MakerNet and InfoSec news: Balancing Privacy with Sustainability

Makers and hackers value their privacy, and in many ways understand the implications of losing it far better than the rest of us. As the world is increasingly connected on “free” platforms that monetize the personal data of their users, community maker groups known as “makerspaces” around the world have remained stubbornly atomized, like personal computers from the late 1980s. If it were possible to unify the makers of the world on a single platform that put privacy and data autonomy first, what would that look like, and what could be accomplished?

Here’s an article about MakerNet and our vision, first published in The Parallax. You can read the full article here.

We’d love to hear your thoughts.

MakerNet is expanding!

We’re so excited to announce that Sherry Huss, the co-founder of Maker Faire and VP of Maker Media has joined our Board of Directors. And our exec team is delighted to welcome Ron Whitham as our new CTO and Jason Wells as our CPO. Between the three of them, we’ve just added 50+ years of experience with the Maker world, tech startups, and software development, and things are picking up steam quickly.

We’re also happy to share with you that we are bringing Laney College FabLab and The Manufactory into the fold as MakerNet users.

We’re still looking for makerspaces and fablabs that would like to take part in our early beta program. You’d be an early adopter of a free, open-source makerspace operations platform, ad help us grow it to something that we hope to spread worldwide. If you’re interested, please get in touch with us!

Apprenticeships for Makers

Apprenticeship Pathways - Studies by groups such as Deloitte and the Bureau of Labor Statistics have predicted a shortfall of between 2 and 3 Million skilled jobs across the US alone by 2020. These are jobs for welders, industrial maintenance technicians, electricians, woodworkers, designers, fabricators, and so on. All of these skills can be learned at Makerspaces, and in many cases already are, but not in a way that is generally recognized by larger companies or government organizations. We are working with the California Division of Apprenticeship Standards, the Advanced Manufacturing & Transportation Apprenticeships of California, and the California Community College Maker Initiative to set up a recognized apprenticeship program that any makerspace can take part in, receive government funding for, and thereby become a pipeline for Makers to get into jobs with the skills they've learned.

This is still in the early stages, but our hope is to pilot this program in several makerspaces around California next year, and then scale out to other states, or maybe even nationwide, by 2020.

Post #1 - Google, Monsters, Access Control, and more!

Lots of big news for our first official news post.

We are thrilled to announce a new sponsorship from Google!  This comes right as we are getting our second makerspace up and running on MakerNet, so this sponsorship will help us expand our team and meet our ambitious goals for this year.

We've also formed a partnership with Ace Monster Toys, an amazing makerspace in Oakland. We're collaborating on an open source access control system, Fob All The Things (FATT), helping to make it scalable and replicable across any number of makerspaces within our network. This is building off the open source access control system, AuthBox, from Google's internal maker community.

We just returned from NomCon, where we had an amazing time meeting many of our heroes of the maker world. More on that in future posts!