Born of the human desire to create, innovate, and re-imagine the world around us, and fueled by the development of low-cost tools, technologies and platforms that allow for more rapid and efficient designing, prototyping and fabrication, the maker movement has enabled students and adults alike to bring their ideas to life. The maker movement starts with the community; the ecosystem of makers and all that they do and create. More and more, we are seeing makers take on challenges both locally and globally, using their knowledge and skills to improve their lives and the lives of others in their communities.
Since the recent birth of the maker movement, millions of individuals, and thousands of organizations and institutions have found ways to explore their own creative potential. Over the past year alone, groups such as The Maker City project (supported by the Kauffman Foundation) have documented how the maker movement is having an impact on communities large and small across the U.S.; more than 1,500 K-12 schools in 50 states have signed on to the Maker Promise, co-led Maker Ed and Digital Promise, and over 77 colleges and universities made public new commitments to creating more opportunities for making on their campuses and in their communities. These are just a few of the recent examples of ways countless organizations have been inspired by the hacker and makerspaces and maker events that exist all across this country.
But there is still much work to be done. The maker movement has significant implications for manufacturing, economic and workforce development, education, healthcare innovation, community revitalization, and technology advancements. To continue to grow the coalition of diverse organizations that are working to support the maker community, this new independent, non-profit organization called Nation of Makers has been formed. We commit to serving and representing the full variety of spaces, events, and institutions serving makers, including non-profit organizations, museums, libraries, science centers, educational institutions, foundations and for-profit companies.
Nation of Makers is working with leaders from the maker community in all 50 states and has received more than 300 Letters of Support from hackerspaces, makerspaces, companies, libraries, local government, and economic development agencies. These Letters of Support both strengthen the organization and share some of the amazing work already being done. We invite you to read some of these stories.