Offgrid and offline - How to build your own solar-powered autonomous network where there is no infrastructure.

Eric Nitschke, Mike Jensen, Elektra Wagenrad

In this intervention, participants will collectively build and deploy a low-power, offline-first, wireless mesh network that will be available for use by all re:publica attendees.

Participants will have a space to discuss recent developments in open and decentralized tools which can empower underconnected communities to connect themselves.
Hands On

At least 2.7 billion people out of around 8 billion globally are offline- and many more people already connected do not have meaningful access.

At the same time, we are witnessing exciting new developments in the areas of open hardware design, decentralized manufacturing, offline-first & self-hosted services for local content production, and open educational resources and technologies for localized capacity building.

This hands-on workshop will enable participants to investigate these developments through the co-construction of an open source solar-powered wireless mesh network that runs local content and services.

Facilitators will provide all necessary hardware, deconstructed and organized prior to the workshop. Participants will be guided through the construction of the solar and network infrastructure and have a open space for questions and answers.


1. Brief discussion about current state of connectivity and needs for alternative networks and approaches.

2. Description of open hardware and open firmware.

3. Description of open software, services, and education - information on locally hosted content & services.

4. Description of open passive infrastructure - the use and adaptation of locally sourced materials for the construction of connectivity infrastructure.

5. Hands-on solar hardware construction. 

6. Hands-on network hardware construction.

7. General Q&A and services testing.