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.