At the invitation of the White House (!), our co-founder, Karen Corbeill, attended a Nation of Makers meeting on August 24th. The over 180 attendees (and 100 more on the waiting list) were all founders, owners, board members, and organizers of makerspaces, hackerspaces, and fab labs across the country, including representatives from Hawaii and Alaska. The all-day affair featured keynote speakers, lighting talks, and breakouts sessions aimed to inspire and unite this ambitious group in an attempt to pool resources and knowledge fueling the momentum of the maker movement.
In five series of breakout sessions, these makers were encouraged to choose from a variety of topics to gain or offer knowledge gathered from years of experience of being involved in the maker community. Topics included involvement with local & state government, grants and funding, methods of incorporating and promoting education, research, software & hardware, training models, makerspace growth issues, and unexpected details.
The final breakout session of the day broke the group into their local regions, the Bodgery included in the Midwest/Mountain West group. This may have been, by far, the most productive of the sessions yielding plans for a regional makerspace conference and for a website to collect all makerspace knowledge.
Karen reported back with a plethora of useful information that will no doubt help the Bodgery grow and thrive in the years to come. With the successful past of the Bodgery, Karen was also able to provide advice and insight to help other makerspaces along with issues that the Bodgery has already solved.
Thank you so much to all the other makerspace attendees for their knowledge, enthusiasm, and willingness to continue working hard to accelerate the maker movement forward. This may be the push that was needed to get the brilliant and motivated individuals at makerspaces organized where we can together innovate and make the world a better place.