Analytics around concepts and terminologies defining the Maker movement at the Internet Science Conference

In September last year the 3rd International Conference of the Internet Sciences took place in Florence, Italy. I had the chance to present some work my fellow researchers (Calkin Suero Montero and Massimo Menichinelli) did on concepts and terminologies used by the Maker movement. You can find links to the paper, the presentation and the conference website below this posting if the topic interests you!

The work I presented was part of the MAKE-IT project which in turn is part of the CAPS program – one of the most interesting and exiting streams of activities I have seen in Horizon 2020. Technologies such as fabrication tools typical for the Maker movement as well as sharing platforms are researched not only to evaluate their technological capabilities but also to better understand and promote their potential to be used as essential ingredients to solutions which are more mindful of our use of resources.

The Internet Science Conference was a perfect place to show how broadly the term ‘resources’ should be applied. Of course, makers use and re-use materials and potential changes to distribution networks may reduce fuel consumption and CO2 production. However, the Internet Science Conference showed that human attention is a scarce resource as well that needs to be managed wisely as is privacy, a resource often not missed until we are confronted with the consequences (e.g. some aggregated but incomplete data taken from our digital footprint lead to a completely wrong depiction of ourselves). In that sense the conference presented many valuable opportunities for exchanging views on issues we shared in our respective projects (e.g. analyzing community data) but approached them from different perspectives.

All in all 12 interesting CAPS projects shared their views on a wide range of topics such as peer production and distributed governance, user control of personal data, bottom-up networking, free and open source and monitoring the impact of public outreach campaigns.

These projects were present at the conference

The paper has was published in the proceedings of the conference,  you can find a pre-print copy here below (together with my presentation), on the Publications page and on ResearchGate.

Paper

Presentation

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MAKE-IT at the CAPS Community Meeting and Workshop in Berlin

On 18th May 2016, I presented MAKE-IT at the CAPS Community Meeting and Workshop in Berlin. DG Connect did not only invite all 36 CAPS projects funded in the first two calls, but also external participants interested in their developments. The acronym CAPS stands for Collective Awareness Platforms for Sustainability and Social Innovation.

The CAPS initiative attempts to foster the use of network technologies, thereby building collective intelligence and collective action within five thematic areas. MAKE-IT aims at understanding the role of CAPS in enabling the growth and governance of the Maker Movement, particularly in relation to using and creating social innovations and achieving sustainability. While MAKE-IT is one of the four projects funded within the cluster Collaborative Making, projects of other areas employ means of digital fabrication, as well. In that regard, the community meeting showed that the insights into the working of makerspaces will be of great value for and provide potential synergies with other CAPS projects like Hackair or CAPTOR, which with the help of special DIY building kits encourage citizens to measure the level of air or ocean pollution.

 

Besides presenting MAKE-IT and listening to the presentations of first and second round CAPS projects using socially innovative means to contribute to a more sustainable, more cooperative future, I participated in a workshop which centred on the role and ambition of impact measurement. Of central interest was the tool IA4SI, Impact Assessment for Social Innovation, a first generation CAPS project which developed a self-assessment tool. This tool should assist CAPS and other projects with a focus on digital social innovation in assessing and monitoring their socio-economic, environmental, and political impacts. As such, it serves as an important reference framework for the Monitoring and Assessment Framework developed as part of MAKE-IT’s Conceptual and Methodological Framework.

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Last two deliverables of 2016: D5.2 and D7.2

We just released two more deliverables in December 2016, D5.2 for WP5 and D7.2 for WP7.

WP5 focuses on providing the project, and especially the case study WP3 and WP4, with state-of-the-art overviews of both:

  1. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and related applications developed and/or used by CAPS.
  2. Maker technology developed and/or used by Makers. This will include the relationships and mutual complementary of the two.

Furthermore, it focuses on developing forward scenarios and a watching brief of these two technology areas and how they are used by CAPS and Maker communities both respectively and in combination. These scenarios will by directly deployed in the work of WP3 and WP4, as well as provide inputs into WP2 and WP6.

WP7 acts as the interface between all the other WPs and the four types of stakeholders according to the quadruple helix framework (civic actors – research and facilitation actors – policy actors – economic actors), and in collaboration also with WP4 (regarding stakeholders who will be participating in the Action Research processes of MAKE-IT) and WP6 (which will directly address and engage with research stakeholders). The activities of WP7 will aim at communicating the progress and results of the project towards the four different target groups, working along three directions:

  1. Dissemination measures, aimed at interconnecting MAKE-IT results with other relevant insights from the scientific community.
  2. Exploitation measures, aimed at stakeholder acceptance, implementation and knowledge transfer of MAKE-IT results in practice. As MAKE-IT not only observes but also innovates (see WP4 and WP5), our exploitation measures also ensure that we will valorise our innovation.
  3. Communication measures, aimed at reaching a wider audience according to the quadruple helix framework through various offline and online channels, to highlight the key MAKE-IT messages on a European-wide scale and to make them as accessible as possible. We aim at understanding the impact on all four groups, the WP6 and WP7 will strive to integrate all four actor groups of the quadruple helix model in their dissemination activities (WP7) and analysis of impact (WP6).

You can read more about in the deliverables here below and on the MAKE-IT process page.

D5.2 Report on forward scenarios of technology
developments and technology use

D7.2 Dissemination, exploitation and
communication report

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MAKE-IT Vienna Workshop Review

On 1 st of December 2016, MAKE-IT organised a workshop with the title The Maker Movement comes in many shapes and sizes: Insights into Europe’s Maker Scene in collaboration with the University of Applied Arts Vienna.

The workshop was open to all interested people who were somehow familiar with making, either because they had heard about it or because they themselves had more or less experience in making.

Researchers from the MAKE-IT project together with students, educators and practitioners from the University of Applied Arts as well as managers from maker spaces around Europe discussed together about the European’s Maker scene.

After a short introduction to the workshop by the Centre for Social Innovation, which was responsible for the organisation of the workshop, Dr. Alexander Damianisch, director of the Department Support Art and Research at the University of Applied Arts, as a host of the workshop, spoke the welcoming words followed by the very interesting keynote by Prof. Christoph Kaltenbrunner. In his presentation, he brought in international insights into the Maker scene and underlined the importance of bringing making into educational curricula for equipping future generations with relevant digital (and) making skills.

The keynote was followed by ten three-minute pitches. Representatives of European maker spaces (who were either MAKE-IT partners or were being explored in the framework of our case study analysis) brought an object of their maker initiatives that somehow stood for their making and gave a short pitch along the object with the most important facts. After each pitch, the audience had some minutes to ask questions and discuss.

In the interactive part, the workshop was dedicated to discussing preliminary findings regarding key research areas in respect to the organisation of maker spaces, the collaboration of makers, and value creation and impact of making. The discussion was very lively and fruitful; preliminary findings were complemented and validated.

The Maker Movement comes in many shapes and sizes: Insights into Europe’s Maker Scene

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