My thing was (and is) open source education (see: open source curriculum), but looking for real life community solutions one must look beyond software and content alone. Looking for the ultimate DIY tool-box you can start your life and survive if possible with these modular (hardware) tools:
Starting with the open source Blueprints for civilization (modular hardware) by Marcin Jubowski: see Open Source Ecology
Open Source Education has a few angles in which it develops, looking at the available curriculum (content), the teaching methods and the used resources: Here are a few links:
- Schoolforge: https://schoolforge.net/
- Connections: http://cnx.org/
- Open Source Initiative: http://www.opensource.org/
- Open Educational Resources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_educational_resources
- Nicholas Negroponte‘s One Laptop Per Child (OLPC)-project tried to combine hardware and open source software for developing countries.
- George Lucas founded an Educational Foundation to improve and stimulate education: Edutopia
Speaking of an open source knowledge ecosystem by Richard Baraniuk:
And as a guide for open source teams: How Open Source Projects survive poisonous people:
The above Google talk is aimed at coding projects, but useful for any non-profit or volunteer-based project.