What we can learn from hackerspaces: Catarina Mota at TEDxStockholm

Maker Faire Orlando


“Creativity is a great motivator because it makes people interested in what they are doing. Creativity gives hope that there can be a worthwhile idea. Creativity gives the possibility of some sort of achievement to everyone. Creativity makes life more fun and more interesting.” — Edward de Bono


Maker spaces/hacker spaces are community innovation spaces equipped with the tools, equipment, and grass-roots education required to convert your idea into a reality.   Think of it as an art studio or science lab for artisans and technology creatives.   These spaces are often equipped with tools for wood / metal working, electronics, music, art, and 3D printers giving makers access to tools that would be cost prohibitive to own yourself.

Catarina Mota, a maker, research scholar, and open source advocate, shares the positive impact hackerspaces can have on grass-roots education, innovation, and improving our communities.   I think she does a great job of helping to define the ethos of the makers movement and the benefits of hackerspaces in this TED talk.

I am very excited that this movement is gaining momentum in my community in Macon, GA.   My friends from the College Hill Alliance have been working hard to grow our community of artists and technology professionals.   I can’t thank them enough for leading this movement and this important work.   It’s exciting that College Hill Alliance has won a grant to bring a MakerFaire to middle Georgia.   This is so cool!

Over the past four months, I have had the privilege to work with the Middle Georgia Regional Commission, Infinity Network Solutions, College Hill Alliance, Macon Arts AllianceTAG Middle Georgia, and Mercer Google Developer group on a community project to help grow our maker community and build a shared creative space in Macon, GA.   All of our team members have grown and learned so much through our collaborations.   We’re really excited to amplify the success of our artisans and technology creatives.   We believe that our outreach will be a sign of hope for young makers too.    At this time, we invite you to join the movement.    Learn more about the Spark Macon MakerSpace project in our Facebook community group.  Please know that all are welcome to join!

Spark Macon

Cool Links for Making


Abstract for TED Talk:

Portuguese maker, open-source advocate and founder of openMaterials, a collaborative research project focused on open-source and DIY experimentation with smart materials. Catarina is a maker of things, a research scholar, and an open source advocate. She co-founded openMaterials.org, a collaborative project dedicated to do-it-yourself experimentation with smart materials, and altLab, Lisbon’s hackerspace. She has taught numerous hands-on workshops on hi-tech materials and simple circuitry with the goal of encouraging people with little to no science background to take a proactive interest in science, technology and knowledge-sharing. Catarina is wrapping up her PhD dissertation on the social impact of open and collaborative practices for the development of technologies. She is a fellow of the National Science and Technology Foundation of Portugal, co-chair of the Open Hardware Summit, TEDGlobal 2012 fellow, and member of NYC Resistor. Catarina has an MPS in Interactive Telecommunications from the New York University (ITP-NYU) and a BS in Communication Sciences from the New University of Lisbon (FCSH-UNL).

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/maltman23/7283448284/



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