Open Workshop London Meet

A coalition of directors from different workshops from across London have been meeting for the past couple years.

Our next meeting is the 8th March, if there are any folks who are directors/trustees/staff managing or running workshops please ping me a message for an invite.

It’s been a great way for folks running these spaces to discuss shared issues, find out about funding, talk about events and activities at different spaces.

Although it’s based in London, folks from outside London are welcome to join us.

Can we join over video/voice call? Skype? Other tech?

Might be tricky as we visit different spaces each time and the setup varies. It’s as much a social event as it is useful.

Nah, Google Hangouts over WiFi from a mobile phone clamped in a mount, sorted!

Sure. I think the other issue is people wouldn’t necessarily want to have their conversations open to being recorded. It changes the context from being a friendly meet to something more formal.

I don’t think this is an option I’m afraid.

What do the other attendees think? Participants in the meeting can be vetted/referred if you’re worried? Seems unfortunate in the modern world of video conference to limit participation due to geography.

I’ll mention it.

That’s just a fairly standard London centric view of the UK! /CynicalNortherner

In all seriousness, this is a great idea and it would be good to see more of these all over the country.

If you want one closer to you, then organise one and shout it out here for local spaces to join :wink:

Or we could even organise a virtual meetup with a beer in your own home!


Also remember there is the meet at UK Maker Faire normally.

FYI: The name Open Workshop is a term that comes from Open Workshop Network which is also a London centric website.

The term Open Workshop is a way of broadly encapsulating:

  • Makerspaces
  • Hackspaces (Foundation)
  • Hackerspaces
  • Fablabs
  • Mensheds
  • And anyone who does’t label themselves as such, including:
  • Bike repair
  • Arts/sculpture/print making spaces

It’s a very broad definition of a workshop that is open to the public in some form, either for training or bookable or open access making.

So Open Workshop London includes a range of spaces including reps from London Hackspace, South London Makerspace, Building Bloqs, Fablab London, Makerversity, London Sculpture Workshop, Imperal Advanced Hackspace, Blackhorse Workshop, Machines Room and a number of others.

Google Hangouts doesn’t record sessions.

This is a good idea, pragmatically, there’s no way I could travel to London regularly, likely the case for others, so if these sessions aren’t to be streamed or online interactive in any way then it’s a bit weird opening it up and then closing it.

In an ideal world this would be under one, being the foundation, and foundation rep’s could be at these meetings and sub meetings for it being a two/multi-way conversation #wishfulthinking

*sigh* Regretting trying now…

  1. Format: Isn’t conducive to streaming, it’s a chat round a table having some food and drinks. I don’t see how this would work. Imagine inviting a mate to a buffet via Skype… This isn’t a presentation or talk.

  2. Privacy: I don’t think everyone will be okay being filmed.

  3. Confidentiality: Some conversations may be business sensitive.

  4. Technical: Having tried many times it’s nearly impossible to pick up the audio from a room using a phone or computer in a way that is easily heard by people on Google Hangouts, or Skype, and then for the room to hear those online clearly either. Even with a proper audio interface, HD camera, projector and speakers, I’ve never managed to get it to work properly, and those online can’t participate.

The reason I posted this was because there are likely spaces outside Greater London who could relatively easily attend a quarterly meeting and might wish to.

I recognise that those further outside, in the South West, and North aren’t going to be able to attend, and are welcome to organise a local meet in their own city or region, however there are other opportunities already out there such as the Hackspace Foundation meet up at UK Maker Faire, EMF and although slightly different in content another event I am also involved in called Maker Assembly which has place all over the UK: London, Belfast, Sheffield and Manchester, in March we are holding one in Edinburgh.

That said, it would seem that if there is sufficient demand that we could organise a online Open Workshop UK + Ireland Google Hangout event that would avoid these technical problems as everyone would have their own microphone and headphones.

Who would be interested in doing something like this?

If so I would be open to organising one as a trail.

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7 posts were split to a new topic: UKwide online Video Discussion
Please stay on topic (that goes for me as well! sorry!)

Please let me know when and where on March 8th - I’d be interested to come if I can!

Nigel B
Basingstoke Makerspace

Reminder this Wednesday at Fablab London, 19:00-21:30.

The event is aimed at those who are trustees/directors/staff/organisers of Open Workshops, like Makerspaces and Hackspaces.

:frowning:Sorry to say that I can’t make it after all this time because of an important personal commitment, but I hope I can make it next time, as it sounds like a great opportunity to network and learn from other more experienced folk in the community. And to bring our communities closer together too…

Nigel at BaDhack

We will look forward to it. I’ve been meaning to come meet you guys

The next event is detailed here: