By Kshitiz Khanal
On Kathmandu Mini Maker Faire (KMMF) 2018, I wanted to introduce GOSH to the community of makers. The mini version of Maker faire was hosted by Nepal Communitere on September 22-23, 2018 at Nepal Communitere premises.
KMMF 2018 is the second maker faire organized in Nepal, succeeding KMMF 2016. The event showcased more than 50 innovative projects and startups from Nepal, ranging from biodegradable plates to drone based services to augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR). Aside these projects, there were interactive workshops, presentations, hands-on activities and market of “made in Nepal” artifacts, among other things. The lively and crowded event brought makers from different continents to share ideas and innovations in order to create opportunities through cross-learning.
Making hardware… For Science
Besides learning about local innovations coming from Nepal and meeting people in the community, I also planned to introduce GOSH to this mostly maker audience. To this end, I proposed a presentation on “Making for Science”. But the organizers had a slightly different plan for me.
Probably based on my background in few different fields on open knowledge, including open data, open hardware, open maps, etc., I was asked to talk about “Open Tech Revolution in Nepal (and its relevance to the future of makerspaces)” in a session that also included a panel discussion about the future of makerspaces.
On the stage I commented about the the present and past of open technology revolution in Nepal, and what this means for the future of makerspaces in the country. Nepal’s open tech revolution goes from the existence of a FOSS community even before Facebook was a thing, to open data activism in the last decade, and a present where new avenues of open knowledge such as open access and open education are being practiced. Open hardware is a fairly new concept here.
Sometimes the world is really small. I was glad I met a few people from Nepal and abroad who were aware of GOSH work and were also part of the community. I had useful discussions with several innovators on their views on sharing their innovations openly: some of them were concerned about open hardware’s potential for business, even if they agreed with the principles. Others were open to the idea and were already making efforts to share their designs openly. Shout-out here to this Zero-Watt Turbine maker who was already sharing his Bill of Materials (BoM) when I met him at KMMF.
Making is more than just hardware. Makers often build upon easily available software, data, designs made by others. Openness is a movement than ensures that one can freely, legally and openly use multiple forms of innovations created by others. Openness can then enhance the capability of makers by making all the resources they need easily available, and hopefully inspiring others to do the same whenever it is practical.
On this note I introduced the GOSH community to the audience, and invited members in the audience to join and discuss how we can MAKE for better SCIENCE in Nepal.
The slides used in the presentation can be found here. Makers from Nepal and all over the world who are interested in making for better science can join the GOSH community, learn and share their ideas with a global movement at GOSH forum.