Urs Riggenbach Entrepreneurship, Web-Tech & Renewable Energies

My Time

Open Access to Renewable Energies

Since 2012 I've been working with GoSol.org toward initiating a global wave of solar enterpreneurship.

Practical Tools for Change

Building web-platforms and systems with purpose that connect actors, empower people and facilitate change.


Selection of speaking engagements on camera or for impact-motivated crowds.

Presenting Lytefire - Swiss Alps

Presenting GoSol.solar - Finland

Presenting GoSol.solar - 2000 W Verein Solothurn

Freestyle Improv Acapella - Impact Hub Zurich


Selection of projects in the fields of web-development, internet security, Android-app development, webstores, campaign sites, online community platforms and financial modeling. All projects based on a security and scalability optimized tech-stack based on open-source Linux. Project idea and need a tech-team? Let's talk!

Curriculum Vitae

I am a Web-Designer, Sysadmin and Renewable Energy specialist. I'm a UWC and COA graduate, Farmer, Human Ecologist, Open Source Enthusiast, Techno Peasant, Biker, Longboarder, Scout, Hiker, Junglist and Salsa dancer.

My mantra is Global Collaboration - Local Production.

I bring an international Baccalaureate from the United World College, India and BA in Human Ecology from the College of Atlantic, US.

Chief Operating Officer

June 2012 - now
Launch of innovative platform for the spread of solar thermal energy solutions.

Solar Fire Concentration Ltd, Finland
Chief Operating Officer

June 2012 - now
Solar thermal technology solutions in the humanitarian and industrial sector.
- Technological development, project management, IT consulting, web and communication.

Autodesk Inc, San Francisco
Pier 9 Impact Residency

February 2017 - May 2017
- Industrial CNC machine training (Waterjet, Lasercuting, 5 axis CNC)
- Rapid prototyping using state of the art CNC machinery

Oekozentrum Langenbruck, Switzerland
Swiss Civil Service

August 2013 - February 2014
- Support in research and development.

WWF Switzerland
Swiss Civil Service

February 2013 - July 2013
- Development of exhibition on renewable energies.

Sustainable Design/Build, Yestermorrow, USA
Semester course in sustainable design and building practices

- Instructors from the fields of architecture, construction and joinery/Carpentry
- Application of principles of sustainability and sustainable design in the architecture of a "tiny house" of 227 square feet.
- Project planning and management with different build milestones.
- Construction of entire tiny house, see it in New York Post "Tiny House 227".
- Study and implementation of HVAC systems.

College of the Atlantic, USA
Bachelor of Arts in Human Ecology

September 2008 - June 2012
- Relevant Coursework: Agroecology, Economic Development, International Water Resource Management, Physics II, Collaborative Leadership, Fieldwork: Seminar in Community-based Research, Documentary Film Making, Webdesign, Fixing Food Systems, Sustainability, Local Production - Global Collaboration.
- Senior project in Nepal installing renewable energy framework at rural school
- Spanish proficiency during project-stay in Yucatán, Mexico
- Davis UWC Scholar: full scholarship awarded

United World College, India
International Baccalaureate, IB

September 2006 - May 2008
- International Baccelaurate (IB) with major biology and economics.
- Course language English.
- Extended essay: Sugarcane Cultivation in the Mulshi Valley, India.
- Full Scholarship from the Swiss Association for UWC




Picasa on Archlinux with Videos

Posted Thursday 2 April 2015 by Urs Riggenbach.

1. enable [multilib] repository.

2. Install winetricks, wine, and lib32-lcms from multilib.
# pacman -S wine winetricks lib32-lcms

3. Then download and install Picasa:

wget dl.google.com/picasa/picasa39-setup.exe
export WINEARCH=win32
winetricks ie7
wine picasa39-setup.exe

Now you got picasa working.
Next is installing video codecs so Picasa can pick up .MOV files, etc.
Download this codec pack, and install with Wine. Select "Advanced" during install, and make sure you never select the "Windows" options when you can avoid them.

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Thoughts on OKfest 2012

Posted Saturday 14 June 2014 by Urs Riggenbach.

I stumbled over this blog post that made me think about a pretty hillarious moment at OKFest 2012, my first time in Finland.

An illustration of the potential difference between centralised and decentralised development at the infrastructure level was offered by Urs Riggenbach of Solar Fire, who described the development of open source hardware for small-scale hydro-electric power generation. Urs argued that, rather than massive cost large-scale Dams projects, with their visible ecological impacts, potential to displace communities, and scope for corruption in their contracting arrangements, communities could make use of Intellectual Property free designs to construct their own small-scale solutions.

Tim Davies, www.timdavies.org.uk

It was in a panel representing the “open development” efforts done by the World Bank, Os and NGOs. As Tim Davies points out in his blog, open development and open knowledge as framed by the Open Knowledge Fondation strongly focusses on data as in statustics, exluding other knowledge that’s open such as open tools for change: Open hardware, openly accessible knowledge, construction plans, etc.

For me, open development means to work on solutions for positive change ("development") and at the same time "open" up the tools for this change so that others can do the same.

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Contact Me

Send me an email to mail@ursrig.com