[hackerspaces] Dear hackerspaces, bad news

Jenny Ryan jenny at thepyre.org
Mon Mar 17 04:38:08 CET 2014

Hash: SHA1

Hi Florencia!

On 03/16/2014 07:14 PM, Florencia Edwards wrote:
> Read the Hacker Space Design Patterns a  long time ago. Our opinion
> doesn't matter, the owner makes the final decision, is those
> makerspace with a "dictator" that puts in all the money in the
> beginning for a huge space, with a lot of machinery, so he
> decides.

I'm curious to know what the motivation is behind the space - what are
your community's values, ethics, how do you spend your time together
as a group?

Concentration of power is a critically important anti-pattern, for
sure. But if you do have a core group of folks dedicated to a set of
shared values and interests, then there is still hope! :)

> My question is, does any other makerspace have payed staff? How do
> you pay them? I'd love the staff here to be volunteer but i promise
> in my country people can't commit easily as volunteers because life
> is too expensive, there is no time , we work from 9 or 8 am until 7
> pm and everyone is in debt. We are not a developed country, and the
> community of makers that are awesome don't have a cent to donate
> and don't trust people. We had a crowd funding platform in our
> country and it went bankrupt because people don't believe in
> donations, they always feel they are being ripped off.

No hacker/makerspaces that I'm aware of has paid staff - I myself
spend considerable amounts of time outside of working hours at our
hackerspace, sudo room. However, there's been considerable interest in
forming offshoots (like branches) off of the community ranging from
worker-owned cooperatives to tiny homemade business ventures.

That's unfortunate that people in your country don't believe in
donations. I think you could garner support for your space from
outside the country in the form of crowdfunding and micropayment
platforms such as Gittip and Flattr - but the space would need to have
a clear vision and set of values to which they're committed in order
to find such support.

> It's not easy I just want to know what you guys think could be done
> better (obviusly having a sort of dictator is the worst scenario,
> being it a company and not a foundation it's also the worst
> scenario,and having big brands come in it's , like someone said, a
> slap in the face) *but I' curious, do you think  having a  payed
> staff was one of the big mistakes?*
- -- 


"Technology is the campfire around which we tell our stories."
- -Laurie Anderson

"Storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining
 -Hannah Arendt

"To define is to kill. To suggest is to create."
- -Stéphane Mallarmé
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