Back to top

Understanding Europe's Maker Movement

Author: SIE
Published Date: 12 May 2015

The shift from 3D printers being just a gimmicky bit of technology for a few geeks to play with to becoming a global movement has happened extremely quickly, introducing the language of makers to many people. Communities of makers have prompted traditional institutions to change the way they think and behave – from the way policy makers think about education, to the way businesses think about global supply chains.  The move from a few unconnected makers and new technologies to a group of interlinked communities of people has accelerated a mindset and culture shift where our traditional idea of responsibility must change. But what is the maker movement and who is in it?

Whilst the recent paper from SIE – Making Good our Future – sets the context of this new movement and discusses some policy implications, below are some networks, examples and resources that we think are useful if you want to understand the maker movement in Europe. If you are interested to know more, have a look at examples like:

  • Examples like Fairfone, a social entreprise creating conflict-free smartphones or Arduino, an open-source electronics prototyping platform. There are also lots of examples on the DSI map.
  • Through networks like FabLabs or Ouishare
  • Through Maker spaces across Europe – like Makerversity, based in central London. They are ‘kickstarting the third industrial revolution by building a thriving and diverse community of the best makers. They provide affordable space, tools and cutting edge workshop facilities to their member businesses as well as opportunities for collaborations, projects, investment and funding’. 
  • Through documenting movements - like Self-Made , a documentary which will tell the story of Europe’s creative communities. It is being developed by Madison Worthy and Miriam Engle who are cycling 3,000 kilometres across six countries this summer to film a documentary about the European Maker Movement.

Read the report: Making Good our Future: Exploring the New Boundaries of Open & Social Innovation in Manufacturing