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Makers: Solidarity and Resistance

Social responsibility

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21 April 2020

One of the positives that might be salvaged from the coronavirus health crisis is the capacity of certain groups such as makers, to respond to the social demand for aid. As a society we can be proud of the organizational capacity and spirit of solidarity of this community, which has become a sort of representative for hope.

From the very start, makers have made themselves available to the Spanish government and health authorities to manufacture facemasks, protective screens and other basic equipment that protects healthcare workers, the security forces and the most vulnerable groups. This has been made possible thanks to the strong collaboration network they have forged, and solidarity in the use of new technologies and 3D printing in particular.

This movement also managed to transcend borders in order to promote the spread of these acts of solidarity in response to the coronavirus outbreak across the world. Countries like Italy, the United Kingdom, Argentina, Chile, and the Netherlands, to name just a few, have extensive organized networks of makers that form the backbone of the resistance to the virus, stressing the importance of collective action.

Despite the fact that it is only beginning to receiving so much attention now, the maker movement has a long history that has allowed it to keep up and respond to the emergency situation we’re all living through. Dale Dougherty, creator of the maker community, defines the role of this group like this: “If Plan A is the Government and .Plan B is industry then civic action is Plan C. Everyone who has their head in something, the makers, the creators of things know that their actions speak for them and they target others who are also ready to work hard.”

The spirit of the maker community has found a great ally in globalization, which has allowed for knowledge to be transferred horizontally in areas that up until now remained incommunicado, establishing heterarchical relationships and making it possible to apply them in any innovative context. This means that we become co-learners and co-teachers through the collective application of new skills. The maker community constitutes a revolution in the corporate and production world, a new individual way of working that at the same time makes its own contribution to the value chain upon which it is sustained.

In fact, we have become accustomed in our consumer society to leaving our identity in the hands of powerful brands and figures and the Do it Yourself movement responds to this current and is based on constructivism as a form of learning, of self-fulfillment and of committing to the physical rather than the digital world.

Mighty oaks from little acorns grow

In a deeply individualistic society, the influence of this community draws attention. Makers believe that we are all indispensable in times of need and, as small as the movement is, this could be the definitive push that sees the necessary and decisive machinery come into operation.

Organization is the key to success; they have taken remote working to the maximum degree of efficiency possible, weaving networks of communication and collaboration that are working like a Swiss watch. This interlinked solidarity works thanks to the roles that cover different areas of the production chain. In this health crisis, for example, there are people involved in collecting material, professionals who work on the development of software for planning the collection of these materials and design groups. The involvement goes beyond merely producing the material. There are also members of the maker community dedicated to resolving technical problems with respect to the versioned system.

Here at everis we are­­­ very proud of the makers among our staff and who have the knowledge and spirit necessary to form part of this engine of solidarity. These employees are people eager to find new challenges and tackle to new realities, qualities that help us learn how to work in other fields and that assume responsibilities of a different kind, creating experience that really nourish us professionally.

A generational change

By nature, human beings search for a channel through which to express their creativity. This reality, together with access to technologies, has been key in the consolidation of the maker movement. That’s why, when the situation flips and we get as close as back to normal as possible, the community will continue to work on transforming part of the productive fabric, using the mechanisms that have served it so well in reaching such unprecedented levels of importance.

This movement constitutes a before and after in the management of health resources. It is possible that thanks to this achievement, startups will emerge, shaping the movement in an entrepreneurial mold with the aim of establishing networks of collaboration with the State and major companies that go for beyond this health crisis.

 

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