Free fablab conference takes place at the Guildhall

The conference takes place on Monday.
The conference takes place on Monday.
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Some of the world’s leading thinkers and practitioners in digital social innovation are set to address Derry Guildhall on November 10, as part of a free conference on the global FabLab phenomenon.

Blair Evans of Detroit’s Incite Focus project, who has used digital technologies to drive social and economic regeneration in one of America’s most deprived cities, will be joined by speakers from Iceland - where FabLabs have played a key role in recovery from the economic catastrophe of 2008, and a host of expert speakers to discuss international best practice around the use of FabLab’s for creativity based digital social innovation at the Fabricating the Future conference.

Presented by FabLab Nerve Centre and FabLab Belfast, the only facilities of their kind in Northern Ireland, the one-day event will explore how the digital fabrication model, as developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), is used for peace building, curriculum mapped STEM > STEAM learning and social innovation through Public Health, Skills and Entrepreneurship programmes across local communities in NI.

John Peto, director of education at Nerve Centre said: ‘We’re looking forward to welcoming all our guest speakers to Derry~Londonderry next month for what will be a thought-provoking and collaborative day with our FabLab colleagues. Not only have FabLabs allowed individuals across a wide spectrum of skills and abilities to design and make almost anything with access to state-of-the-art technology, its progressive programme has opened a world of forward-thinking creativity in local communities in Detroit, Iceland and here in Northern Ireland. This event is the first of its kind in the UK or Ireland and we are very happy that Derry and Belfast are playing a leading role in this innovation.’

Attendees will also learn about the emerging global field of digital social innovation with input from innovation charity NESTA, which facilitates practical programmes and in-depth research to help people and organisations make great ideas a reality, alongside other representatives still to be announced.

The afternoon will then offer the opportunity to actively discover and explore the use of digital fabrication to deliver social outcomes by engaging in a range of hands on taster sessions, demos and workshops using 3D printers, laser cutters, Arduino software and more.The conference will also see the launch of FabLab Foundation Ireland, joining an international network formed in 2009 to facilitate and support the expansion of the FabLab model throughout the world.

The day will begin with a ‘Make me the Money’ business breakfast, aiming to engage with local businesses and show them the benefits that FabLab can bring to their business. 3D Printing, Laser Cutting and Digital Fabrication are changing the way that businesses operate across the world. From product development and design right through to packing, merchandising and Point of Sale materials, these tools can increase revenue and innovation in any business.

Register to attend the conference by visiting www.nervecentre.org.

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