The Big Picture
Ultimately, MakerNet.work is about seeing several, seemingly disparate problems, and imagining a single solution.
There are millions of unfilled jobs in manufacturing, the skilled trades, and other STEM careers. There are millions of un- or under-employed people who want access to those jobs. And there are thousands of makerspaces where the skills needed to get those jobs are being taught. But there is nothing to tie them together.
Makerspaces around the world are expanding rapidly, but also struggling to keep the lights on. If you can’t turn your new Maker skills into paying work, how can a makerspace membership be anything more than an expensive hobby, at a time when wealth inequality is at it’s worst in a century, and more and more of us are struggling to make ends meet.
So how do we tie it all together?
It is central to our mission to support and grow the Maker Movement as a global community. We have built a moat around this mission by creating a hybrid business model, where we are a 501(c)3 non-profit, and also a symbiotically linked for-profit company.
By setting it up this way, we can protect our social mission from potential interference by investors, and also create our own financial independence thus reduce our reliance on grant funding.
The non-profit is all about supporting makers and makerspaces, understanding their problems, and offering solutions as part of our free, open-source platform. This platform generates data about who can do what, how well they can do it, what tools they use to do it, and so on.
This data passes through a privacy filter, cutting out all personally identifiable information, and then the for-profit licenses access to this data set. This data can be used in aggregate to create value for the companies that make the tools that Makers use, and it can help Makers looking for work be matched by skills, experience and location to job openings.
Above all we value openness, integrity, creativity, and the spark of enthusiasm that defines Makers everywhere.
Our promise to you is that we will never sell your personal data, or exploit the Maker Community. This is why we have set up our model the way it is.
If you have any questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you!