Representing Maker/Hackspaces at upcoming climate/sustainability summit


Dermot here - one of the Directors at South London Makerspace (SLMS)

I’m going to be attending CtrlShift in May, from Wednesday 8th. It’s ‘an emergency summit for change’, focused on collaborative organisations

I’m interested in how our spaces and members can be part of the solutions to the many pressing climate and environmental issues facing us all, and am attending with my SLMS directors’ hat on

I want to raise two general questions for your consideration:

  1. Getting approval to represent the HSF
  2. Funding for such things…

1. Getting approval to represent the HSF

It would be great/better to be there representing the wider Hack/Makerspace world – it also feels that there’s a case for HSF to be at the table: so was wondering how others feel and how I might go about getting the nod for that?

2. Funding for such things…

I’ll be self-funding the ticket, travel, accommodation, meals…and of course going in my own my time…I’m happy enough to do this, but I’m aware that most other people attending will be there representing their organisations, and will be being funded to do so.

I think many of us have found ourselves in these situations when representing Makerspaces at conferences, talks and other events: looking around and realising everyone else is ‘at work’?

The convention that we do all we do for free heavily favours people with either healthy personal funds, or very supportive employers, or jobs where we can somehow build a website without the boss noticing. Being a freelancer means I personally don’t tick any of those boxes…but there’s people far worse off than me

So if there was HSF funding available that would help greatly. Lack of funding won’t stop me attending, but I think it’s worth thinking about as a group for future events where representation would be of value

For clarity: funding is absolutely not a condition for representing our ‘movement’ – I’m going anyway – I just thought I’d raise the question at the same time. And I believe it’s important generally: many people put themselves to financial hardship to support these labours of love, and would have an easier time if the burden was lightened here and there

Let me know what you think

1 Like


That was an intense/fascinating/exhilarating few days in Stoke on Trent…it’s left me with a lot to process, but I’ll be brief for now

About 110 representatives of all sorts of organisations representing permaculture and farming, to housing,energy, to the Restart Project, Extinction Rebellion Youth, and local regeneration of a dozen different shades gathered in a former Spode pottery site

The core to the summit was ‘shifting control from governments and big business to where it can be more effective’…which usually meant local initiatives, which invariably have a parallel effect of building communities. The underlying ethos was building systems and networks that work long-term so that humans and the natural world can both thrive

I saw many potential tie-ins with Maker/Hackspaces

It think it’s fairly clear that there are huge and immediate challenges for the world over then next decade: climate, environment and social – and I wonder if people would be interested in investigating how our spaces might be part of the solutions? The issues themselves are mind-mindbogglingly in scale, but one of the great lines I heard was “start close to yourself and look at what you can do”. And close to me is South London Makerspace, and the maker ‘movement’ in general

It would also be wonderful to have a specific area to discuss such things and hear about what’s already happening, and being planned by Spaces

With an ever growing list of boroughs, cities and parliaments declaring emergency – such as culture declares emergency – where does the UKHSF stand? And how does it decide where it stands?

I realise this is off topic in some respects, but it’s also perhaps not


For us in Richmond makerlabs it is not off topic. We are but one of several projects under the HUG CIC umbrella. On this website we state:

BlockquoteHUG works for a sustainable future in our community

We are a non-political community interest company.

We work as a umbrella organisation that supports projects and groups that wish to improve the enviroment and the quality of life for the people in Ham and Petersham.

Want to help?

Volunteering is a great way to make new friends and learn new skills.

More hands are always welcome! Check out our groups and projects above.

If you have an idea for a project or a group that you would like to start, please contact us to discuss it.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead cultural anthropologist

Recently we had some interest from some XR people I am told.

In Barking and Dagenham we have Participatory City’s Every One Every Day project with The Warehouse Makerspace. Sustainability is not in our main charitable aims but sustainability is one of the things we have to do to support people in LBBD. We follow the 14 Design principles for inclusive participation.

Thank you for representing HSF! I think we should do more of this when going to conferences, wear our HSF hat on.