Building stuff is as old as humanity, but its most recent incarnation as the Maker Movement dates from the early 2000s with technologies like 3D printing and Arduino, the opening of hackerspaces and FabLabs, and the launching of community showcases like Make Magazine and Maker Faire. An entire generation has learned the word “making” as a term loaded with meaning and a sense of culture.
Some people now believe that the movement has failed, with changes like the collapse of the World Maker Faires and declining numbers of independent maker spaces. Others are declaring a victorious end, with the mainstreaming of 3D printers and the rise of making in institutions such as universities, museums and tech incubators.
But many of us believe that the maker movement has a lot more to give. Robotics and machine learning will combine to create an explosion of new possibilities, and there may be another shift coming in the democratization of electronics and fabrication. The mainstreaming of school maker spaces will certainly fail without a concomitant change in the way making is taught. Many organizations are enthusiastically adopting the maker ethos, but also struggling to make current structures inclusive and accessible. These are just a few growth areas that we see from our perspective in 2019/2020, but we know there are many others out there.
Making sense of the future requires many different perspectives. And so we are organizing the Future Of Making Unconference as a gathering of people from both inside and outside the maker community. The unconference format is ideal for eliciting new themes and insights and is in keeping with the do-it-yourself, experimental spirit of making, though we’ll also be adding some structured components to ensure we achieve concrete outcomes. We aim to gain insights into the big picture of the future of making around the world, as well as the local close-up view of how that will play out in Toronto.
Topics will be brought by the participants, but could include the following:
- the ongoing movement of maker attitudes and spaces into schools (MakerEd)
- the futures of 3D printing, Arduino, robotics, etc
- the next New Thing™
- philosophies of making
- distinctive maker activities from other communities
- what can we learn from the bankruptcy of Maker Media
- creating active maker communities rather just installing empty maker spaces
- diversity and inclusion at maker spaces and maker events
- what maker movement goals have been accomplished so far
- applying the maker ethos to mostly digital subjects, like machine learning or blockchain
- a topic you’re keen on!
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