Friday, August 7, 2015

Fab11 What is it? Panel Discussions Mon, Tues, Wed

So what is Fab 11? It's an annual gathering (11th annual, hence the 11) of the International Fab Lab Network members. There are now about 500 fab labs around the world, in 55+ countries with the number of labs doubling every 18 months or so. This year it was held at MIT, the birthplace of the Fab Lab. The whole thing started in Neil Gershenfeld's Center for Bits & Atoms at MIT, with the How to Make Almost Anything class. (Watch Neil's TED talk from 2006 for the background on the concept)

The global network has taken the idea and expanded it to impact individuals, communities, businesses, collaborative research and projects around the world. The real impact behind Fab Labs is empowering people. As Neil has been quoted often, "The power of Digital Fabrication is social, not technical".

The conference itself was made up of three parts. The first three days were spent at MIT with morning organizational notes,  a noted speaker or two, presentations from fab labs around the world, and then a panel discussion of the best and brightest in three areas: Monday - Robotics, Tuesday - Entertainment/movies, Wednesday - Biology.  The panel discussions were AMAZING - mind blown - and worth the time if you have any interest at all in what is going on at the bleeding edge and what these minds see as on the near horizon for the future.

Making Robots

Mon - Conversations: Making Robots from Fab 11 on Vimeo.

Making Movies

Tue - Conversations: Making Movies from Fab 11 on Vimeo.

Making LIFE

Wed-Conversations: Making Life from Fab 11 on Vimeo.

Fab 11 Resources: Video of discussions, panel presentations, etc.

Fab Foundation : Global organization for all Fab Labs

Fab Ed  : In conjunction with TIES : Teaching Institute for Excellence in STEM

Fab Ed Resources : work in progress for teachers to upload lessons, ideas, etc.

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