In the context of the HubIT project, nexus, in cooperation with the Technische Universität Berlin, organised the first MakerLab in Berlin from the 21st-23rd of February, 2020. The event aimed to bring together experts from the fields of SSH and ICT to create concrete digital products with social added value and reflect on the ethical aspects of digital activities.

In total, 19 participants from 6 countries took part in the event. Participants were divided into 5 interdisciplinary teams, which competed during 2.5 days in the design and construction of ICT prototypes that aimed to raise awareness of or address social issues. The teams could rely on several infrastructures available on site (3D printers, laser cutter, etc.) and were coached by a technical team. They also took part in a self-assessment session, where they reflected on and discussed in groups regarding their work division and the ethical aspects of their product.  Finally, they pitched their ideas to 3 professional experts & judges and had the possibility to showcase their products for the other participants during a small maker fair. The winning team developed a project called “Mummy’s little income shrinker”, which consisted of a weighing machine that showed the evolution of the gender pay gap depending on the number of children a woman has.

The event was the first MakerLab of the working package entitled “practical collaborative events” and under the responsibility of nexus. Further events aiming to bring social scientists and ICT experts together to work on responsible innovations will take place from the 27th-29th of March, 2020 in Berlin (registrations are open here) and in Budapest in May, 2020.

Picture: Thomas Blanchet / nexus