Hello from the Internet of Production Alliance!
One of the projects for which I was brought into the IoPA is to conduct research and technical writing toward establishing a Mutual Recognition and Data Standard for makerspaces, fablabs, and spaces in the maker community. The aim is to allow for mobile and/or nomadic makers to navigate between spaces. Since joining the group a few weeks ago, I have been in conversation with some of you, as well as with makerspace and maker consortium directors/coordinators around the world, to gather an understanding of not only what the work on this standard would be, but how we could get there.
The central goal of developing a People and Skills Standard is to create a shared understanding of the explicit, implicit, tacit, and procedural knowledge necessary for individual makers to participate in and easily navigate a distributed manufacturing ecosystem; this navigation will be enabled by using a digital ‘maker passport,’ the criteria for which will be defined by maker community members.
An immediate use case for this work is application to the open system infrastructure developed as part of the pan-African mAKe project. Participating makers who are issued a digital ‘Maker Passport’ will have a way to communicate experience and skill levels automatically for ease of navigation through the ecosystem (estimate of 500+ instances) of Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs).
I have been working with Jessica Nguema to frame the direction of this research for integration into an immediate use case for the Mutual Recognition and Data Standard for Digital Innovation Hubs (DIH) Users’ Skills Using Maker Passports component of the mAkE consortium project, and we have been collaborating on collecting data during maker events, such as at the mAkE workshop she faciliated at AMN’s event in Cape Town.
In an effort to launch this work in a transparent and community-centered way, I invite you to contribute to our growing list of resources and research on maker passports, which, as a Discourse user, you can freely edit as part of the wiki functionality. I have outlined the People and Skills work, including long and short-term goals, as well as a very basic timeline in this public pad: People and Skills Specification Overview. I invite you all to have a look and provide your feedback and/or questions, keeping in mind that this is a very general outline scoping the work.
After establishing a critical mass of individuals who are interested in being involved in a kickoff discussion, and I am looking at early January to schedule a meeting. If you are interested in joining this community dialog, please respond here or I can be reached at email@example.com