Makers are now a force of innovation to be reckoned with around the world, to the point that China is making them part of official government policy.
In Europe we have a lot of diverse maker communities, all doing great work but with a certain degree of isolation thatit was reduced when, in 2013 it was decided to organize the first “Maker Faire Rome” as the “European Maker Faire”.
Maker Faires are events bringing makers together for a weekend to meet, collaborate, connect and showcase their work. And in Europe, Rome is not alone: there are several others great Maker Faires. And hundreds of Fablabs and Makerspaces, where makers can invent, prototype and work, creating, not just new stuff, but a powerful network of bottom-up innovation.
Maker Faire Rome in just 3 years has grown up to be a world-class event, able to compete at the same level as the ones taking place in the Silicon Valley, New York and Shenzhen. But now it’s the time to move on to the next phase: create a network of events happening all over Europe to foster maker culture and innovative manufacturing near where people live. A living network of hundreds of events happening the same week to bring widespread awareness of what makers can do for our continent.
We’re very grateful to the EU Commission for sharing this vision and officially supporting what is now becoming the European Maker Week.
What is going to happen, then, starting May 30th? A massive celebration of do-it-yourself but together, of tinkering and, most of all, of digital manufacturing as a leading way for our continent to play a major role in the economy of the world.
This is why the EU “Startup Europe” will play a major role in the organization. Because we wish to support the idea of moving from making to enterprising, social entrepeneurship included. Not all makers will make this move, but some might and in these cases “Startup Europe” will support them to grow at an european scale.
So, this is a call for makers all over Europe to use this week to organize events in local schools, makerspaces, fablabs, universities or even in a public squares; anywhere they can bring people together and show that there is a way to be innovative in manufacturing which is close to their local economies, which is certainly less hyped then the various unicorns and web-startups but has the humble objective of having impact on real jobs closer to home.
“There is an European way to making, we have seen it and we now want all Europe to be aware of it.”
Massimo Banzi, Isidro Laso Ballesteros, Riccardo Luna