Dr Steve Harding, Director of the Institute for Creative Innovation reports back from the Urban M team’s visit to Zagreb and comments on maker movement trends. 

The Urban M project is focusing on key trends in the maker movement and how they help innovation in city eco systems.

Recently, the project team presented some key themes for makers during the Partner Meeting held in Zagreb in March to respond to societal trends, complexity and interdisciplinary working.

These trends are: ‘Prototyping the city ecosystem’, ‘Makers as entrepreneurs’ and ‘Cross Innovation’.

We talked about the need to encourage prototyping in the city ecosystem for early testing of new ideas in products and services - the idea of “failing fast”. There needs to be a critical mass of prototyping activity for a healthy eco system to thrive, with makers acting in
a Research & Development role.

The ‘Makers as entrepreneurs’ trend relates directly to the commercialisation of the results from making. The last decade has seen the rise of coworking and we believe it’s now the turn of co-making.

The ‘Cross innovation’ trend reflects the prevalence of interdisciplinary working in innovation and how the maker movement can work in cross sector ways including STEAM, Fab Labs and collaborative approaches in learning. The next phase in cross innovation will see more emphasis on learning through doing and radical innovation - new combinations producing solutions in transdisciplinary ways.

For more information on maker movement trends or to discover more about the Urban M project, contact us: [email protected]

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