What defines the influence, scope and power behind this movement is its optimism in action-the-belief in individuals’ ability to enact change, and then do it. Three driving forces pushing the maker movement forward at both the individual and systemic level:
• Economic: Individuals are empowered by a growing array of alternative ways to engage in the economy — taking advantage of new services and marketplaces to share, shop, sell and scale.
Communities are championing maker efforts to revitalize urban centers, stimulate small business and provide a competitive advantage to attract even more business.
• Societal: Curiosity, ideology, necessity: whatever the reason, people are relying more heavily on their own hands and brains to meet daily needs. By experimenting with self-sufficiency, individuals are recognizing their own power through everyday action.
Makerspaces and private/public fab labs are popping up everywhere, allowing communities to teach themselves new skills that could revive local business or traditions in craftsmanship.
Massive person-to-person interactions are changing the landscape of information exchange and political action. Rather than waiting for institutional change, individuals are banding together to initiate social reform.
• Technological: The barriers of access to making have come crashing down, as simplified design tools and cost-effective DIY kits provide individuals with cheap means to make extraordinary projects.
Makers and hackers are pairing indigenous materials, found artefacts or repurposed tools with lab-grade technology to tailor solutions to local community needs.
Knowledge of making, once passed down through specialized guilds, is being digitally codified, documented and shared. The global community of makers radiates outward from these digital networks to create a collective, transcending both language and geography.