The Maker Movement and Democratic Innovation
Saturday, November 14, 2015 : 8:50 AM
Grenada (Hyatt Regency Miami)
*Names in bold indicate Presenter
The maker movement has risen from a fringe hobby to a prominent lifestyle with important implications for economic development. Modernly, tools have been available only to those working within firms and industry or those willing to pay large costs for their procurement. The maker movement presents multiple avenues to increase access to tools and the knowledge of how to use them. My paper explores makerspaces and how they contribute to economic development through business generation and sustainment. Based on interviews with members and the management of makerspaces along with local government officials from across the state of Georgia, I find four principle contributions to economic development: (1) creating a cultural change by encouraging entrepreneurship in the community; (2) supporting small business growth through the provision of services; (3) providing workforce training; and (4) increasing workforce retention.