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Making the North, Together: Envisioning makerspaces as systems conveners in the social economy

Hoang, Nam (2023) Making the North, Together: Envisioning makerspaces as systems conveners in the social economy. [MRP]

Item Type: MRP
Creators: Hoang, Nam

This major research project (MRP) applies systems and foresight tools to the realm of makerspaces and their social impact – it seeks to understand the role of a makerspace in convening community and facilitating self-organization from the grassroots level. It asks how the democratization of making, and of the tools and technologies involved, plays a role fostering the inherent creativity and niche innovations of a community. Hypothesizing that makerspaces, have the potential to reach across different spectrums of socio-economic class and identity, how might they act as leaders within a system, engines for convening grassroots power? Where social systems have become entrenched, in what ways might makerspaces exert pressure on existing regimes? These questions are applied in an action case following a participatory action research methodology, sponsored by a not-for-profit maker-space in Yellowknife, Canada, called MakerspaceYK (MSYK). Following the acquisition of a new space and resources, the sponsor sought a generative re-framing of its strategic purpose,
especially in relation to the systemic issues faced by the community it serves. The organization’s perspective on its role within the wider system was explored strategic foresight tools, and interviews were conducted with other local non-profit and social impact organizations to establish the systemic landscape. The research findings were consolidated and synthesized into a Theory for Systemic Change and Action, with the aim of understanding potential impact and latent systemic leverage.
Ultimately, the study finds that makerspaces espouse the unique quality of being able to scale to purpose, reaching across the system as an intermediary, coordinator, and resource orchestrator among regime-level, niche-level, and community level actors. Due to this quality, makerspaces are well positioned to become systems conveners – fostering dialogue, spaces for learning, and cooperation across social boundaries.

Date: 6 September 2023
Divisions: Graduate Studies > Strategic Foresight and Innovation
Date Deposited: 15 Sep 2023 18:40
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2023 18:40
URI: https://openresearch.ocadu.ca/id/eprint/4169

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