Here’s What Happens When the Maker Movement Hacks Itself

If the Maker movement is so open-minded, where are the minorities and women?

Here at GOOD, we believe that design can be used to create positive social, environmental, and economic change. So we're joining forces with our friends at Impact Design Hub to share compelling stories about design that's moving the world forward. The article below is an excerpt of “What the Maker Movement Needs to Learn.” Get the full story here.

Image courtesy Sisters e.S.T.E.A.M.

Open any issue of Make: magazine and you’ll find an extraordinary breadth of inventive hacks and imaginative uses of technology, all embodying the can-do, DIY spirit of the Maker movement. On its face, the movement is a democratic one, all about communing with other makers, hackers, engineers, and tinkerers; it’s about learning by doing and educating one another. But despite its ethos of open-source access and democratic, non-hierarchical structures, making isn’t quite the equitable playing field it aspires to be.

The problem is that, for the most part, access to a high level of education and resources are an invisible requirement to participate in the first place. Though making as an act is universal; makerspaces and forums, on the other hand, are largely restricted to those with social or economic capital. But there is hope! There are leaders and pioneers around the world resisting this dynamic and working to make the movement more inclusive through the power of education.