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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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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Enter MakerCon

Courtesy of Qualcomm, MakerCon had fabulous facilities, this being our main stage.

Courtesy of Qualcomm, MakerCon had fabulous facilities, this being our main stage.

For two years we ran the Hardware Innovation Workshop in the Bay Area and New York, both just before Maker Faire. Our focus was on the emerging niche of Maker Pros, makers who matured a hardware product and wanted to go to market. Since then many emerging niches have surfaced so to recognize and embrace this we recast HIW as MakerCon.

While the name has changed and the focus has broadened, our core mission has remained the same. We want to be the pre-Maker Faire forum where leaders can interact. Each year we plan to shine a light on the important emerging themes of the maker movement, invite a myriad of experts to present, and provide ample opportunity to meet, interact with, and begin collaborations with people of like minds.

Continue reading

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Making a Maker Campus

What's the big deal about "making"?

What’s the big deal about “making”?

Often when maker communities become aware of one another they begin to collaborate. That’s a concept I’ve seen play out many time, most recently in San Diego after our Mini Maker Faire. Harnessing this insight and being deliberate with its development can lead to great things. This idea has led to the Making a Maker City symposium at MakerCon and Making a Maker Campus which debuted this past week at Oregon State University.

The kickoff at OSU was my speech entitled “What’s the big deal about Making?
My talk argued that OSU should capitalize on the Maker Movement. Making provides an opportunity to develop tacit learning skills, teaches collaboration and fosters a healthy creative community. Students graduating from such a university will be more employable and will have the ability to remain valuable employees. However, my speech was just the start of a process. Continue reading

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Makerspaces at 3D Printer World

Makerspaces = smart tools + open source + collaboration in a workspace!

Smart tools are a key ingredient of the maker movement. 3D printers get more buzz than any other smart tool. It only makes sense then that makerspaces would be a big theme at 3D Printer World Expo. I had the pleasure of sharing my experiences with an audience in Burbank and finished by promising links they’d find useful. Here they are! Continue reading

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Hardware Innovation at SD Tech Week

FabLab-Hardware-Innovation1

The tech scene in San Diego is relatively healthy I’m learning. However, I’m  finding that software is the predominant theme: web services, mobile apps, etc. Open software is in good shape; open hardware not so much. With all the making talent in San Diego you’d think there’d be more hardware innovation taking place.

Enlightened San Diego Tech Week seems willing to give hardware a try. With urging and support from FabLab San Diego a Hardware Innovation session was slipped into the week’s agenda. Modeled after Pitches with Prototypes of MAKE Magazine’s Hardware Innovation Workshop we presented a hardware agenda to software folk at EvoNexus.

Acting as MC I kicked things off with the Open Hardware Revolution, providing context for what was coming and explaining why hardware innovation was something worthy of their attention. We followed with presentations from seven innovators and finished with a show-and-tell of a dozen hardware products.

The road is long but this was another step forward in San Diego.

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Library Leadership Conference

My recurring theme, getting makerspaces into the key learning institutions of society.

My recurring theme is getting makerspaces into the key learning institutions of society.

When I can present my ideas to an audience which can make a difference, it’s worthwhile. Such was the case at ILEAD USA, a nine month-long program with 28 teams of library leaders from five states. My goal was to provide the background for modern making and then place it in the context of a library. I also spoke of participatory learning, models for implementation and proposed projects which could facilitate making in libraries.

As of this writing, one of five projects has been taken-on. An Illinois team is working with Instructables and the American Library Association to tailor a projects database to meet library needs. I can hardly wait to see what comes from the collaboration!

My speeches in their entirety can be seen here:

Of course, I can’t drive from Chicago to Springfield without soaking up Route 66.

This was the perfect blend of work and play!

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How to Make a Makerspace

Held in Artisan's Asylum with 35,000 sq ft and 140 artisan stalls, this place was a site to behold!

Held in Artisan’s Asylum with 35,000 sq ft and 140 artisan stalls, this place was a site to behold!

Every new makerspace is an adventure. For some it’s a good ride and for others it’s not. The difference can often be attributed to the skills and experience of team members. Some are better prepared to deal with a myriad of issues but most are not. It is this gap which we were trying to address at “How to Make a Makerspace“. Continue reading

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Libraries and Making in Seattle

Seattle

The American Library Association holds two major conferences each year and this year the smaller of the two, Midwinter, was held in Seattle. A feature added this year was a track about making in libraries called “Maker Monday“. There were several presentations but the featured speeches involved Dale Dougherty and me in a session entitled “The Maker Movement Comes to Libraries“. We were very pleasantly surprised by the turnout.

I increasingly believe that making is in the future of libraries.

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