It is Maker Day. You catch the ziptrain into the city. As the conburbs flash by, you browse the Maker Day app on your phone. Maker Day has only been around a couple of years. The Democrats got it started in 2020, after they seized the White House back from the Republican Party. The idea was to redress unemployment by cutting the working week to 4 days and making the 5th day Maker Day. This bold initiative has already paid off in a number of ways, not least by giving the unemployed something to do on Fridays.
Maker Day makes social innovation a community exercise. It gives ordinary citizens the power to collaboratively redesign social and political institutions. Some say it has revitalised the nation.
Outside the Maker Day pavilion, crowds of people are testing robots and drones. MAKE HISTORY says the sign above the door. You weave inside, looking for your crew. They are usually in the Library, but a Kidpreneur workshop is in session there and they are not to be seen. You study the grid on the giant whiteboard in the Community Hall, trying to decide what events to attend. For the last couple of Maker Days, you’ve helped a group of lawyers, urban planners, and community activists design a corporate-community partnership framework for organisations working to revitalise urban space. But this project is in prototyping mode, gathering data for a public review. You prefer to work at the coalface. As you MakerID says, you are an Ideator.
Today, you decide, you’ll pitch in with the Home Care Sharing XChange. Unless something else grabs your attention first. Maker Day kicks off Open Space style to ensure that there are always new projects on the table. People propose ideas for hacking institutions, and if an idea is popular, working groups are formed about it. Today’s open space sessions include some totally off-the-wall ideas, including: ‘Virtual Reality Gaming and Palliative Care: The Final Quest’ and ‘F*@k the Police: Urban Crime and Total Surveillance Solutions’. The great thing about Maker Day is that projects are experimental, so the wilder, the better. The aim is to generate institutional alternatives – as many as possible. Only a fraction of the ideas will be implemented. But who cares? The point is to have fun and be creative, and to work with people on disrupting the political imagination.
Maker Day is where the future happens. This is creative democracy in action. [Read more…]