Last year, Institute for the Future took an in-depth look at DIY culture with the Future of Making project, led by David Pescovitz. Working under the header "The way things are made is being re-made," we explored a dramatic shift in manufacturing and innovation, where we are moving from top-down, proprietary models to bottom-up and open ones. The maker movement grows larger every year, and with MAKE Magazine's Maker Faire in its fourth year, the momentum continues to push society to take a closer look at all things DIY. With President Obama's recent call to re-make America, more people are beginning to think about how they, too, can help to make the future.
But it's not just tech savvy adults getting into the DIY world. It's young people too, young people who want to play an active role in making their future. Working with technology in particular to create, improve, explore, or contribute to the world around us is a fantastic way to learn about how the world works--and understand how we might be able to make something work better. Young people who take an active interest in technological innovation are the makers of a foundation for a better future.
That's why The Digital Open, an Institute for the Future project in partnership with Sun Microsystems and Boing Boing, is looking to capture the spirit of the future makers. We're looking for youth ages 17 and younger who are working with technology to create, improve, explore, or contribute to their world by submitting free & open technology projects in 8 categories ranging from sustainability to gaming, from media to science and education. We want to provide a forum for these young makers to show off their innovations and to find other makers like them. The Digital Open is the maker community of the future.
If you are a young person who loves to create things with technology, whether for fun or with the hope of becoming an entrepreneur one day, maybe even tomorrow, we want you! Or if you are an adult fortunate enough to work with bright young innovators, please encourage them to join us. Sign up at digitalopen.org or email info [at] digitalopen [dot] org for more information on how you can get involved.