The MAKERS – FUTURE CREATORS Project

Makerspaces are popping up all over the world, led by people interested in building up the potential for technological advances within their communities. The central goal of these community-based spaces are to enable knowledge-sharing and assist the general community in gaining knowledge within technological and creative fields, as well as giving people access to machines they wouldn’t normally get to work with. Screenprinting, Laser-cutting, 3D printing, Woodworking, Sewing, etc, are skills that have been made accessible to the general public by spaces such as these. Anyone can join in! It is the future of the creative.

As makerspaces are based on a culture of sharing, this project looked at what would happen if makerspaces in different countries would share knowledge and advice with each other. 

An energetic group of creatives in Valmiera in Latvia aimed to create the first makerspace in their area and initiated it with exactly this – a platform where existing makerspaces could show them the ins-and-outs, the do-and-do-nots. 

The project – “Makers – Future Creators” was born.

The overall goal of the project was to promote knowledge transfer, experience-exchange and building the capacity of all involved project partners. Two partners from Scandinavia jumped on board, and thus the project was kicked off in September 2019 with the following makerspaces:

The Nordic Council of Ministers saw the potential this project could have on a community based on the impact that makerspaces have had all over the world. They wholly funded the project, enabling the Valmiera Makerspace to gain the knowledge that would contribute to the successful launch of their space, DARE. 

The partners visited both the Nordic and Swedish spaces in person, meeting stakeholders and gaining in-depth knowledge on common strategies for success in outreach, such as workshops, prototyping, marketing, and machines. 

Specific objectives reached during the project:

  1. Create and develop cooperation among like-minded organisations;
  2. Demonstrate the importance of makerspaces for collaborative business development, new product and service creation, linking the creative and digital industries and other sectors, as well as promoting sharing-economy principles;
  3. Enhance the benefits of the makerspace movement as an educational tool in career development support within the STEM field for young people;
  4. Exchanging the methods, know-how and best practices of business support activities, facilitation of maker mindsets and creativity, and initiatives to engage local communities;
  5. Capacity building of NGOs and makerspace management teams by providing training and expertise;
  6. Strengthening of makerspace communities in Malmo, Stavanger and Valmiera;
  7. Building a future collaboration network of makerspaces

 

This publication and project has been produced with financial support from the Nordic Council of Ministers. The content of this publication is the sole responsibility of the coordinators of this project and does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Nordic Council of Ministers.

 

Baiba Zvejniece
Valmiera Development Agency 
baiba.zvejniece@valmiera.lv