Who are we? I want to know the people behind the names :-)

Hei everyone!

We are all working together, but sometimes it feels strange, because we discuss online, we build together, we share thoughts on this forum, but I have never seen you, and I don’t know who you are!
That’s the hard part about working with people in Australia, UK, South Africa, Norway, USA… :sunny:

So please, take 3 minutes to write a few words about yourself, where you are based, what is the area you are contributing in for OFN, and why you are so passionate about Open Food Network :heart_eyes:

I start then!

My name is Myriam, I am french but I leave in Norway, Oslo. I wanted to do something meaningful when I moved to Norway, so I started working on a buying club project in Oslo. But we needed a platform to operate… that’s how we discovered Open Food Network, and found in love with it with @CynthiaReynolds. It was not only answering our needs for our projects, but also enabling more projects like us to start and operate, so that we can all together have a greater impact. So we decided to create a non-profit in Norway, Altfirem (http://altifrem.org) to support the implementation of OFN in Scandinavia :smile: So we are basically initiating the project in Scandinavia, building the community locally, the organization, etc. I don’t know anything about coding unfortunately.

Personnaly I’m also highly involved in OuiShare (www.ouishare.net). I’m passionate about collaborative economy, and how we can reinvent the paradigms of our society. I’m building the community in Oslo, and I’m part of the OuiCare project, which is about the “personal transition” that goes hand in hand with reinventing organizations :slight_smile:

Before all that… I studied business administration, and I graduated in social entrepreneurship in 2007. I’ve been working for 6 years in a University in France, Normandy, as project developer & communication manager. I built transversal projects on sustainable development, and on the promotion of the entrepreneurship spirit, because I’m fed up with people complaining and waiting for other people/politicians to solve their problems. Stop “We should…” and start “Let’s”, let’s be the change you want to see in the world!

I’m not sure about how to tag everyone in Discourse… so I’ll start with some people, and please invite more people to introduce themselves at the end of your answer :slight_smile: @openfoodnetwork @serenity @summerscope @RohanM @pmackay @CynthiaReynolds @NickWeir @lawrence


Hi everyone, I just found this topic so I thought I’d add a little bit about me and keep the conversation going!

I’m Danielle, though I get called Danni (and feel free to do the same!). Not to confuse me with @danielle_zamarchi, the other Danielle working out of the OFN Melbourne office (Hi other Dani :wave: ).

I was born and bred in Melbourne though my mother immigrated from Italy when she was 6…so I talk with my hands a lot and can do marvellous things in the kitchen with tomatoes.

The last few years I’ve become more and more focused on local and sustainable food systems, mostly as a consumer with a desire to grow a little of what I eat in my own backyard alongside of making smart decisions about what I buy and who I buy it from. I finished a masters degree in Environment and Urban Design/Planning last year, and I’ve also done Permaculture design and Urban Farming courses to try and do some practical learning in amongst all the academic study.

Most of my working life up to this point has been spent doing all things digital and web (design, front end dev, business analysis, project management, product development and management, agile iteration management, content and digital strategy, UX, etc etc.) for a really really long time now (16 or so years, time sure does fly by). I decided a couple of years ago that I didn’t want to spend most of my time and brain capacity doing this kind of work for ‘normal’ companies who were solely focused on their bottom line and didn’t have ethics and sustainability and positive change at the heart of what they did. So I quit my ladder climbing job, spent some time in a regenerated forest in Indonesia, and then came back to figure out a new path here in Melbourne.

It was through friends of mine that I heard about OFN and the crowdfunding campaign they were running. I contributed a little bit of cash and came along to the celebration at the end of the campaign. I didn’t actually get involved with the team until this year when I decided to volunteer a few hours every week or so helping out with anything and everything that I could. This has involved to date some information management stuff, roadmap planning, copywriting, and anything else that has hopefully helped take some stuff of Serenity/Kirsten/Sally’s already full schedules. The team are wonderful, the vision of where to take this thing is inspiring, and I’m proud to be able to offer my time and brain capacity to something that matters so much.

I also work for a small software company a few days a week to help pay the bills. And do a little community consultation and facilitation work for urban design projects occasionally.

It’s a pleasure to meet you all :smile:


Nice to meet you @danielle, and I’m looking forward to meeting you “virtually for real” in the next community HO :slight_smile:

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Hello Everyone,
I’m Eric Bowen. I’ve been working on farms and studying soil and food systems for about 10 years. At 29 years young currently, I guess you could call that my whole adult life. :slight_smile:

I’m from Hickory, North Carolina in the Foothills of Appalachia (App-uhh-lah-CHUH not app-uh-lay-shuh), where Southern US culture meets Appalachian culture. So I grew up going to the mountains about once a month when I was a kid in Boy Scouts.

I got into food in college through Food Not Bombs, a group that dumpster dives to divert food waste and help feed people. Over the years I’ve moved gradually further toward the supply side, studying agroecology (a scientific approach to sustainable farming) at NC State University, a master’s degree in Soil science and systems ecology (Colorado State University). I went on to try my hand at running a teaching farm in Athens, Georgia. The landowners had slightly different goals from me and Athens didn’t have a lot of opportunities for a scientist/science communicator like my partner at the time. But I did learn about athens.locallygrown.net an online farmers market. I loved the platform.

I moved away to Durham, NC (back near Raleigh/NC State/Red Hat) and started durham.locallygrown.net/goMarket and didn’t have quick success. It’s hard to be sure, but based on the number of hits I was getting, I think it hurt my business that the website design wasn’t very snappy.

I’ve been an open source fan for a long time and found Open Food *Web right as I got started but it wasn’t quite what I needed and I’m not tech savvy like I was at my Science and Math public/magnet/boarding school (NCSSM). I’ve done a little networking at open source conferences on behalf of the Open Food Foundation and a little bit of blogging and social media. Nothing major, but I care about this project.

Now, I think I’m in a great position to get something up and running. I’ve been leaning towards a buying club style arrangement like Athens Locally Grown because it makes sense to connect beginning farmers with retail prices. But for the first time ever, people now eat out more than they cook at home. So figuring out how to connect farmers to restaurants might be a better place to focus my efforts.

That’s a bit about me I guess!


Wahou, nice to meeting you @eric! There might be interesting connections with @lisekvan who is a chef and also willing to connect farmer with restaurants :slight_smile: @Lise, do you want to introduce you?

Hello everybody,

I’m Gilles Nollet.
I’m interested by the OFN project. I’m an IT Architect in french company, I setup web architecture to host different type of website (CMS, e-commerce, …) in opensource technology.
My mother and a brother have each other a bio farm, and I would like to help them to promote their products to local customers. They produce vegetables.
I would like to deploy the OFN project to help small farmer to sell or just to list the type of product they have and then to to thelp them to developp their local market. The customers could be restaurant, small shops or local people.
I expect to mount a test platform in coming weeks and check with my familly if the solution could be used easilly.



Hi everyone,
some of you already met me on the global connection HO yesterday, but I’d like to introduce myself here in more detail, as I’m a newcomer to this part of the OFN world.

My name is Anselm Ibing, I grew up in Germany and have always been a lover of nature (hiking, mountains, camping trips with the scouts, climbing trees etc).
I studied International Relations and Arabic in Scotland and moved to the Middle East (Egypt, then Jordan for 5 years), where I did a masters in Integrated Water Management and worked as an environmental activist, consultant and entrepreneur.
It was through working in waste management and recycling in Jordan and doing a Permaculture Design course that I got interested in local food systems, like CSAs. I realised that most of household waste is food packaging and the only systems that provide food without packaging (apart from your own garden) are local markets and CSA-type systems. So I began to set up Jordan’s first CSA, but then had to leave the country during the Arab Spring and moved to France (I had just fallen in love with a wonderful French lady!), where I ended up running a Paris-based CSA project with 200 veggies-boxes delivered per week for almost two years. It’s called Marche sur l’Eau and originally used a boat to bring food into Paris, but it turned out to have a higher carbon footprint (despite being more expensive at the scale we were at) and so we went back to a truck. We worked with 15 farmers just outside Paris (4 on a weekly basis, the others less regular, mostly for non-perishable products). I learned a hell of a lot in that time and created a great network around local food in France. And you have to know: the French LOVE their food!! :smile:

Last year I met Kirsten & Serenity at the OuiShare fest, where we spoke on the same panel about collaborative food systems. I also had a chance to host them for a few nights, to share a meal or two and to rock the empty ouishare-dancefloor with them! :wink: I was very impressed by OFN and contributed to the crowdfunding campaign, but the idea to help bring OFN to France one day had already begun to take root in my mind. Now I’ve handed over my job at the Paris project to my colleague and am looking forward to getting involved more concretely in OFN. I think there’s a great potential in France, but also in quite a few other European countries and we’ll certainly start putting the word out through our networks.
There’s an online platform that is having great success in France and that’s expanding in Europe called The Food Assembly. They’re not opensource, but we want to take a cooperation not competition approach with them and are already in touch with the founders.

All right - that’s all from me - already quite a bit. Very much looking forward to working with you all!

BTW - I still climb trees at age 32… I even did this morning, to get an apricot for my morning muesli! :wink:


Hi everyone,
A little about myself. Born and raised in Montreal, Canada with what used to be quite honestly, the rudest carbon footprint possible. Ignorance was bliss, or so I thought!
I moved to Norway 15 years ago to be the the man of my dreams, and life is drastically different, and I have learned so much. We live in a small community (pop 17000) on a peninsula across the fjord from Oslo. I am active in my community, having helped establish a CSA farm, arranging courses in permaculture, preserving, fermenting, felting and introduce many of these topics to school children… I sell homemade goodness at the local farmers market, and have bees and hens in our garden.

Food is central in our lives, and our family makes most of our food from scratch, purchasing local whenever possible. Last year, when we purchased half a pig (65kg) from a local farmer, I was disheartened to see that when picking it up, the parking lot at the farm was just a sea of high end vehicles. The reality that sourcing local, responsibly raised, quality food has become a luxury… this led me down the garden path to the OFN and founding Altifrem.org with @MyriamBoure to provide the platform for communities all over Scandinavia.

Locally, I am working to create an online portal for a sustainable lifestyle by making it more accessible to the average family who do not have the time or resources to find out how to take the steps they want to take. With information on everything from foraging (courses, safety issues, hotlines to find out if the mussels are edible or if the mushrooms are safe…) to links to groups for fishing, hunting even where you can borrow camping equipment for free, everthing anyone wants to know about a greener, more active life. The goal being that we will be the ‘go-to’ place to find out what you need to know, and on everypage you are only one click away from buying off the OFN :wink:

Our local business model is still being refined, but our goal is clear. We are going to establish a fund in our community. We plan on using the fundraising fee on OFN, 2.5% of the transactions through our hub will go straight to a fund that once established, will be used to reinvest in local sustainable projects and managed by a board of directors who have strong community links. We want to build up our local economy, by providing farmers with the chance to make a living doing what they are doing, and encouraging hobby/small time producers to grow their business. We know that in order to get the critical mass required to survive, we need a significant portion of local households to participate, hence the portal with a wealth of information, all free… We need to make buying via the OFN an easy thing for everyone to do.

Globally, I am hoping to be able to contribute to the OFN toolkit. Helping farmers, hubs, and communities make the transition easier. I am also keen on building the funding database and would love to find mobility funding to enable face to face OFN meetups . Once our local portal launches (soon I hope!) I will have more time to dedicate here - have been a little focused with my blinders on of late.

Skill wise, I have a broad background both technically and artistically, and have a love for learning just about anything. I have also been blogging for years, sharing information is something I love :slight_smile: you can find my blog here.


Hello Everyone!

I am new to OFN, and after some brief introductory discussions about possible US instances with @Kirsten, @eric, @Selmo, and @MikeiLL I’ve been encouraged to join the forums to collaborate. :slight_smile: Seems natural to begin by posting an introduction here.

I was raised in the opposite end of the Applachian Mountains from @eric, growing up in the “Edge of Appalachia” region of Southern Ohio. I learned about gardening, food preservation, and some native plants from my grandparents, and countless hours of my childhood were spent in the forest with my Grandfather or alone with my dog and the forest creatures.

I moved to Florida in my early 20’s, where I eventually found employment with a small, family-owned airline servicing routes between the US and Bahamas after serving as Assistant Kitchen Manager at a popular local eatery. I eventually moved up to Assistant Director of Reservations and Flight scheduling within the airline before later being laid off in a first downsizing in 2006 before the company’s bankruptcy in 2008.

After the “Great Recession” of 2008, it became financially impractical for my family to remain in Florida, and we moved back to Southern Ohio to lower our living expenses while I focused on finding freelance work as writer. Moving back to this area in my adulthood has been life changing experience for me as I began to deeply consider issues of poverty, hunger, and homelessness in America, especially in the rural Appalachian region.

In December 2013, my partner and I - along with another start up community foundation, incorporated Plentiful Earth Foundation for the purpose of addressing poverty and hunger through the support and facilitation of community initiatives to re-localize the food supply in a way that provides a “hand up” to those most in need within our communities.

Our future goals as a foundation are to establish one or more Permaculture research farms within the different growing zones of the Appalachians to establish region specific systems and teach these methods to the local communities. This is a long-term goal as we are still in the startup stages of our foundation’s organization. We are preparing to apply for IRS 501©(3) certified non-profit status (tax exempt charitable organization) here in the US, which would make us eligible to apply for government and foundational grant funds for our projects.

One of the first projects we wanted to begin working on is the implementation of a platform which would allow producers, CSA’s and farmers markets expanded access to their customer base with an online storefront and supportive backend functionality for producers & distributors. We were originally thinking something modeled after www.localharvest.org, but a couple of weeks ago I did a search for “Open source food distribution software”, found OFN and promptly fell in love with what you’re doing - and so here I am. :smile:

I am very excited to have the chance to collaborate with all of you on this project, and especially the possibility of helping to bring OFN to the US. I’m looking forward to getting to know all of you and assisting in any way I can.

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I was born in Alabama in 1969 to a couple of Catholic Civil Rights workers who had traveled there from their native Northeastern origins. They were skilled amateur artists and musicians. My five younger siblings and I were raised in Hoboken, New Jersey which was just a the beginning of a sometimes violent (and deadly) gentrification process, the height of which lasted about eight years (of a total thirty?). There were lots of artists and poor people at first. Salsa music was being invented. American Folk artist Pete Seeger was leading a movement to save the mighty Hudson River from years of industrial and municipal waste dumping.

As young teenagers we were involved with a very small organization called Hoboken Action for Nuclear Disarmament and successfully passed a law preventing nuclear materials from being legally transported through Hoboken. We learned a little bit of the BASIC computer language through Stevens Technical Institute. We were into vegetarianism and healthy lifestyles (as well as marajuanna, acid, angel dust, cigarettes and tons of coffee). We played lots of music (Sweet Lizard Illtet) combining street theater, free jazz, funk, go-go music, rap, defaced American flags.

We watched military tanks protect gentrification on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. We considered ourselves revolutionaries - or tried to. Signed a record deal with Warned Brothers. Whoops.

A few years of heroin, crack and death and a couple decades of yoga later, with an amazing partner, two young daughters, and co-habitating parents, I’m still romantic and optimistic. We live in the area of Pensacola, Florida with the highest reported crime rate in the city and love it. Most of us neighbors know each other and it’s the beginning of a renaissance (sound familiar?). I’ve gotten fairly comfortable with computer programming over 15 years of part-time freelance web development and have received a few grants for our continuing (if slightly dormant) creative endeavors.

We’ve had various implementations of a local food co-op here in Pensacola and OFN is super interesting from our perspective as community activists, healthy food enthusiasts, economic revolutionaries, cultural devotees (we love International Folk Dancing) and supporters of my computer language obsession.


Great to have you on board @MikeiLL - quite a story!! I’d love to come and folk dance with you guys over there one day… :smile:

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The guest room (slash play room) will be ready!

My name is Theresa Schumilas @tschumilas. I live in a little village you won’t find on a map called St. Agatha, in South-West Ontario, Canada - on the very same farm I grew up on. My interest in building new food systems started in 1975 when I became involved in Canada’s new organic movement. I’ve been heavily involved with that group since. In terms of education - I have an undergraduate degree in Human Nutrition and a graduate degree in Health Promotion. I worked for 24 years in regional government here (a level of government squashed between the municipal and provincial levels) (yes - we have lots of government in Canada). For the last 10 years of my time there, I directed a research and policy team that was kind of a lab for ‘local food system development’. I left there to do my PhD in alternative food systems. I studied CSAs, farmers’ markets and buying clubs in China, and looked at their diverse economies, ethics of care, and strategies of resistance. Now that that’s done (whew) I have a postdoctoral fellowship for two years at the (new) Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at Wilfrid Laurier University. My work is to launch a series of applied experiments to try to bring emerging internet and communication technologies to the service of ecological farms and sustainable food hubs in Canada. SO - my main project is to launch OFN-Canada, and attract a 3-5 year funding program to it so Canada and take its role and make a contribution to global OFN, and so that we can build better networks across all the sustainable food stuff happening here.
On a more personal note - I run a 4 acre certified organic farm - see www.gardenparty.ca . It has been a CSA farm for decades, but now I’m leaving veggies behind and moving to sustainable flowers. I love flowers and they are the most unsustainble and unjust products grown on the planet. I’d like to build greater awareness about that, and make flowers beautiful again.
I have a partner - Peter, who is retired and helps me a whole lot around the farm. And, I have a daughter - Tanis - she is just (this week) finishing her masters in Critical Communication Studies.


Wow, sister. What a resource you are! It seems we are really assembling an incredible group of people here in North America.

@Biji_Karunakaran just joined us from India, yeahhhh! Let’s say a big welcome to Bijith :slight_smile: Do you want to tell a word about who you are? And please, feel free to start a new conversation in the “international” category to tell us how you see Open Food Network in India :slight_smile:


Hello all,
Thank you @MyriamBoure, to introduce myself I am basically into operation & execution of projects. Currently I am in the power industry and was earlier in the sales and distribution of FMCG products and briefly worked in the e commerce industry handing their operation in India. I wanted to start something in the space of collaborative consumption and happened to stumble upon OFN . Thanks to @MyriamBoure she had been of immense support in giving me the required input on how OFN Operates. I have not been a part of any collaborative community and this would be my first experience. I would like to introduce @Venu who is my partner interested in starting the Open Food Network in India.

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Hello Every One,
Thank you @MyriamBoure, @Biji_Karunakaran for introducing me to this community. This seems really exciting due to the power of community bringing in affordability to themselves and providing an advantage to the producers.
I was born and brought up in south India and did my schooling there. I have a Bachelor of Technology in Agricultural Engineering and an MBA in marketing. Most of my professional life has been in the area of IT working on Mainframes and SAP technologies in various organisations . At present I work for a large construction and equipment manufacturer , and manage one of the IT departments. In the last few years I am also into farming of Rubber and Bananas (Organic of course ! ). At present I am looking at the possibility of bringing the farmers as close to the consumers and I believe involvement in OFN should help me out in that.

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Hello Everyone,

As I enter into OFN, First, a BIG thankyou from the outside world for working on this awesome initiative. :smiley: Cant say in mere words,how it feels finding you people and the work you have put into, and the OPEN ideology you are following.
This is Sree Harsha, based out of Hyderabad, India. I am currently working with Centre for Sustainable Agriculture along with @ramoo and lot of other inspirational people.

We currently work with around 30 Small and Marginal farmer cooperatives in Southern and Central India across various capacities ranging from

  • Open Source Seeds
  • Sustainable Farming Practices
  • Organic/PGS Certification
  • Marketing
  • Policy Advocacy
  • Farmers Rights

After gaining a grass root level understanding volunteering with CSA, I am trying to bridge my past experience with technology and Supply chain Domain knowledge and see how I can help the cause.
For the past few months we have been actively discussing on building an end to end open source platform ourselves to break the Technology price barrier for many more farmers to enter the Cooperative model and move to Organic Farming, and also to make the whole process more transparent specifically with the Financial and Ecological footprint. We have found a few like minded people who are willing to spend time on helping with the technology part too. After coming across OFN, we felt that most of our ideology is synchronous, and would be great if we could collaborate and work.

I am also actively involved with the Permaculture community in India, and an active organising member for the National Permaculture Conference happening here in Feb 5th to 7th, 2016.
I have also read about the Ouishare community, and looking forward to learning and building a good community around sharing economy and community here in India.

Prior to jumping onto my passion, I worked as a Supply chain Consultant for 7 years (2008-2014) in the corporate space, at JDA working with clients like Infineon, Levis, Dell, Walmart etc in Inventory Optimization, Assortment, Allocation and Replenishment Mgmnt. I also dabbled on working on a few startup ideas, but didn’t find much conviction on the business models. Looking forward to apply some of my learnings in our OFN model.

W.r.t contribution to Global OFN, One of the feature which is very interesting is the Supply chain Traceability part. So I would be very much willing to contribute my time and effort on it.

Lot more to talk, probably I will spread them across other posts :smile:

Sree Harsha


Hi @sreeharsha and welcome to the OFN community! That’s is so great to see how the idea is gaining ground in India, as you see just above @Biji_Karunakaran and @Venu also joined the community lately and are willing to work on kickstarting OFN in India, so I hope you can collaborate on that project :smile:
I’ve been a couple of times to India and I love yoru country and culture, so I’m happy to support you in that process, as much as I can!
Your experience seems indeed very valuable, and your philosophy, as you say, totally aligned with the OFN Commons :smile:
I also happen to be very much involved in OuiShare, so we can definitely also talk about it.
Let’s have a chat soon, I answer your email now!


I’m Thomaz Neves. I’m from Belo Horizonte, Brazil, but my interest in food and food systems began in Italy where I graduated in as a graphic designer. After spending some time in Spain and Sweden I came back to Brazil and began my MA in alternative food systems through a design perspective. The OFN project has inspired me to get involved in food related projects and local groups such as Slow Food and CSA within the community. My goal is to get a portuguese version of the platform working so we can test it out and get enough attention around here to launch a fully working OFN instance. Any suggestions / advices,?

It’s was great to read all of your inspiring stories, hoping to be an active member of this group!

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