People love to create, design and make things - we are wired for it. History and culture is shared through artifacts that were made and constructed. But while “making” has changed dramatically over just the last decade…sadly many of our social and economic systems have not.
Just consider where all of the things you buy come from…
Your favorite t-shirt might be made of cotton grown in Africa, manufactured in China and then dispatched to the U.S. and subsequently to your hometown. Increasingly we are detached from the supply chain. As consumers, we’ve grown used to generic products and art. We never encounter the folks behind the production of the things we know. They are faceless links in a complex and obscure global process.
Now imagine a world that runs on connected local economies. Electricity comes from solar cells on your roof, food is grown in urban farms, restaurants in your neighborhood are renown for one of a kind creations and everyday commodities are made by someone right around the corner who owns the machines that use locally sourced resources and recycled materials to tailor products to your needs.
Local makers who work together, and the knowledge that comes with them, have the potential to eliminate waste, pollution from transport and long shipping lead times, all of which are relics of centralized production. Localized manufacturing enables products to be made on-demand and closer to their point of purchase, with individuals and companies alike driving their design and innovation.
This kind of local economy could be cheaper and better for the environment but also promises to create stronger and healthier communities and schools. To succeed, however, we need a supportive ecosystem of cross sector makers that agree to come together to make a collective impact on our neighborhoods. The undersigned are dedicated to empowering people to make the shift from being only consumers to being makers by championing 21st Century skills for life and work.
This is our vision.