We’ve been asked by a number of people if they could sponsor Maker Faire Africa as individuals. Amounts that range from $25 to $100. This is a good idea, and in line with the type of event that this is. Committee member Mark Grimes, founder of Ned.com, is in charge of all the funds, and he will be using a PayPal account to receive those personal sponsorships until we have a better way to handle it.

[UPDATE: Mark has created a widget that allows anyone to sponsor MFA on the main page.]

Thanks!

Traditional Sponsorship

There’s a whole page and a PDF download of information for those interested in sponsoring Maker Faire Africa. It basically breaks down like this:

Panthera Leo (lion) Package ($7,500)
Everything in Loxodonta Africana and Gazella Rufifrons packages plus:

  • 10 VIP conference passes
  • 2 sponsored workshops with product demos
  • 1 page advertisement in conference guide
  • Use of conference mailing list within 6 months of event
  • Banner placement at entrance and in auditorium
  • Keynote address sponsorship message
  • Guest article on Maker Faire Africa web site
  • Logo on conference bag

Loxodonta Africana (elephant) Package ($1,500)
Everything in the Gazella Rufifrons package plus:

  • Exhibitor space
  • 4 VIP conference passes
  • Mention in email broadcasts
  • Included in news releases
  • 1/2 page advertisement in conference guide
  • Goodies in conference bag

Gazella Rufifrons (gazelle) Package ($250)

  • 100 word listing and logo in conference guide
  • 100 word listing on web site
  • Placing of material on literature table
  • Logo on t-shirt, shirts free to attendees

A Better World By Design is a conference that will be held at Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design November 7-9. It looks very relevant to the Maker Faire Africa ethos, where we’ll be looking for design solutions for everyday needs where the bottom up meets the top down. A great line-up of speakers includes Iqbal Quadir of MIT’s Legatum Center and Grameen Phone, Niti Bhan of Emerging Futures Lab, and Maker Faire Africa and Ushahidi’s own Erik Hersman among many other. Here’s from the BWBD site:

Design is a powerful tool. It makes technology accessible to the masses. It sets apart innovative companies from also-rans. It is the single leading force in the modern creative economy. But a growing number of designers, engineers, and economists are suddenly realizing design’s massive potential to make the world a better place.

Of the 6.7 billion people on planet earth, half live on less than $2 a day. One third lacks access to basic sanitation. This is a problem of massive proportions. But most shocking is the realization that the design solution is simpler and cheaper than any product designed for the developed world.

At the same time, we notice with increasing alarm the rapidity of environmental degradation. Climate change, deforestation, and pollution challenge designers to consider sustainability at the core of their practice. When approached with careful consideration, ecological design has generated some of the most elegant works of our time.

What are designers doing to address these critical issues facing today’s world? How are engineers developing new technologies to improve life on earth? Where are entrepreneurs finding surprising opportunities in this mess? A Better World by Design will attempt to address these questions by demonstrating what professionals and academics are doing to promote sustainable development and change the world for the better.

Over three days, you will hear from dozens of industry leaders about novel approaches and solutions to extreme poverty, access to basic resources, and environmental degradation. Workshops will put theory to practice in the spirit of engineering. And at night, get ready to let loose at our mixer and gala!

Design for a better world is often user-centered, affordable, and simple. As E.F. Schumacher famously put it, “small is beautiful.” The urgency of today’s global crises is making this approach to appropriate technology more relevant than ever.

More at A Better World By Design.

circuitbending2.jpg

I’ve been thinking for a while now how great it would be to have a Maker-Faire-type event in South Africa when Jess Hemerly from the Institute for the Study of the Future sent me a link to an AfriGadget post by Erik Hersman on the idea (original post by Emeka Okafor is here). I always wanted the iSummit to be more about really making stuff: making, building, working together on concrete, real things that you can touch, test and experiment with (Maker-Faire’s strapline encapsulates my favorite things in the world: build, craft, hack, play). I think it’s one of the best ways to learn and one of the most important ways to show how innovation can work in the digital space after the event (where there isn’t the awesome opportunity for people to get together physically).

According to AfriGadget, the organising team of the Ghana event ‘will collaborate with the organizers of the International Development Design Summit (IDDS), which will be held at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in mid/late Summer 2009?. There are so many potential partners for an SA event, but I’m particularly interested in the intersection of music and the arts (thinking of Dean Henning’s awesome musical toys ‘basic circuit bending’ experiments at LiquidFridge in 2007).

More soon…

Pic by Nortis on Flickr CC BY NC SA

A couple weeks ago one of our inspirations for AfriGadget – Emeka Okafor of Timbuktu Chronicles – put forward an idea on the Ned forums about a “Maker Faire Africa“.

The aim of a Maker Faire-like event is to create a space on the continent where Afrigadget-type innovations, inventions and initiatives can be sought, identified, brought to life, supported, amplified, propagated, etc. Maker Faire Africa asks the question, “What happens when you put the drivers of ingenious concepts from Mali with those from Ghana and Kenya, and add resources to the mix?

The focus here is not on high-tech, but on manufacturing. Specifically, fabrication, the type of small and unorganized businesses that pop up wherever an entrepreneur is found on the African continent. It gets exciting when you think about gathering some of the real innovators from this sector into one place where they can learn from each other and spread their knowledge from one part of the continent to another.

 
Old bicycle turned into a furnace bellows Simon Mwangi A Welding Machine
 

A few fabrication stories on AfriGadget:

The organizing team will collaborate with the organizers of the International Development Design Summit (IDDS), which will be held at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in mid/late Summer 2009, to ensure a well-timed, visible, and celebratory event that draws upon IDDS outcomes and attracts new participants. The aim of Maker Faire Africa 2009 will be to establish partnerships and an organizing infrastructure that could lead to a series of events across the continent.

Needless to say, AfriGadget is 100% behind this initiative and will take an active role in both promotion and organizing, as needed.