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Trade to Development: The basics of modern human life. One village at a time. Bootstrap Powered...Repeat!
Stephen Vance
Burkina Faso
4 Team Members


So what is Resource Conversion all about?

Resource Conversion is a development structure. It is not a charity. This development structure uses locally produced resources (commodities) to provide all or most of the funds for sustainable development where the resources produced directly benefit the communities whose labor produced them. Production, in this case equals benefit, at fair world market prices. The project is designed to Trade the Goods - Build the Project. The refrain being, “If We Can’t Afford it, We Can’t Build it”.  It's really quite simple.

Every party has a stake in the process and once completed, subsequent growth comes from the inspirations and innovations of the community themselves that participated. The project will continue to assist. Resource Conversion offers an exchange of expertise and technology toward the goal of acquiring the basics of modern living. From there, the impact and potential of the tangible built result and supporting sustainable business structure is limitless. Doors will have been opened. Bridges will have been created. Projects will be in bootstrap mode. Our goal is to see hubs of modernity expanding all across the landscape where we are engaged.

Please view the RESOURCE CONVERSION UPDATE video. 

This video is the impetus for this project. Like the image below, you can see for yourself how a project like RESOURCE CONVERSION will vastly improve working and living conditions in rural Burkina Faso and in other rural locations.

A Thousand Hard Words Worth, but we have four...


"We Can Fix This!"


Women & Kids in mining pit

The ZERO ENERGY STRUCTURE can double as a school and replace this MINING PIT that doubles as a day care center.

 man from hole

Solar Hot Water showers come with us.  They can keep ore contaminants away from workers, families and food plots for better health.

Please see the full10 minute video that contains more information about the project.

See also some new GIFT IMAGES at page bottom and in the Gallery.

What are we building?

Cad, east view of structure

Structure basic build & materials cost: 59,991 USD

Renewable & Structure Systems: 18,500 USD

Total Project - all in everything, estimated at: 147,000 USD

A ZERO ENERGY structure in one village at a time that includes:

A solar photovoltaic package from Solar Nexus.
A waterless, composting sanitation package from Ecosan.
Rain water harvesting, UV purification, & a water well.
A pre-fab structure of Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) with water and termite resistant magnesium-oxide panels (m-panel).

ecosan install image MSIP



How Resource Conversion Works:

The Village dedicates a quantity of the commodity (gold) to the Project.

By full and transparent agreement the commodity is sold at world market rates similar to Fair Trade or Fair Mine.

Percentages of the proceeds are returned to 3 Project Tracks:

  1. The Development Track - the actual built project, and phases of construction.
  2. The Supplier Track - to improve methods of production, safety, personnel, & efficiency.
  3. The Sales Track - fees, duty taxes, commodity transport, and personnel.

(Please ask PROJECT if unsure about anything)

Why is Gold the initial Commodity?

Gold has great value today. It is currently floating around 1700+ USD per troy ounce and trending upward. Many rural and traditional areas produce it and have done so for ages. In short, we want this project to succeed with a commodity that can absolutely support the endeavor at hand. Later projects may target cotton, other minerals, perhaps even Shea butter or a conglomeration of commodities, but gold right now, has enough value on its own to get the project built and to get others moving. Please read the “About Gold in Africa” section at the end of this overview.

This project video has mentioned no perpetual grant seeking. That statement was not to dismiss the purpose of grants. Effectively, we are seeking an initial grant through this crowd-source funding campaign. Unfortunately, grants do come and go according to the capabilities and rules of officiating bodies. Should they end, reduce, or not turn up, the tangible gains on the ground suffer, and things tend to fall apart. The structure of Resource Conversion is designed to alleviate that potential condition. It puts the power back to the beneficiaries as they are part of the originating and supporting finance structure that underlies the benefits. Resource Conversion ensures the completion of a circle that returns proceeds to the Project, the Means of Production, and the Sales Process. It is sustainable. Nothing else is required in this unique development model project.

Technology & The New Baseline for Modern Human Life

Renewable technologies have the power to bring developing and rural communities the basics of modern living with such things as electrification, clean water, sanitation, and internet access. These areas and technologies along with efficient housing should be considered the human baseline of this new century. The only real issue in deploying them anywhere, including the US where I live, has been cost. Well, Resource Conversion has an answer for that - dedicate directly to development by converting local resources for the benefit of the area and people that produced it. Resource Conversion is a sustainable development structure that can survive on its own in the real working world where all participants win. We are focusing on rural mining villages in Burkina Faso as a place to begin.

Important note on where we will site:

lady in hole

No child labor - Vastly Improved Conditions for Men & Women

We are very aware of terrible labor and environmental conditions that do exist in many locations throughout gold bearing Africa as a whole. From methods of extraction using some of the most toxic materials on earth such as cyanide and mercury, as well as exposure to other toxic metals such as lead that may be present in the same ore body. In far too many illegal operations children are also employed or forced to work. It is an abomination to any knowledgeable breathing human being to allow or tolerate this unfortunate reality. This project is no different in that assessment. It is part of our goal to conduct this work and this development structure in ways that INCREASES BENEFIT to the community and not to damage or maim it for the sake of building a structure - ever. Our eyes will be at these locations. Assistance and training that we can provide is a large part of the goals that we will achieve. One village at a time. Yes, we will be building, but we will be building to improve lives in places where the people have the right to benefit in the best ways from the resources that they own. We intend to address these issues firstly by where the project will site. Secondly, it is from the villagers themselves where our cues come from. The highest need is addressed first. It is not so much about building as it is about improving lives by implementing the tools of modern life.  See VIDEO UPDATE.

Why Burkina Faso?

I have had the opportunity to explore trade and other business with Africa, including renewables and non-conflict rare earth minerals and metals. Through my professional associations and friends, I have had the opportunity to meet many officials and business persons of various countries and to travel to Africa where there exists a unique and large opportunity right now for Resource Conversion. Burkina Faso has a consistent growth rate of over 5.2%, has and is continuing to make great strides toward developing and growing the nation including excellent changes to the mining code, and sweeping water and quality of life programs. There is a lot of hope, but still a lot of work to do. Burkina Faso also has an excellent relationship with the United States. I have met with Ambassador Seydou Bouda, the Burkina Faso Ambassador to the US. Burkina Faso would like to see such a project concept take hold there and are offering their kind support and cooperation to achieve it.



Gets additional talent & project revenue started.

50,000 of 150,000 USD ( Partial build cost of the zero energy structure - revenue kicks in at this point and will carry the project)

2 persons (Exec. Director & Sales/Government Liaison); 2 organizing completion trips to Burkina Faso. The Burkina Faso Director meets us in the selected village, where we return with the paperwork to proceed.

  • We continue working with Burkina Faso officials to complete the contracts and agreements.

  • Surety arranged for first transaction shipment to US.

  • Complete the first transaction. Revenue begins to enter project.


Remaining 100,000 of 150,000 USD(of total cost)

 Selection of Team Members:

A Designer with much talent who can absorb new concepts and influences.  The designs shown can work, but are conceptual and pre-charrette. Bring your own unique design gifts and see them fly!

A Field Engineer/Construction Supervisor – Using SIPs, think on feet.

Additional personnel support.

  • Team Members (5, including Solar company representative) travel to village in Burkina Faso to meet villagers and collect all data.

  • Return home. Refine the working parameters. Procure. Mobilize.

  • Return to Construct and Train. Build #1 done!

  • Repeat.


Good Case Scenario On Funding:  MILESTONES

(Please ask PROJECT if unsure about anything)

1. Surety agreement on transaction is provided by the government and or government/ private partnership. Initial minimal target volume of gold is 3 kilograms at 92% purity. 

2. With the Surety in place, transaction agreements and proceeds (Tracks 1, 2, & 3) agreements can be negotiated and signed.

3. $ 50,000 in original funding may return a good portion of the project costs in about 60 days as it also initiates the first transaction. 72% is current working target for the actual Project Track (construction phases - design & engineering, procurement, construction); 15% is current target for the Supplier Track -Methods of Production; 13% is current target for the Sales Track. The percentages are to be determined once we begin.

4. Actual mobilization, training in-country, and construction commences and completes during month 9 or 10.

5. Additional transactions may have taken place during this 9 - 10 month period.



There is good gold and bad gold in Africa and all of it comes out the ground. It’s a matter of who, where, how and what those funds support. This project will not be interested in gold produced in any unsafe methods for the workers or that is bad for the environment. This project is in no way assisting conflict gold or anyone associated with it. Period.

We will assist the means of safe production of gold through the Supply Track. This can mean improved safety measures for workers, new machinery and repairs, and any training that will help the village miners work more efficiently and safely.

This project will also trade on the world markets at full value minus the typical refinery fees (2-3%) associated with refinery transactions. Many ‘unregulated’ artisanal and small mining areas throughout Africa are ‘sales-serviced’ through aggregators on a cash-and-carry basis where at the site the miner or mining group receives very little for their efforts as real profits are realized far down the sales stream. Many of these sites simply can not wait, needing immediate payment for their labor – their needs urgent. This project is siting traditional mining villages where mining in some form has been going on for many hundreds of years. Urgency exists for lack of modern services, but the expertise and capability to deploy them does not exist. Not to say that in time that capability will not exist, but why wait when the time is now. These are the places that we are targeting in Burkina Faso and some have already been identified, but not yet selected. With your initial financial support we would like to get all feet on the ground, and get this great project moving.

Not Safe

This type of shaft is dangerous.  Chip the wrong rock, or chunk of earth - the shaft collapses, the rope means nothing, and YOU DIE.  No one can get you out.  One minor piece of modern digging equipment negates its purpose.  A little help, folks.  A little basic engineering safety.  Done, done, and done by this project.


Other Ways You Can Help

First of all, in a world of blink and blurbs - Thanks for reading this far!  

Of course, I would like everyone to contribute to the project, but I understand that not everyone is in a position to do so. You might just think that this is a fantastic idea that more folks need to know about. If so, feel free to share and link to this project in your circles of humanity, i.e., friends, family, & social media. You can use the links right on this page.  Others may be able to contribute, and that would be absolutely wonderful for the project. All contributions help, are welcome, and can fund some aspect of the project phases. We will keep you to date, and be sure to check out the gifts. Can't wait until everyone gets to say 'bonjour” to someone in the village and see the final structure on the ground!

Blog Here! I will be writing a blog for the duration of this project where I have the narrative space to run in detail on any aspect of this project. Please visit for the bigger picture, ask all questions, comment, and participate.

Who Am I?

I am a design-builder with an old green bent who added geothermal and then solar to my repertoire. I founded Solargeo, a construction company in Seattle that specialized in custom remodel and the integration of renewable products and systems including geothermal. I became an accredited installer through the International Ground Source Heat Pump Association early on in the ‘green revolution’. I realized a need for clients to understand the efficiency savings and cost which eventually led to integrating consulting and building. Energy Count was founded in Pennsylvania on my return back east. Energy Count specialized in monitoring renewable installations and project development. For geothermal, our data quickly identified system issues and necessary tweaks. It was my hope (and many others) that RPSs (renewable portfolio standards) and more importantly, energy efficiency standards and monetization of these standards would catch on nationally (US) in a big way. But that battle has been a long one and fortunately, is not over yet. In the meantime however - renewables work, and work best where there is no viable alternative.

Who Are We?

Core Team Members


Stephen Vance, Project Director

Dr. Azuka Anyiam, Sales & Govt. Liaison

Trey Walker, Finance Director

Sekou Niang, Burkina Faso Director

Joe Derry, Mining & Ground Works Engineering Consultant


SPECIAL GIFTS:  *see more images in the Gallery.


Bogolan Fabrics  Bogolan detail

Fabric detail



African Dancer Bronze  Female Dancer

Baobab Tree - bronze Baobab Tree Bronze Sculpture



African Figurines - beautiful wood board

Chess Game - African Figures




Find This Campaign On
raised in 1 month
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$50,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on January 8, 2013
Select a Perk
  • $10USD
    Group Skype &/or Chat

    The Project will attempt to set up a few group Skype or other conference media events throughout the process with a translator. You can meet the Villagers. Make new friends. Tell the kids and students. All project supporters may participate and see your support in action.

    2 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2013
  • $20USD
    Shea Butter Vial .33 oz /10 ml

    Shea Butter (Karite) production is an important commodity item in Burkina Faso. Shea Butter is traditionally collected and processed by women. It is a source of employment. We will source small vials provided that there are no import restrictions to your destination. If there are restrictions we will source other craft items. Shea Butter, of course, is great for the skin.

    2 claimed
    Estimated delivery: September 2013
  • $50USD
    Shea Butter Vial - 1 oz / 30ml

    Shea Butter (Karite) production is an important commodity item in Burkina Faso. Shea Butter is traditionally collected and processed by women. It is a source of employment. We will source small vials provided that there are no import restrictions to your destination. If there are restrictions we will source other craft items. Shea Butter, of course, is great for the skin.

    1 claimed
    Estimated delivery: September 2013
  • $100USD
    Shea Butter Vial - 2 oz /60ml

    Shea Butter (Karite) production is an important commodity item in Burkina Faso. Shea Butter is traditionally collected and processed by women. It is a source of employment. We will source small vials provided that there are no import restrictions to your destination. If there are restrictions we will source other craft items. Shea Butter, of course, is great for the skin.

    0 claimed
    Estimated delivery: September 2013
  • $200USD
    Crafted Local Item

    Receive a locally produced and nicely crafted item. Some interesting woven goods and traditional hats are made in Burkina Faso.

    0 claimed
    Estimated delivery: September 2013
  • $250USD
    Local Fabrics & Batiks

    See sample, and will depend on availability. I'm told many are available. We'll get you something nice.

    0 out of 50 claimed
    Estimated delivery: September 2013
  • $1,500USD
    1 Gram Gold Pendant or Ingot

    A 1 gram pendant or ingot of locally produced refined, or raw smelted gold (provided that no harmful elements are present in the ore). This is one of our top-level token of appreciation for giving this project a wonderful push. Who knows what a gram will be worth in ten years, but you'll probably just want to proudly hang on to it.

    0 out of 100 claimed
    Estimated delivery: October 2013
  • $2,000USD
    African Dancer Bronze

    Lovely lady she is, crafted in bronze. She really wants to dance on your mantle - that's what she says anyway. @ 2000 USD level of support, she will dance for many years up there. You have to sneak up in the dark though.

    0 out of 3 claimed
    Estimated delivery: September 2013
  • $2,500USD
    Burkina Figurine Chess

    A gorgeous crafted chess game with African figurine chess pieces. See in gallery. @2500USD support level we think you should have this to enjoy. If you prefer others like Baobab Bronze sculpture - let us know. Thanks a lot!

    0 out of 3 claimed
    Estimated delivery: September 2013
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