negative impact on the environment, and with the minimum distribution of power by authorities.

What is the coolest thing you have done in life so far?

I am very proud that I have found my own power to co-create.

Job Offer: Graphic Designer


Full time for 8-12 Weeks

Open State / Poc21 is looking for a Berlin-based graphic designer, starting date is NOW. Join our international, high energy team realizing POC21, an innovation camp of five weeks starting august 15 and feat. 100+ makers, designers and social innovators. This role requires a highly autonomous, reliable and organized individual interested in working in a dynamic and fast-paced environment.

In the role of the visual creative you will co-create and produce the overall visual design of the camp communication and prepare the on-site design together with our art director. You will join a team of creative professionals who are also involved in the creative agencies 10hoch16 and Wigwam and are used to lean conception processes and fast production methods. The overall mission of this 8 to 12 week engagement is the development and implementation of a charismatic, practical and scalable graphic design which will be rolled out mostly digital and on site. You are able to think fast and handle the usual design tools from screen to print to object. As this is an international project  you are able to coordinate in german, english, and maybe french

You´ll enjoy lots of freedom for your own ideas and will work with a vibrant team of idealists all around Europe. Your working place is Berlin, office times and attendance are flexible though.

Your job tasks include:

  • Build upon an existing raw design concept and develop it to become a complete visual system with lots of applications
  • Implement the concept in screendesigns, basic print products, social media footage, motion design assets and still to be defined elements of communication material
  • Extend the poc21 website, produce printed matter, supply social media, create objects like shirts, toys & tools
  • Bring the design concept into the camp as offline elements that integrate with architecture, nature and furniture
  • Prepare the design assets to be truly open source. This includes good documentation and structure
  • Work with a co-creative team where concepts are fluid and grow with time. 

Your skills include:

  • Creative education, preferably a creative university degree
  • Knowledge in creative conception and working with design teams
  • Ideation: brainstorming, drafting, scribbling, prototyping
  • Screendesign: fast and stable screendesigns, (Sketch app preferred but Adobe is okay :), basic coding abilities are a plus
  • Print: ability to prepare and handle print jobs up to production
  • Product design experience is a plus
  • 3D experience is a plus
  • Motion design experience is a plus

Please do not hesitate to apply if you´re missing one of the skills or can offer a lot more – we´re mostly interested in people who are enthusiastic about our mission and fun to work with. We can currently provide a monthly payment of 1250€ plus VAT and you´ll work full or part-time according to your needs, wants and experience.

Ready to join an extraordinary endeavor? Go send us your CV and a short „mail of motivation” to max@poc21.cc – we´re looking forward to your application and get back to you asap!