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Cities are the future of mankind, with 60% of the world population expected to live there by 2030. In these cities, makers could be the key to innovation, as local agent with expertise and community power to change things. This is, in a nutshell, the basis of the Institute For The Future (IFTF) project MakerCities. While in Shenzhen for the Maker Faire, the team delighted us with a series of 11 short speeches from as many cities represented by one of their makers.
Of course, you can't expect Beirut to sound exactly the same than Kathmandu or Singapore, but still, it's pretty interesting to compare how all these tech activists are organizing their communities and try to hack the city for the better.
So you will find here the review of ALL the speakers we've had the opportunity to listen to and discuss with in Shenzhen, representing, in addition to the above cities: Beijing, Shanghai, Tel Aviv, San Francisco, London, New York, Hong Kong and Yogyakarta in Indonesia.
The concept of "making" is clearly an umbrella for a lot of different things. People talked about democracy, about immigrants mixing in urban areas, about creativity and arts. They also talked about data, life sciences and different generations, youths or the elderly.
If you want to know more about the project, just connect to MakerCities.net, designed as an open-source platform where you can also push content about how your own city is a maker city in its own way, small or big, arty or techy, as we suspect that makers, maybe more than the usual software engineer, is one of the keys to reactivate participation in political and local life with a meaning.