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BLOG: Why you should care about your local hackerspace

Andrew C. Oliver | June 28, 2013
Open centers of grassroots innovation, hackerspaces offer opportunities to source talent, create goodwill, and push technology forward.

Q. Why should "your boss" (in the abstract sense) care about hackerspaces?
A. Hackerspaces and the people that come out of them are innovative. Innovation is an attitude, not having "Skill Set Q with Toolkit X in Area B." Businesses that do not innovate — they die.

Q. Where do you think hackerspaces are going?
A. As I hinted at earlier, hackerspaces are going to become more and more indistinguishable from "crafting groups" or "art groups." As hardcore tech types become more exposed to various arts and crafts, they will see how visual design, auditory design, and so on can be incorporated into their projects. And as crafters/artists become more comfortable with tech and the tech becomes more accessible (Arduino being a perfect example) more tech will be used by them. I think that what goes on at Splat Space is a perfect example of this.

Spontaneous combustion
Hackerspaces are hubs of intellectual and creative energy, centers of entrepreneurial activity and an amazing avenue for learning and education. Participating in a local hackerspace offers benefits to every member of the local community, including individuals, for-profit businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies.

Everyone can participate and learn a new skill, invent a new gadget, make a piece of amazing art, teach a class, and make new friends with a wide range of interests. Outside organizations may participate in the hackerspace to recruit talent, find help building a project, recruit volunteers to teach robotics to disadvantaged children in rural schools, or get a demo of an interesting new piece of gear they are considering purchasing.

Simply put, everybody should give a crap about their local hackerspace, or start one if there isn't one. Hackerspaces are truly the defining example of win-win.


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