Developing the created world in a prudent way is the best way of caring for it.
— Pope Francis

MANO works with visionary organizations to produce hands-on events and learning initiatives that support bottom-up innovation and entrepreneurship.

Across the globe, grassroots innovators are harnessing technology and reinventing business models to create significant economic and social value using fewer natural resources. Their work is helping to boost economic opportunity, foster social inclusion and advance environmental sustainability in both emerging markets and mature economies in need of regeneration.  

MANO is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization committed to the idea that anyone can develop the grit, entrepreneurial mindset, and sensitivity to design needed to prosper in the 21st century, and seeks to help create the next generation of bottom-up innovators through hands-on learning initiatives. 

We Believe In Better Living Through Making

MANO launched in 2013 as MIAMade, a Miami-based non-profit founded to promote the maker movement in South Florida. Over the years, we became increasingly fascinated with how the resourcefulness, creativity and emphasis on learning that defines this movement are being applied to tackle social, economic and environmental challenges around the world. 

Making is rooted in play, collaboration, and curiosity. It not only enables us to create things that are meaningful to us, but also to make things that are meaningful to our communities. It nurtures a mindset that tells us we have the power to shape the world around us. Seeing technology as a means to an end, makers engage in open collaboration, combining domain expertise with modern tools such as digital fabrication, micro-controllers and data analytics to innovate solutions for themselves and their communities. Ultimately, we at MANO believe that the “maker mindset” empowers people to solve big problems:

·      Economic Opportunity and Personal Growth. Maker-centered learning helps children develop a sense of agency and build character traits such as creative confidence, competence and identity. Among college students and adults, this mindset fosters entrepreneurship and innovation, and helps to bridge the talent gap created by rapid advancements in technology and changes in the working-age population.

·      Environmental Sustainability. Makers share and learn from each other while working with their hands in interdisciplinary environments that combine a variety of tools and technologies. This involves doing more with less -- reinventing, repurposing and recycling materials and resources to create value. Makers generate awareness for what goes into the foods we eat and products we use, and advocate for local production and sourcing of the things we consume. They are also at the forefront of the global "zero waste" movement.

·      Social Inclusion. Making enables us to see the world from other people’s perspectives and to develop empathy—the ability to understand, identify with, and experience the feelings of those we are designing for or with whom we are collaborating. Making also promotes “shared value” through the design and fabrication of products and services that create economic value by creating social value.

·      Civic Engagement and Good Governance. The maker mindset drives civic hacking, urban prototyping and social innovation, enabling us to see our cities as platforms ripe for open source collaboration – places where we can experiment with ideas, data, resources and services to improve quality of life for all. In the long run, the empathy and resourcefulness associated with the maker mindset also help to nudge the politics and culture of a community toward proactively addressing the real socio-economic needs of the moment.

We produce interactive events, STEAM education programs, vocational workshops and entrepreneurship training initiatives that advance workforce skills development, inclusive collaboration and social enterprise. Our initiatives include:

  • Maker Faire Miami: Our flagship event is an all-ages gathering of DIY enthusiasts in the tech, arts and crafts who get together to show what they make and share what they have learned with the South Florida community. It is a festival of invention, creativity and resourcefulness in celebration of the Maker Movement.
  • 10x10kCuba : Organized in association with Startup Angels, Cuba Emprende Foundation and Cambridge Innovation Center Miami, 10x10kCuba is an international call to innovation for Cuba's emerging technology sector. It seeks to help talented programmers and entrepreneurs in Cuba integrate into the global startup community.
  • Wynwood Maker Camp : A summer-long series of sessions that introduce local elementary and high school students to hands-on STEAM learning (science, technology, engineering, art, math), sustainable design and creative problem-solving.
  • Great Miami Makeathon : A three-day design and prototype challenge in which participants develop functional prototypes that address the real-world needs of learning and recreational spaces in the City of Miami.
  • [dot]Sessions: a monthly series of voc-tech workshops that introduce the work and practices of regional and international makers to students, local entrepreneurs and corporate audiences.

To find out what we can do for your organization or community, email us at


Willie Avendano is an entrepreneur, creative technologist, hacker, educator, and new media artist. He is the co-founder of 01, a Miami-based education lab that helps students develop agency and creative confidence by empowering them to shape their world through technology, where he oversees research and development, instructional and curriculum design, and operations. He is also an audiovisual artist who has had his work shown at the Institute of Contemporary Art-Miami, Locust Projects, &gallery, the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage in Philadelphia, and featured in the Woman & Performance Journal. He is passionate about disrupting and solving the most important challenges in education. His interests include virtual reality, game-based education models, artificial intelligence, genetic algorithms in design. He graduated from Columbia University in 2012 with a B.S. in Operations Research and Computer Science.

Ric Herrero has a spent the last decade advocating for changes in U.S. policy toward Cuba that help foster greater economic opportunity for the Cuban people and support for the Island's burgeoning entrepreneurial sector. He is the founder and Executive Director of #CubaNow, a 501c4 advocacy organization dedicated to amplifying the efforts of Cuban-Americans who seek to break isolation between our countries and empower the Cuba people to freely determine their future. #CubaNow has been recognized by both the Obama Administration and national media for its pivotal role in shaping public opinion in advance of the President’s bold new course on Cuba policy in 2014. Previously, Mr. Herrero served as Deputy Executive Director of the Cuba Study Group, a nonpartisan, non-profit organization comprised of Cuban-American business and professional leaders dedicated to promoting civil society development in Cuba. His views and articles have been published in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, USA Today and other reputable news publications. He also frequently appears as a guest commentator on NPR, MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, Al-Jazeera, Noticias Univision and Telemundo. Mr. Herrero has a J.D. from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and a B.A. in Business Administration from Florida International University. 

Danny Lafuente is the Assistant Director at the W.R. Berkley Innovation Lab (NYU Stern) where he manages communications, instructional design and operations for the Lab's entrepreneurial programs in addition to providing strategic consulting for more than 200 startups at NYU (undergraduate, graduate, and alumni companies). Prior to NYU, Danny was the co-founder and COO/CFO of The LAB Miami – a collaborative workspace and incubator that provides mentorship and educational programming as a means of catalyzing the entrepreneurial ecosystem in South Florida. Working primarily with technology and social impact startups, he has coached hundreds of entrepreneurs through the startup process.  He is passionate about disruptive technologies and helping people realize their own entrepreneurial potential. He currently sits on the board of multiple nonprofit organizations in the youth and STEAM education space. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2010 with a B.A. in International Relations.

Tom Pupo is the Co-Founder of Moonlighter Maker Space, a membership-based digital fabrication lab, creative collaboration and learning space and a venue that features and supports local designers, artists, innovators, educators and engineers. The platform aspires to engage the community with fun S.T.E.A.M. educational experiences that foster the growing maker movement while democratizing access to the most advanced fabrication equipment to innovate with.  In the first six months of operation, Moonlighter has become a registered MIT FabLab, as well as the Global Chapter in Miami for littleBits electronics, and was the recipient of the 2015 SCORE MBL Emerging Business Award.  Moonlighter has recently been nominated as one of the three HBIF Success Stories 2016 Honorees.  Tom is also a professor and faculty fellow at the FIU Honors College where he teaches a course on Maker Cities - getting students from various disciplines to research, prototype, and fabricate an urban installation that engages the community in a discourse about how to improve the urban fabric with new technologies focused on tackling issues like urban farming, bicycle infrastructure, mass transit, affordable housing, climate resilience and sustainable development.  Tom earned his Masters in Architecture from Florida International University where his research focused on the social, economic and cultural impacts of the convergence of design, technology, and digital fabrication. He aspires to be an agent of social change by empowering individuals with the environment and the tools necessary to realize their creative visions.



Tomas Diez is a Venezuelan-born urbanist, who specialises in digital fabrication and its implications on future cities. He is co-founder of the Smart Citizen project, and StudioP52 in Barcelona, and director of Fab City Research Lab at IAAC, and leader of the Fab City global initiative, in collaboration with MIT’s CBA and Fab Foundation. He is developing a new framework for cities to engage with digital fabrication and distributed production as urban development tools, to create positive social, economic and environmental impact in the urban living. He is a tutor in Design Products at the RCA, and faculty at IAAC.

Julia Sagebien is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Management at Dalhousie University and a former Full Professor at the University of Puerto Rico. Dr. Sagebien served as Senior Fellow for the Canadian Foundation for the Americas (FOCAL), and for Forum Empresa. She is a member of the Policy Council for Engage Cuba, a bipartisan organization dedicated to mobilizing American businesses and non-profit groups to support the ongoing U.S.‐Cuba normalization process. Dr. Sagebien has published extensively on the topics of economic reform, inclusive markets, social enterprise and social economy, corporate responsibility and responsible business school curricula. Her articles have appeared in Cuban Studies, Canadian Foreign Policy, Harvard Business Review (America Latina), Stanford Social Innovation Review, Policy Options, Canadian Journal of Development Studies, Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences, Thunderbird International Business Review and Temas, as well as in periodicals such as The Huffington Post. Her Ivey Publishing business cases are available through databases such as Harvard Business Publications. She co-edited Governance Ecosystems: CSR in the Latin American Mining Sector (2011) published by Palgrave McMillan. Dr. Sagebien received her Ph.D. from the London School of Economics.


We work with values-driven leaders, companies and organizations who share our fundamental belief in the importance of fostering economic growth, social inclusion, and environmental sustainability. Sponsors and programming partners include: