Helping make fresh, nutritious and affordable food available to everyone, everywhere, everyday — regeneratively.

TEAM LOGIN

A SYSTEMIC TRANSFORMATION

Open Farming replaces innovatorsʼ monopoly rights under legal code with revenue share under software code.

And invests venture funds to establish the system, lead by example profitably, and catalyze wider system participation.

Which opens up access to R&D and innovation, and unlocks monetary and non-monetary value for everyone working in and reliant upon our eco-agri-food system.

Which helps make fresh, nutritious and affordable food available to everyone, everywhere, everyday — regeneratively.

HELP MAKE THIS HAPPEN

If you are an impact investor
...
If you appreciate we still have much to learn from natural systems
...
If you know that nothing less than systemic transformation will suffice
...
Let's have a conversation sooner than later.

EMAIL THE TEAM

Team

The Open Farming vision is being propelled by a dozen team members and advisors. Philip and Arno are leading the effort to establish the Netherlands HQ, highlight the alignment with the Dutch government's strategic prioritization of the eco-agri-food sector, and secure impact investment.

Philip Sheldrake

Arno Laeven

What is Open Farming?

Here is a brief answer in accessible, everyday language, and a version for those of you immersed in complex adaptive systems and ecological thinking like ourselves.

  • Farming is in crisis. There is a growing demand for food and yet farming cannot rely on its old methods. These methods work against the Earth’s health rather than with it.

    The situation is so bad in many places and in many ways that it isn’t enough to merely sustain things. We need to make fresh, nutritious and affordable food available to everyone, everywhere, everyday, and repair the health of our environment in the process. This means we have to get smarter and ensure that today’s and tomorrow’s smart thinking gets taken up by more farming communities more rapidly than at any time in history.

    Not just ten times faster. Not one hundred times faster. A thousand times.

    Open Farming takes aim at two major obstacles blocking this transformation. They are so significant that very many people fail to see them at all.

    Today, the dominant business model in every sector — including agriculture — deliberately sets out to stop people adopting innovation. It prevents them from applying better processes, from learning about these processes together and contributing to our collective wisdom. Only if and when they are able to pay for it, often upfront, and only if and when they demonstrate ongoing compliance with the accompanying rules, can they strive to make progress.

    This business model is called intellectual property (IP) rights. It has been the only way to reward innovators for centuries. But, with your help, that changes from today.

    The new model is called intellectual commons, a model through which all participants, including innovators, derive greater value at greater speed. Only now do we have the digital technologies and the system understanding to bring the intellectual commons to life.

    The system is open to all. As more farming communities make it their own system — because it has immediate value and is cooperatively owned — and apply the system to more and more of their farming operations, this intellectual commons creates more and more information for all to see, to feel, and to learn from. This helps us rise up to the second obstacle ...

    A farmer invests in growing a crop and you (ultimately) buy it. But who pays for the pollution? Who pays for the decline in insects and birdlife? Who pays for the soil erosion and decline in soil fertility? The consequences of the way we farm today are not priced in, and we have too few facilities to address that.

    The current system separates us from the damage we do to our environment, and when this damage is not plain to see it makes it hard for anyone to act differently and change the system. Open Farming helps communities ‘see’ the health of their land, their environment, their place, and prompts a collective response to everyone’s benefit.

    Waiting for the financial beneficiaries of today’s agricultural sector to lead this change is a wait too long. Rather, we can all join together to work as nature — open, decentralized, cooperative and competitive, and above all, able to give back to Earth more than we extract.

    Would you like to learn more? Would you like to invest? Please get in touch now.

  • Open Farming replaces the eco-agri-food system’s most unnatural reliance on monopoly capitalism by nurturing mutual value flows through intellectual commons and elevating cooperation in complement to competition.

    Grounded in the complex interrelationships involving soil, food, human health, economics, technology, family, culture, organization, land, place, biodiversity, and climate, Open Farming is dedicated to our collective and contextual wisdom and abilities to participate as nature.

    Current food production is extractive, wasteful, and harmful to human health. Open Farming is designed to help address deep systemic challenges spanning these environmental, economic, and health contexts.

    The International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES) warns specifically against further consolidation of corporate farming / ‘Big Ag’ and concludes that:

    a shift towards diversified and decentralized innovation, locally-applicable knowledge and open access technologies — a new ‘wide tech paradigm’ — is urgently needed to harness the benefits of Big Data for all.

    Humanity has never aimed to change the global food system on the transformative scale now required and no single actor or breakthrough is likely to catalyse systems change. Yet Open Farming can play a fundamental role founded on one straightforward conclusion — nothing about the global food system should be regarded as intellectual property (IP), as a monopolistic right, when we can now nurture a generative alternative cooperatively.

    Every innovator desires adoption of their innovations, but their IP-based business model has had to come first. The business model’s associated costs preclude many ideas from even coming to market in the first place.

    There has been no choice. Now, Open Farming opens up the alternative for the eco-agri-food system.

    Open Farming expedites and amplifies research and development and the application of corresponding innovation by freeing up flows of information and value exchange: information in privacy-preserving but socially-meaningful cooperation; monetary value via incorruptible and equitable revenue sharing; and non-monetary value by the integration of information about systemic consequences referred to historically by economists as externalities.

    This constitutes platform cooperativism, protocol cooperativism, and encompasses what Evgeny Morozov refers to as feedback infrastructure. It combines competition and cooperation in a way we believe Adam Smith might well approve.

    We have designed for a natural, compelling transition. Different markets and bioregions will progress according to local contexts, and that is a strength not a weakness.

    If you are an impact investor looking to effect systemic transformation in the sector at the heart of the SDGs, or otherwise care deeply about the eco-agri-food system, please get in touch now. We’d love to learn from you. We'd love to discuss how Open Farming works and how we can work together now to make this happen.