In attempting to assist the development of a stable economy and democratic society the focus should be on developing the next generation of technological innovators and entrepreneurship. Millions of youth fueled the 2011 Arab Spring, which rose from the grassroots level and shook the world, and this same population can continue to enact change for a more stable economy.
To tackle this challenge, we recruit technologically savvy young ambassadors from Egypt and integrate them into the global maker space movement. Maker spaces exist globally as physical cooperatives of democratically organized inventors. As community supported workshops they are an ideal way to encourage innovation, collaboration and the entrepreneurial attitude. Exposing the Egyptian ambassadors to this global movement allows them to adapt it into their own cultural framework. This is essential to the program’s success as change must come from within the Egyptians themselves. The future of Egypt lies undetermined; this program will expose passionate Egyptians to ideas that can help them form an empowered and aware country, an asset to themselves and the entire world.
To galvanize the entrepreneurial spirit we must empower individuals, and provide them access to tools, services, and like-minded individuals. In the United States and Europe we see this happening in facilities called maker spaces — action oriented community workshops filled with diverse skill sets, tools, and a community of supportive makers. The purpose of this document is gauge interest by USAID in fostering similar spaces in the MENA region, beginning with a pilot in Cairo, to increase entrepreneurial activity, knowledge sharing, and educational quality.
We hope to shed some light on the maker concept and investigate the opportunity to bolster the grassroots efforts to start maker spaces throughout the MENA region, beginning with the Egyptian Maker Community Connection Project (EMCCP) pilot program in Egypt. The EMCCP project proposes to:
- Inspire the entrepreneurial mindset in the Egypt by connecting local Egyptians with the people and ideas of the global maker space movement.
- Start a dialogue on the maker space concept in the Middle East.
- To help expand the network of Cairo makers with intelligent makers from around the world through the exposure granted by this project.
- Expose Egyptians to the current best practices for supporting community workshops and inspire them to start their own unique culturally Egyptian spaces.
- To help spread the concepts of collaborative making and open sourced practice
- To help tighten the network of builders and creative people in Egypt by publicizing those individuals through social media and traditional online media