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GIG news no. 23: Looking forward to 2023

Hello world!

The year 2022 brought many foreseen and unforeseen challenges. The world is dealing with Russia’s attack on Ukraine, the increasingly consequential effects of climate change in different regions of the world and the ongoing effects of the Covid-19 epidemic and will be for the years to come. In these times, creating meaningful exchange between grassroots communities and around the innovative ways they are tackling these challenges are ever more important. In the past year, GIG has embarked on new projects addressing these global challenges in an attempt to support the development and scaling of open source solutions that will help dealing with their effects.

In February, we started the mAkE project, funded through the EU Horizon 2020 programme. With mAkE, we’re connecting networks of makerspaces in Europe and Africa and introducing new data standards, business opportunities for hardware startups and a common learning and capacity development infrastructure that will enable makerspaces to develop distributed manufacturing capacities.

Further, GIG has joined the Tolocar project where we support makers from the Ukraine and enable sharing of open medical and other relevant resources, supported by giz. Through our projects, we continue to build relationships with our members and partners, such as the African Makerspace Network and the Internet of Production Alliance. We are also continuing our support to our members in accessing funding from the Nord-Süd-Brücken Foundation, including the Labmobile, a space for learning, hacking, making, knowledge sharing and community building together with Platform Africa in Uganda in the beginning of 2022 and a project on climate action with Procomun and Casa Criatura in Brazil in the coming year.

We’re thankful that 25 new amazing individuals and organisations joined the GIG family in 2022. In the last months have piloted new membership formats: We are the proud partners of 15 Hub members and happy to also welcome supporting members that help us fulfill our mission.

We brought our community together through finally meeting again in person with many old and new members, but even more importantly we have introduced new online formats including our monthly Meet the Members meetup and our online peer to peer knowledge sharing sessions (watch them here). Furthermore, GIG now has a map and an open library. We were also excited to host physical gatherings again and meet our members in person at the 2022 re:publica in Berlin, the African Makerspace Gathering in Cape Town, as well as the Fab Festival in Bali.

We have only recently been able to dedicate more of our resources to community support and growth and with your support we hope to continue to do that even more. Please reply if you or your organisation could consider becoming a supporting member and would donate regularly. You can also support us with a one-time donation: click here for details

Thank you so much for the journey,
Fadia, Geraldine and Sandra, for the GIG team
happy holidays

Announcing project Tolocar!

We’re thrilled to announce a new project supporting makers in Ukraine by connecting them with makers from the GIG network, facilitating exchange and co-creating open hardware projects for local needs. Some of our members are already part of the project, e.g. creating mobile makerspaces. You can learn more here

Watch the latest Critical Making Mentoring Program workshops

The two newest workshop of the mentoring programs are by Bahar Kumar, founder, Impact Hub Kathmandu, (previously known as Nepal Communitere) and Georgia Nicolau, founder, Instituto Procomum, Brazil.
Click on the images below to watch the video
Bahar workshop: Build for continuity
georgia workshop: intergrate local knowledge

CoAct project wraps up with the launch of the Global Perspectives publications

An image of...
Over the last three years, GIG acted as consortium partner of the Horizon 2020 project CoAct, which set out to develop a Citizen Social Science Approach. As one of our main responsibilities was to build a community, we made it one of our core missions to increase diversity of perspectives and to demonstrate the plenitude of civic driven science already existing around the world once we break open certain understandings of science and education.
One out of numerous activities we undertook was the co-creation of a publication compiling local views and experiences from around the world – the Global Perspectives Publication which was launched during DOTS (our annual Impact summit) this year.
Click here to go to the Global Perspectives page and read the publications.
Celebrating the Innovation Global Project and Its Online Exhibition

Celebrating the Innovation Global Project and Its Online Exhibition

Innovation is a powerful force that can drive social and economic development, especially in the Global South. Unfortunately, the distorted image portrayed by media often obscures the potential of digital innovations in countries in the Global South. As a result, Global Innovation Gathering (GIG) took on the challenge of highlighting the developmental potential of digital innovations from countries in the …

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Building an Inclusive Future: The Africa Makerspace Network

Building an Inclusive Future: The Africa Makerspace Network

In recent years, makerspaces have emerged as a powerful force for innovation and community building in cities worldwide. These shared workspaces provide access to tools, technology, and resources often out of reach for individuals and small organizations. They also serve as a hub for collaboration, experimentation, and skill-sharing. But while the benefits of makerspaces are clear, they are not equally …

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Africa Lawyers Hub: Empowering African Lawyers to Drive Positive Change

Africa Lawyers Hub: Empowering African Lawyers to Drive Positive Change

Africa Lawyers Hub is a non-profit organization that aims to empower African lawyers to drive positive change in their communities. The organization was founded in 2020 to connect lawyers across Africa and provide them with the resources and support they need to make a meaningful impact in their countries. One of the critical ways Africa Lawyers Hub achieves this goal …

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Celebrating three years of CoAct: Ending Cycles

Celebrating three years of CoAct: Ending Cycles

CoAct (Co-designing Citizen Social Science for Collective Action) proposes a radically new approach to facing global social issues by engaging vulnerable citizens as co-researchers. The strategy represents a new account of Citizen Social Science, understood here as participatory research co-designed and directly driven by citizen groups sharing a social concern.

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Fostering Egypt's development through The Make and Innovation perspective

Fostering Egypt's development through The Make and Innovation perspective

San3a Tech is a social enterprise established by young Egyptians to democratize technical innovation and build an impactful community of makers. It is also one of the Global Innovation Gathering hub members since 2022. Egypt faces a critical problem of missing the importance of research and development in the community and its effect on the industry and the Egyptian economy. Therefore, …

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mAkErs gon' mAkE

The Africa Makerspace Gathering 2022

An image of AMN 22 participants holding hands in a circle
The fourth Africa Makerspace Gathering was held in November, 2022 at Cape Town, South Africa. It took the form of a physical event and saw a total of 109 attendance for the three-day period. With representatives from Africa and Europe, the Gathering saw a number of fun activities with some dialogues focused on some amazing topics.
AMG saw its first edition in 2019 in Ghana and has been happening every year since then. The first Gathering took the form of a physical event and even so, its nature has been adapted to fit an entirely virtual or hybrid form, dependent on the global conditions presented each year.
Read more about it on the mAkE blog here

GIG and mAkE take on Fab Fest + Fab Island Challenge 2022

make presenting  at fabfest bali
GIG hosted a panel discussion at the 2022 Fab Fest which took place from 12th – 23rd October at Jimbaran Community Hub in Bali. The panel looked deeply into the reality of the future of decentralised manufacturing, discussing the practicalities for this to become a reality as well as necessary interventions and measures that would need to be put into place to create global opportunities for sustainable maker communities.
Read more about it on the mAkE blog here

open culture feminist cafe

stella nyazi at the feminist cafe
After the pandemic induced hiatus from in-person events our friends at the r0g_agency were excited to recently re-launch the Open Culture Feminist Café an initiative that brings in speakers to discuss issues surrounding feminism, with a focus on African feminist activism.
The first event, held in November, discussed the idea and implementation of feminist foreign policies, looking at examples from around the world and, in places where feminist foreign policies have been implemented, the discussion centered on whether these have helped center the lived realities of marginalized people. For the event, Rosa Burç, a PhD candidate, discussed the Kurdish feminist movement and Sara Abbas, a political scientist, discussed the Sudan revolution.

The second event, held in December, hosted the scholar, activist, and poet Stella Nyanzi, who discussed her work and how poetry can be used to empower and talk back to oppressive power.
To read more about it and stay tuned for future events, click here

Colmena: open debate on innovative open source technologies

Colmena workshop participants
Together with specialists in various areas of communication, DW Akademie Lab and Colmena organized a workshop exploring the role of innovative open source technologies in media development and international cooperation.
The event began with a session on best practices, featuring Colmena as a collaborative ecosystem for community media; the Brazilian data and storytelling lab Data Labe; the independent newsroom Correctiv; the open source social enterprise Wakoma; and the technology specialist organization Tactical Tech.
Read more about it here


Webinar series

a maker working on a mechanical system
Next year as a part of the mAkE project, GIG GIG Hub Members network and Manufacturing Change will be running a series of webinars on business models. The first one will take place on Wednesday 18th January at 13.00 UTC and will focus on consultancy as an element of the business model for makerspaces. You can register here to receive the invitation and more information.
Click here to register.
Click here to go to the event page
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