On Friday, March 24th, over 350 makers, educators, organizers, industry leaders, manufacturers, museums representatives and public officials came together in Albany to learn, discuss partnerships and plan how to grow the maker movement in New York State. I attended the meeting and was excited to see a number of folks from our region in attendance as well.
The morning kicked off with an introduction from Dan Schneiderman from NYS Makers, a collaborative group of makers that organized the event. The keynote speaker was Andrew Coy who served in President Obama’s White House in the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Both speakers discussed the importance of the maker movement in supporting entrepreneurs, encouraging creativity and building community.
The breakout sessions offered the wide variety of opportunities for individuals and makerspace groups from all over New York State to interact on topics like education, manufacturing, business incubation and community & economic development. I attended sessions on “Manufacturing in Makerspaces,” “Maker to Market - Securing Funding, Prototyping, Pushing to Market,” “Diversity in Making” and “Economic Development.” Throughout these different sessions the word “makerspace” was used interchangeably with other terms: incubator, innovation space, innovation hotspot, hub, hackerspace and co-working space.
In recent years the maker movement has been referred to as “the next industrial revolution.” Making tools, technology, expertise and resources available to everyone in public and private spaces that encourage collaborative innovation, prototyping and failing fast is allowing for more people to be involved in the creation of new products and establishment of new businesses and ideas. ANCA is continuing to support our region in facilitating the creation of new spaces in our communities to support entrepreneurs, tinkerers, educators and community members.