New non-profit organization will ensure that more Americans have access to the spaces, communities, and tools that enable them to make things, not just consume things.
The grassroots Maker Movement has, and continues to, impact entrepreneurship, education, economic and workforce development, manufacturing, community revitalization and technology inclusion in the U.S. To build upon existing efforts and to continue to grow the coalition of diverse organizations supporting the maker community, we are proud to announce the creation of an independent non-profit called Nation of Makers. The organization will serve and represent a wide variety of spaces, events, and institutions serving makers, including non-profit organizations, museums, libraries, science centers, educational institutions, foundations and for-profit companies.
Nation of Makers is working with leaders from the maker community in all 50 states and has received more than 300 letters of support from hackerspaces, makerspaces, companies, libraries, local government and economic development agencies across the U.S. who have already experienced the positive impact of the Maker Movement locally, and are committed to continuing to foster the growth and inclusivity of the maker community. In honor of Global Entrepreneurship Week USA, Nation of Makers celebrates the entrepreneurship represented by the American maker community.
“Giving more Americans the opportunity to make, invent and create is critical to our future,” said Tom Kalil, Deputy Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. “Making can inspire more young people to excel in STEM education, promote entrepreneurship in manufacturing, and empower more people to solve problems in their communities.”
Makers are developing innovative solutions to important local and global problems, creating new products that are produced locally and building vibrant communities where small businesses can thrive. Some examples of the ways these efforts are taking shape include efforts in:
-Chicago, IL, where makers from the broader Chicago community are prototyping everything from energy storage devices and wearable electronics to food packaging and furniture at The Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Chicago.
-Anchorage, AK, where the MAKE Partnership is matching federal dollars to support trainings and workshops hosted by the Anchorage Makerspace that are geared towards manufacturing start-ups and maker entrepreneurs.
-Macon, GA, where SparkMacon is empowering entrepreneurs to launch businesses in the broader Macon-Bibb county.
–Brookings, SD, where Brookings Economic Development Corporation has opened Brookings Area Makerspace located at South Dakota State University, a shared workshop and creative space open to students, faculty and community members.
-Kingsport, TN, where the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce is supporting and celebrating the creation of a new makerspace at the Kingsport Public Library.
Founding Board Members of Nation of Makers include makers Harley DuBois, co-founder of Burning Man, Pamela Jennings, Professor for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Winston-Salem State University, Adam Savage, head of Tested.com, and Stephanie Santoso, former White House Senior Advisor for Making.
Nation of Makers will support the full range of organizations that impact makers by encouraging connections, broadly sharing resources, facilitating funding opportunities, engaging in policy development, and advocating for the Maker Movement. The organization will help maker organizations amplify the passion, innovation, creativity, and diversity of the maker community, and maximize both its local and global impact.
For more examples of the amazing ways makers are making a difference in their local communities, please visit the Nation of Makers website at www.nationofmakers.us