Digital platforms have been very successful in leveraging long-tail of markets and in building ecosystems, partnerships and communities. Some platforms have focused specifically on supporting democratic practices that are environmentally aware, participatory and based on sharing and collaboration. These platforms, called Collective Awareness Platforms (CAPS), are an example of new models to create awareness of emerging sustainability challenges and of the role that each and every one of us can play to ease them through collective action. A specific program of Horizon 2020 European projects has focused on CAPS, and some of these projects have worked with the Maker movement, addressing it with different perspectives and methods.
In MAKE-IT we focused on how CAPS enable the growth and governance of the Maker movement using and creating social innovations and achieving sustainability, especially for understanding how Maker communities are organised and governed; what makers do and how they behave; the various ways this impacts on and adds value to society. Two other CAPS projects in this direction are OpenCare and OpenMaker. OpenCare empowers care receivers to design and prototype bottom-up solutions to specific care problems. The European network of makerspaces, Fab Labs, etc. makes these solutions distributed, as every prototype devised can be reproduced, tested and deployed anywhere in the world. OpenMaker aims to create a transformational and collaborative ecosystem that fosters collective innovations within the European manufacturing sector by connecting makers and established companies and drives it towards more sustainable business models, production processes, products, and governance systems by bringing together manufacturers and makers. OpenMaker is seeking strong and innovative applications from Maker-Manufacturer teams who aim to have a social impact on their surrounding communities: 20 projects will be accelerated by hubs in Slovakia (Bratislava), Italy (Firenze/Torino), Spain (Bilbao) and United Kingdom (Wolverhampton/Birmingham/Liverpool/Salford). The goal is to foster collaboration between makers and manufacturers, prototype innovations including products, production processes, supply or value chains, distribution or ownership, and encourage partnerships that are sustainable and deliver social impact.
These three projects met in December 2017 and we discussed together our activities and results in a panel at Maker Faire Rome 2017, which was preceded by a discussion (in Italian) with several makers at Roma Makers the day before. Hare’s the video registration of the (English) panel at Maker Faire Rome 2017!