Diego Porqueras, President of Deezmaker was invited to the “Nation of Makers” meeting at the White House on August 23rd 2016…and when the White House calls, you go! The Executive Office of the President’s “Office of Science & Technology Policy” (EOP/OSTP) organized the first ever “Nation of Makers – Makerspace Organizers Meeting and Workshop” at the Eisenhower Executive Offices right adjacent to the White House with over 160 makerspace folks from around the country. The objective of this meeting was to hear from us Makers about our challenges, needs and views on the Maker Movement.
The meeting started with some talks from some of the top folks in the Makerspace world, including our awesome friend Matt Stultz and few other notable speakers. One of the best speeches was from Megan Smith in which she highlighted her passion for technology, inventions and how proud the administration was of the Maker movement in this country.
After the initial speakers give us some tips, experiences and new concepts for makerspaces, we broke out into a few workshops and discussion groups throughout the day. Many interesting topics were talked about including themes like: How to apply for grants for research projects, ideas on citizen science and open innovation, hardware and software tools for making, the challenges of helping higher education incorporate more “making” curriculum, and several more.
One of the best things that came out of this meeting was the enormous sense of unity that was created among makers and makerspaces from around the country. I think this event was the catalyst we needed to bring us together in one sitting and combine our thoughts to progress the maker movement. This was all thanks to Andrew Coy, President Obama’s organizer of this event…and is continuing the momentum.
We heard so many great stories from makerspace organizers stretching from Alaska to Florida (Did you know there’s several Makerspaces in Hawaii?). As a result of this meeting, we are now collaborating and sharing ideas on improving and overcoming challenges to help spread the word of the maker movement in the USA, and most of all help teach new people how to make things!
After the meeting, some of us hung out at a local restaurant and continued some of the talks.
Thanks to HacDC for hosting a little hang out at their makerspace in Washington D.C.
It was also great to see a few friends of Deezmaker at the meeting: Gene Sherman from Vocademy (now organizing SoCalMaker Con), Claudio Donndelinger from Midsouth Makers (& Aleph Objects), Todd Blatt from Baltimore Node, Matt Stultz from Ocean State Maker Mill,