Dressed-up steampunkers roaming around on three meter high Jules-Verne-like vehicles on the DASA parking lot; kids grouping together in front of the LEGO stop-motion-film stand; portable DNA laboratories that can be bought from exhibiting bio-hackers; and of course various 3D printers and other exhibited maker technologies made the second edition of the Maker Faire Ruhr into a mixture of trade and fun fair of the Maker movement which was hosted on 25th and 26th March 2017 in the midst of DASA’s permanent exhibition.
Of course, MAKE-IT could not miss this international event in Dortmund and was represented with MAKE-IT partners from Technical University Dortmund (TUDO) and the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO). The Dutch partners led with selected exhibitors a pilot test of a web-based application with the goal to create lasting connections between exhibitors and visitors on maker faires.
TUDO scientist Bastian Pelka presented in a workshop insights from the MAKE-IT project and subsequently facilitated an interactive simulation game with Marthe Zirngiebl and me where participants would take on the role of policy makers, scientists, business and civil society representatives to discuss three future scenarios of the Maker movement from these particular standpoints. The first scenario described how the Maker movement shapes public institutions (e.g. schools and libraries) to form inclusive learning spaces with new potentials. The second scenario depicted a future where the Maker movement develops into a civil society-based open source, peer-to-peer manufacturing economy. In contrast, the third scenario represented the possibility of the Maker movement focusing mainly on the research and development needs of established industry. The participants discussed the presented scenarios and put forward pros, cons and recommendations for each scenario from their particular standpoints.
The Maker Faire Ruhr proved to be a successful event for the MAKE-IT project with the first pilot test of its web-app which will be implemented in a matured form on future Maker faires. The co-developed scenarios will be further elaborated on in future events like the XIX. Convention of Applied Social Sciences and eventually published in its final report at the end of this year. For a first analysis of the results from this iteration of scenario development, please view the analytical report below.