How did you end up joining the #maker movement?
I have always been a maker! Since the 90’s as a student, a passionate model airplanes and computer hobbyist, I experienced the excitement of new and mostly unreachable technologies. During the years I gathered different tools and gadgets, for which I encouraged other people to use. Of course, I wanted to meet those people ! At the point I wasn’t aware there is a name for a place like that. Later in 2014, with a co-founder, we opened a FabLab in Maribor, Slovenia.
What do you most value in the innovation/maker environment?
Ability to make, improove things or processes. I meet people with enthusiasm, who see opportunities and have the optimism. For me, the main value is to co-create and contribute to a place where anyone can easily make stuff.
What’s the maker movement outlook in your country?
It is a really a slow process to change the thinking of people who work in sectors like arhitecture, design, art, development, etc and start-ups. In the short period of maker spaces in our country, we can see the changes already. People visit maker spaces a lot, not much to make (yet), but to see the possibilities and to start working on their ideas. I’am quite optimistic.
In your opinion, what features in your city/destination/country is more appealing to an innovation-oriented crowd?
Collaboration. There are several places, buildings which include companies, small startups, freelancers, all in one place. It is possible to collaborate , work faster and more efficient, and at the same time, to have your private office, cubicle or just a desk. Our FabLab in Maribor is part of a building like that. We mainly work with people inside the house and I can see the benefits of it.
You seem to have been able to create such a nurturing environment around your FabLab/makerspace/hackerspace in (your country). What does your audience look like? Who do you mainly target – students, inventors, or… ?
There is no pattern. Our audience are students, young start-ups, artists, developers, hobbyists. We had a few inventors. I try to support anybody who is willing to make anything.
What do you consider your greatest goal as EMW’s Ambassador?
As optimistic I can get, there are few things I would like to push a step further. One is to motivate and encourage as much people as possible to join the “maker movement”, to start the initiative to teachers to promote the principles in the school system and above all, to find funds for the programmes. The Government should be present in the ecosystem.
What kind of events are you planning to organize during the EMW?
We plan to get going with our full capability with a bunch of workshops: upcycling, 3d print night, instruments making (f.e. Cajon), cardboard-laser workshop, and of couse open lab days, introducing emw to as many people as possible.