British Council Creative Economy

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Declan Cassidy

Go make something! The growth of the Maker Movement

The Maker Movement is a mindset; one that typifies the wonders of the 21st century while giving us hope that the turbulent times we’re currently living through may just be the growing pains of a more sharing, honest and productive society to come.

The Maker Club

The movement is changing how we think about education, our relationship with technology and the underlying way we understand the world. The power of ‘I’ is being replaced by the power of ‘we’ as people wake up to the fact that not only can they achieve more themselves, but that together, anything is possible. 

If emerging technologies like 3D printing and micro computing are the Maker Movement’s engine, then the internet is its fuel, allowing people to share their successes and perhaps, more importantly, their proud failures. Whether it’s robotics, traditional crafts or product design, this is a grassroots DIY movement that is powered by free ‘how to’ videos, the human need to create tactile objects and a wider rebellion against over-consumption.

Our company, MakerClub, was born out of this hope for a better future. Our aim is to create a platform that gives everyone the skills to develop their own problem solving products and that by teaching people the skills of design, coding and electronics; we can empower them to build a better tomorrow. This vision is being made a reality in the homes and schools of millions of people around the world, while ‘makerspaces’, communal workshops that encourage collaboration and cross-curricular production, spring up on every continent. This is a global phenomenon. 

The main tenets of the movement, as laid out in Mark Hatch’s seminal book, The Maker Manifesto, encourage people to; make, share, give, learn, play, participate, support and change. This is a human-centric ethos that embraces technology, but only to augment and supercharge a person's own creative talent rather than be superseded by a machine.

Paired with crowdfunding, the Maker Movement has been the perfect storm for innovation, inspiring people to produce and market their own products that solve human-centric problems that are overlooked by big business. A tidal wave of new ideas and hardware is being released every day, not by big corporations but by small teams that value open-sourcing and honest storytelling.

Young people are learning to shape technology rather than be ruled by it, the elderly are being encouraged to share their boundless wisdom and communities are being created around shared workspaces. People are waking up to the limitless ways in which technology can not only make our lives easier but also allow us to connect with each other in surprising ways.

If you believe the media, the future is full of killer Artificial Intelligence, efficient robots replacing human workers and a ‘technopocalypse’ that is fast approaching and is destined to destroy mankind. The truth could not be more at odds with that vision. This is an exciting time to be alive and the Maker Movement is a sign that things might be brighter than we think. 

Now, go make something! 

Declan Cassidy

Declan Cassidy is Director of MakerClub

MakerClub creates exciting, digital courses that teach people design, coding and electronics. We use emerging technologies like 3D printing to make the experience as hands-on as possible and believe that everyone should have the skills to remake the world around them.