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MAKE-IT research discussed at Innovative Citizen Festival in Dortmund

sfs-researcher Dr. Bastian Pelka introduced findings from the “MAKE-IT” project at Dortmund’s “Innovative citizen” festival. Within his input he described the broad variety of different types of maker spaces through Europe as identified in MAKE-IT ‘s case studies and contributed to a scenario for the use of open workshops in Germany in 2030.


Dortmund’s “Innovative Citizen”-festival (“festival for democratic use of technology”) for the fourth time attracted makers, social innovators, urban gardeners, urban gamers, activists for an insect based nutrition, civil servants and many other activists at the border of democracy, technology and sustainability. It hosts workshops, discussions, presentations, urban games, a festival cinema and room for exchange and community building.

Bastian Pelka and MAKE-IT case study partner Jürgen Bertling from Dortmund’s maker space discussed in a workshop on “potentials of open workshops and fablabs for a sustainable society”. Jürgen Bertling (also researcher at Fraunhofer UMSICHT) introduced three scenarios for the spread of open workshops and FabLabs in Germany – projecting actual numbers and concepts of open workshops to the year 2030. innovative_vortragBastian Pelka introduced recent findings from MAKE-IT’s running empirical work. “We found a broad variety of organizational, pedagogical or technical concepts of FabLabs in Europe. And we think that maker spaces could be understood by looking at their organization and governance, peer and collaborative behaviors and value creation and impact”.

Bastian Pelka also pointed out that maker spaces do not act in an empty space, but should position themselves to existing spaces such as libraries, open workshops, museums or cultural centres. The workshop participants agreed that spread and impact of the DIY and sustainability movement is strongly tied to their connectedness to other communities and actors.

The participants represented various stakeholders such as universities, research organizations, municipalities, libraries, for-profit and not-for-profit-FabLabs and grassroots organizations from all over Germany.