Partnership with the BBC?

Some of you will know about the bbc micro, the bbc micro:bit and the bbc project to roll out computers to school children.

Imagine if a partnership with the bbc, and manufacturers could give each child in the UK a SAFENet farm, the chance to earn pocket money, alongside some simple safenet experiments.

Preloaded with educational apps? Email and communication apps, web publishing apps, my first safe-cms website.

A lot of barriers to programming for the internet are removed by the SAFENet project, no need to register a domain name etc… it is the school children who could benefit the most.

Too ambitious @SarahPentland ?

Edit: There was someone on this forum who proposed building dedicated farming rigs? Maybe they would be interested in such a project?


@faddat possibly?..


No idea is too ambitious! We do not know impossible here at MaidSafe. I will look into it Thanks!


Great! :slight_smile:

A SAFE-Edu-Suite could be put together just for these devices including wallet functionality, also available for general download.


This is a brilliant concept.

Kids could learn about programming, web development, and actually host the data, all from a relatively simple device.

Making a web site on SAFE will be so much better - dead easy, and no worry about domain renewals, monthly payments etc. Just earn enough safecoin through farming to upload your site, and you’re done :slight_smile:

Having very easy to use software to create a blog would be nice, and then have a look at the code for that software. I think it would be a great educational tool, and would be happy if the BBC decided to give it a go at some point.


If the UK got in early enough the children farming at home could benefit from a good financial start to their lives?


I’m still working on the farmer, and I’m definitely interested.

To go broad for a second: My dream is to start an open hardware company that makes and sells top quality open source hardware.

I used to be a teacher and got into this idea after teaching in a classroom with iPads. They’re totally closed, so students can’t really learn how tech works from them. I love the idea of giving kids teeny SAFE farms. Inexpensive, open computers == big learning.

Please let me know how I can help.

As for the farmer, I’m headed back to China in a few weeks and should have a prototype knocked out at that time.

100% interested in looking at what a prototype kids computer might look like, in addition to the farmer.

No idea is too ambitious!


Great news, great vision @faddat :slight_smile:

Can’t facilitate anything myself - am hoping the maidsafe team and other members on the forum are better connected.


I guess development of software and hardware should start as soon as possible, in parallel with the development of the SAFENet so that on launch these teenyFarms can be launch ready.

Contact with the BBC would be needed, and questions ask on available government educational grants - use of distribution paths that already exist, and the teams they use to create tutorials etc…

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Would be a great introduction to crypto currency, so financial education could also be a part of it as much as computing education.

BBC could have their own resources & support forums hosted on the kids’ distributed farmers :slight_smile:


We have most of the ingredients.

  1. Manufacturing experience contact @faddat
  2. A Maidsafe foundation,

Established at the start of 2011, Maidsafe Foundation is a registered Scottish Charity: SC042030.

Over the next few years, our aim will be to develop a variety of services that will empower people and help them to be able to contribute towards creating a fairer, healthier and more balanced world.

We will work with schools, universities, innovators, artists, businesses but especially those around the globe who could use a helping hand. In the UK we will have a special focus on helping to create opportunities for young and disadvantaged people, enabling them to actively use their talents and potential to benefit their communities and society.

  1. A network under development with successful test nets
  2. A community of awsome developers.

Just a few more pushes, and some will - we would get there.

Edit: The bbc:bit project has gone global. I think these teenyFarm devices for kids should go global, through the maidsafe foundation.

This is lacking at schools, they do need more of it.


Could have an ‘SAFE education’ hackathon to aim to bring together resources, proof of concepts for teaching with MAID.

I guess the hackathon would need to be remote, so people from the community worldwide could participate.

Just chucking ideas around, as I think there’s some great potential here.

Some key questions to clarify might be; 1) what would the BBC get out of this, and 2) what would the kids get from it that they couldn’t get from other education focused computer resources (Raspberry Pi, Microbit etc)

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  1. Part of the BBC mission is education, which doesn’t have to have anything to do with broadcasting.

  2. I think the thread highlights several ways already, the only issue would be whether the BBC would see this platform as relevant and delivering anything more than the computers you listed. Possibly not. From here of course we see enormous benefits, but until SAFEnetwork is established (not just launched) it may appear to be a backwater to the BBC. However, they can be very forward thinking in this area so I think it’s worth exploring with them.


Superb idea in general for educational outreach.
IMO you would probably get further by going the way of school clubs and/or competitions.
In that case the bbc becomes one of many industry sponsors.

A good model to emulate is the U.S. First Robotics Competition founded by
Dean Kamen and Woody Flowers.

Educational outreach … Ready-made box shot here:

Age 12-and-up – “ANTS” Starter-kit for the new

With workbook and instructions for Paper Wallet
Suitable for classroom projects


This is definitely a great idea and there are many examples of integrating educator-provided technologies into classrooms to increase engagement and access (at least in the US that I know of).

One thing worth looking into is a company formerly called Endless computers, now called Endless. It is a company founded by Matt Dalio, lifelong philanthropist and son of the pivotal investor and management guru Ray Dalio of Bridgewater fame.

Endless originally started with a similar goal to provide high quality open source hardware solutions that came pre-loaded with their OS and lots of educational/information bank resources. It seems like they still offer some of their actual hardware products, however I know that they have pivoted to focusing more on the open source software/OS component. I can’t quite remember why, however I think this might be due to smartphone penetration and usage in the developing markets they were trying to reach.

I find it pretty helpful to take a look at the journey of these other similar solutions to get a sense of the best ways to move forward for such noble and lofty projects. Best of luck!


Naomi Wu (aka SexyCyborg) has some remarks here about the micro:bit.