The Open Source Hardware and Maker Movements: Reshaping America

Isaac Budmen | Information Space | October 8, 2012

...The Open Hardware Movement isn’t only powering the next generation of technology, but it’s also holding itself accountable for making things here in America. SparkFun Electronics, one of the biggest open-source hardware developers and retailers, does 100% of its production at its home location in Boulder, Colorado. MakerBot, whose founder Bre Pettis is on the cover of Wired magazine this month, has its entire operation in New York City. There, the bots are assembled, tested and shipped all over the world. Finally, Adafruit Industries, yet another major player in the open source hardware movement, does the majority of its production here in America, too.

The OSHW Community stands as an example that many industries in America should follow. Making in America is woven into our collective history. Henry Ford’s Model T changed not only the way we got around, but reshaped employment and the economy. Companies that made things created jobs — well paying jobs — that valued skills and trade in addition to higher education.

The open source hardware and maker movements have the potential to rebuild those opportunities for the 21st Century. They give us confidence that the economy will get better because we will build something better. It is by accepting the responsibility for making what we invent here in America that together we will be able to change our current circumstances, reshape our economy and in the process make a better future for ourselves and the next generation. If that is a future you wish to see as much as I do, then I encourage you to learn more about OSHW and the Maker Movement. I challenge you to make something.