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This content is taken from the Living in Minca & Biji-biji Initiative's online course, Social Innovation: Global Solutions for a Sustainable Future. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 8 seconds As we go through our Social Innovation journey we have come to understand the different challenges and opportunities within a context. We have looked at developing our Minimum Viable Product, as well as understanding the different team dynamics for you to make this happen. Now, you want to evolve to bring these ideas to life. And a really good place to start doing this is looking at your local makerspaces or, what some would call, Creative Hubs. There are two main reasons why

Skip to 0 minutes and 40 seconds your local makerspace is the best place to get this going: The first reason is the access to the different tools and technology that you get. So, imagine your local makerspace as an open workshop, with a variety of different labs.

Skip to 0 minutes and 57 seconds You are thinking of tools like: 3D-printers, design softwares, laser-cutters, electronics equipment, IOT-softwares, IOT-sensors, wood and metal machinery, textiles equipment, as well as VR-headsets. Now, the second reason for this is the access to the talent and expertise within these spaces. These people give you the technical know-how for you to be able to bring your ideas to life. So, you could be working on ideas that for example involve IOT-skills, together with fabrication skills. Or, they could involve a platform design, together with a physical product. The combination of these different skill sets can be found within your local makerspace.

Skip to 1 minute and 47 seconds And, what makes it really exciting is that you want to be able to physically make this solution, you wan to then be able to test it out in the real world, to get feedback, and, you want to be able to get a realistic estimate of what it would cost. So, you can identify if this innovation is feasible and worth pursuing. Let’s take this into a real-world context, of what happened during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Skip to 2 minutes and 13 seconds There was a global shortage of Personal Protective Equipment: PPE for face shields, gowns, respirator tubes, as well as, incubator boxes. What made this even more complex and challenging is that each locality had a different need based on the different machinery that we had. The global 3D-printing community together with the maker community rose up to the challenge, designed a veriety of open source files, that could be quickly deployed at any locality to be made on the spot. This decentalised production effort is a result of Social Innovation, kicking in to solve real-world problems.

Skip to 2 minutes and 57 seconds What happened over here was upon us getting the design files and identifying the local hospital needs, we were able to fine tune the local face shield requirements within a 24-hour period, and then, lauched a campaign with the public to go on to produce 25.000 face shields to be developed and deployed to frontliners across Malaysia. This solution was first developed within a makerspace, making the 1-2.000 units within a makerspace, and then, evolving into different production centers that were able to make them at scale. The quickness of this response and the ability of makerspaces to actualize Social Innovation puts these platforms in the perfect place to create and make real change happen.

Makerspaces

In this video, you will learn about the importance of using makerspaces with the case study of Mereka.

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This video is from the free online course:

Social Innovation: Global Solutions for a Sustainable Future

Living in Minca