The Goteo team was intensively participating at Fab10 two weeks ago, the international event organised by Fab Lab Barcelona which gathered the Fab Lab Network and citizens interested in 3D printing, rapid prototyping, Arduino gadgets and a long list of new tools and strategies for personal fabrication and civic innovation based on the “DIY philosophy”.

The Fab Lab community has more than 350 laboratories based in more than 40 countries in the world, which came to Fab10 to share new ideas, prototypes and projects at this incredible “maker” festival. For those of you less aware of the concept, Fab Labs centers (as well as other type of maker spaces which also attended the festival) offer personal digital fabrication tools and knowledge, equipped with 3D printers, laser cutters and more computer controlled tools that cover several different length scales and various materials, with the aim to make "almost anything".

Goteo’s crowdfunding workshops for makers

Given the importance of sustainability for Fab Labs and the projects they incubate, as well as economic models for the products and/or services generated in their processes and approach to openness and sharing, we were running each day a short version of our open crowdfunding workshop.

Based on Goteo’s materials and participative methodology, dozens of makers and people have been discovering key factors for crowdfunding, contrasting their experience as backers, discussing indicators and strategies based on real campaigns, and even simulating in analogical mode the act of giving money to open initiatives (something we call #learnbyfunding :)

One of our crowdfunding sessions at Fab10

Real examples of crowdfunding by/for makers

Our own learning about the “maker” domain, and dedicated knowledge facilitation afterwards, is based on ad hoc research while co-designing and creating the Goteo platform, but also on several campaigns like the Foldarap, Smart Citizen, Bhoreal and many others described in this post about free culture and P2P production. Also on exciting new campaigns using currently our approach to crowdfunding, like the awesome Survivor’s Manual for makers, the DIY Institute, the Open Shoes or the BabyDuino kit. Maybe you feel like lending them a hand, and this way start to learn as well by funding?

3D version of the materials

One critical line of work for us is the dissemination of tools and practical knowledge about crowdfunding, in order to have an impact in the learning process and empowerment for people behind open projects, like in the case of “makers”. So as a result of our collaboration with Fab Lab Barcelona in Fab10 we have now a first version of a 3D kit you can download and print for getting to know more about crowdfunding based on our P2P methodology (the same we have been using during Fab10). In case you are an institution or community interested in this approach, don’t hesitate to contact us, so we can find ways to bring the whole experience to your context and help open projects grow!

Set of boards designed and printed for assessment about crowdfunding

The social innovation ingredient

At Fab10 we also had the great opportunity to give a talk in a panel dedicated to crowdfunding, and enter into conversation with different key institutions and projects during the festival, where we have been focusing on the importance of understanding social innovation as a part of the whole fab and maker emerging phenomena.

There our approach is trying to embed crowdfunding tools and knowledge in a broader open process, where co-creation techniques and participatory design comes before crowdfunding itself. And where after collective funding there’s also an approach to collaborative agile development, adapting and opening up the scrum framework so crowdfunded projects can count also on communities for validating and certifying social impact of the initiatives they have helped to fund. We call this Growd, and apart from the diagram under development below you can find a more detailed presentation here about this new open strategy we’re working on at the moment, also in connection with other institutions interested in helping civic based innovation openly grow.   

Growd diagram for co-creation and open development around crowdfunding

More maker and open knowledge events

From the Goteo Basque node we have also been participating at the Maker Faire Bilbao this weekend, meeting incredible DIY projects! This week we’re also at another key open event which is the Open Knowledge Festival in Berlin. So expect us there to keep spreading and sharing practices for open crowdfunding and co-creation :)