Makerspace Leadership

Maker Space Leaders from Across the U.S. Meeting at the White House

Maker Space Leaders from Across the U.S. Meeting at the White House

Organic maker spaces have sprouted whereever seeds were planted and tended in fertile ground. lists over 1,200 active maker spaces worldwide where the bulk of them is in the U.S. This unfederated group could be a more potent force if organized and the White House took steps to make that happen.

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy convened a meeting of over 200 experienced maker space leaders from across the country to learn about federal resources, to hash out a going-forward agenda, and to network. It was lead by Andrew Coy who pulled off an impressive day-long agenda. Watch the morning session.

It’s always a question whether an event such as this will result in anything going forward. OSTP certainly put together a good show and the audience was definitely into it. There was interest in continuing the dialog, organizing into something potent, and figuring out an agenda. However makers are independent sorts and the Obama Administration will be around for fewer than five months. Still I hope that something comes of our time together.

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Mayor Announces Maker Faire

Announcing San Diego Maker Faire

Today was a remarkable kickoff to what is expected to be a fantastic event. During the year celebrating Balboa Park’s Centennial, ten museums are collaborating with the maker community to deliver a two day Maker Faire on October 3 & 4. This was announced by Mayor Faulconer who also endorsed our event as the San Diego Featured Event for the Fall of 2015 and conveyed to us the rights to use the heart of the Park. Continue reading

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Making a Maker City Series

Maker City Skyline Pixabay CC0 License

Odysseys should lead to destinations and my travels-with-making have lead to many. Every once in a while it seems appropriate to tie a ribbon around a body of thought and share it with the world. Such is the case with Making a Maker City, a three-part series published on It’s based on my experiences meeting with nascent Maker cities, my speeches on the topic, and most importantly my work with the Mayors Maker Challenge, especially in San Diego.

Here are links to the three posts:

  1. Discovery, Familiarity, and Collaboration
  2. Mayors Maker Challenge
  3. National Associations

Next I’m off to D.C. for a national Maker City Roundtable. It should be interesting!

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Robot Day at Central Library

Robot Day MC of Jacobs Auditorium

Robot Day, Introducing Speakers in Jacobs Auditorium

Robots and libraries. They’re not a natural combination most of the time but where San Diego Central Library (CL) is concerned, they’re hand in glove. That’s because the CL has embraced making as just another way of delivering on their mission of providing learning resources to the community. In that context why not have robots in the library?

On Robot Day 30 maker exhibitors ranging from quadcopter flyers to robot competition teams to Maker Faire San Diego had booths. In addition there were 15 hands-on exhibits where people could build brush bots or construct bridges. It was a fabulous day which brought more people to the library than any day since it’s opening day 18 months ago.

Check out this delightful little video done by Team Rise of Hephaestus: Continue reading

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A Maker Festival for Education

STEAM Maker Fest

It’s fabulous to collaborate with a sympathetic leader to accomplish something important. Victor Ciccarelli of 3RsRobotics, STEAM in the Park, Super Build Challenge and many other maker education initiatives decided to launch a maker festival focused on education in San Diego. The event we collaborated on was called STEAM Maker Festival and it debuted on December 6, 2014. It was a hit!  Continue reading

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Enlisting Makers Against Ebola

Colorized Ebola Virus (by Cynthia Goldsmith)

Colorized Ebola Virus (by Cynthia Goldsmith)

The dream was to activate the large and distributed community of creative makers to help solve problems dogging the Ebola crisis. With a sense of urgency that didn’t allow for good metrics planning I started publishing the series below. Our combined hope was to attract many a maker to OpenIDEO’s Fighting Ebola ideation platform and that good ideas would lead to great prototypes which became relief-providing solutions.
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Vocademy Makerspace

Vocademy's Signage Proudly Proclaims it's a "Makerspace"!

Vocademy’s Signage Proudly Proclaims it’s a “Makerspace”!

Maker Faires are great coming-together celebrations of the maker movement so when a new one comes on the radar I want to be supportive and share what I know. In addition to bringing the latest Maker Faire to SoCal, Vocademy is both a new makerspace and a new variation on maker education. Package the promise of all this into one visit and I’m there!

Continue reading

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Maker Faire Turns Nine

Always a joy, this ninth Bay Area Maker Faire was no different. This year was actually more enjoyable than last year becausd there was more room in the otherwise packed San Mateo Fairgrounds. Aisles had been widened by deliberately accepting fewer exhibitors and the result was greater comfort and more visitors, perhaps as many as 140,000!

We had quite the contingent from San Diego. All the usual suspects were there but in addition we had more institutional interest. I had the pleasure of being guide for representatives from Balboa Park and the San Diego Zoo. We also saw Qualcomm there with a large booth which was gratifying since they were our Premier Sponsor. All this was of course in addition to my speaking, writing and stage management responsibilities.

Fun … but exhausting!

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Maker Faire Producers Workshop

Institutional Collaborations within 90 days of SDMMF

Institutional Collaborations just within the first 90 days after San Diego Mini Maker Faire.

San Diego’s first Maker Faire turned out to be the 15th largest in 2013. Most of this success was attributable to the latent interest in the event and the large community just waiting for the opportunity to attend. However, we were successful in a few ways which were uncommon and I was asked to present those in a speech entitled Corporations, Institutions and Mini Maker Faires. Continue reading

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