The Fort Collins Creator Hub was nominated by our fellow spaces in Colorado to fill out a survey about our makerspace sent by the White House a few weeks ago. Because of that survey, I was invited by Andrew Coy, Senior Advisor for Making (in the Office of Science and Technology Policy) at the White House, to attend a gathering of makerspace leaders being held in Washington DC on August 24, 2016. This meeting is part of the Nation of Makers initiative started by President Obama.
Over 180 representatives from makerspaces attended, including many from Colorado – Fort Collins, Loveland, Longmont, Boulder and Denver.
I was honored to be invited to and to attend this event. This was a huge opportunity to network with other people facing the same issues and problems our space is facing. That networking began the night before when various subsets of makers went to tour Washington makerspaces or overwhelm local pubs.
On the day of the actual meeting, after a morning of speeches and introductions, we broke into several different tracks to discuss the issues most makerspaces have in common such as funding, training, marketing and working with local and state governments (among many others). I took copious notes throughout and was overwhelmed with advice and encouragement from my fellow makerspace supporters.
On the following day, before flying back home, I toured one of the Washington DC makerspaces – Fab Lab DC, who were kind enough to host another impromptu get together.
I came back with tons of ideas and full of energy for our up-and-coming space. Before I go, here is a great video summary of the event put together by Adina Levin of Collab in New York: