SOURCE: Maker Media

Maker Media

Maker Media

April 09, 2015 16:29 ET

Futurist Paul Saffo to Speak on Makers' Impact on Global Economy at MakerCon

EVOL, FLIR, DomeCandy Lab and Kickstarter Success PancakeBot Join 20+ Startups in Showcase

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwired - Apr 9, 2015) -  According to futurist Paul Saffo, the Maker Movement is the catalyst for a new economy built on consumer engagement. He shares his views on the stage at MakerCon 2015 at the Palace of Fine Arts, May 12-13, as one of the keynote speakers to kick off the conversation about the impact Makers are having -- from economic development and job creation to the invention of new coolers and next generation boom boxes.

MakerCon, the pre-eminent event by and for Makers, features an agenda of speakers who represent the leaders at the forefront of the Maker Movement, as well as entrepreneurs who are re-imagining common consumer products and appliances and, in the process, creating whole new categories of products, and disrupting traditional business practices. 

The New Rules

"Making and makers are not a new phenomenon. We can point to moments in our history when economic times were such that the essence of the Maker spirit -- individualism, creativity, passion and resourcefulness -- was roused out of a need for change. Whether it was to revitalize a dying neighborhood or community, or level the playing field for consumers who weren't satisfied with the status quo of mass produced products, Makers have been the drivers behind innovation," said Dale Dougherty, founder and executive chairman of Maker Media, publisher of Make: magazine and co-founder of Maker Faire.

Saffo's keynote, titled "After Consumption: How Makers are Shaping the Next 20 Years of the Global Economy, delves into the eerie similarity between the mid-1950s landscape when a young economy was jumpstarted by entrepreneurship and endless opportunities. Saffo believes that like then, the events of today will shape the global economic arena of tomorrow, and Makers will be at the center of the action.

"What's different today is that there's a set of new rules that Makers operate by: open over proprietary; individual over institution; collaborative over competitive; and, practice over theory," added Dougherty. "Every day I see amazing projects from individuals with inspired ideas. Usually they're just getting started, with few resources, but what they lack in longevity and staff, they make up for in ingenuity and an earnest mindset to make a difference."

Joining Saffo on stage will be others whose efforts are disrupting the old ways of doing business by preforming routine tasks and operations in new ways. Chris Anderson's 3D Robotics is building drones with applications for agriculture. Dr. Glen Green is using 3D printers to make stents to save infant lives. While these speakers share their stories on stage, over 30 startups will demo and display their products and projects to attendees in the MakerCon Showcase and Launch Pad events. All of them are less than 3 years old, have less than $3 million in funding and fewer than 10 employees.

MakerCon Showcase Presents EVOL, FLIR, DomeCandy Lab, PancakeBot and More

Featured startups with fun and functional products at MakerCon run the gamut: some are consumer products that might just rock your world with a new take on an old concept like the first open-source, Bluetooth speaker, sustainably manufactured in America from DomeCandy Lab. Or solutions that use sensors to enhance perception and awareness of your surroundings for your personal safety and well-being from FLIR, which also claims their products enable healthy and entertained communities. How about a 3D printer that prints (and cooks) pancakes in any design you want? The PancakeBot is the brainchild of Miguel Valenzuela who wanted to make a pancake machine out of LEGO for his daughters. Today the PancakeBot is a patent pending product that blew by its Kickstarter goal in no time. Young companies with robotics-based solutions are getting more interesting and diverse in their applications. EVOL presents their latest product called uArm, an Arduino-powered desktop robotic arm.

Over the course of the two days, leaders of the Maker Movement, investors, incubators and accelerators that facilitate taking products to market, entrepreneurs launching new startups, and Maker Pros will gather to hear 75 speakers present at over 50 sessions on themes that include the "Business of Making," "Tools of Innovation and Technology" and "Future Tech, Now."

For the full schedule of events, complete list of speakers, and session descriptions, visit

MakerCon sponsors include presenting sponsors: Cisco and Intel; participating sponsor: Autodesk Fusion 360; Evening of Innovation sponsor: Sprout by HP; and communications partner, Marketwired.


Maker Media is a global platform for connecting makers with each other, with products and services, and with our partners. Through media, events and ecommerce, Maker Media serves a growing community of makers who bring a DIY mindset to technology. Whether as hobbyists or professionals, makers are creative, resourceful and curious, developing projects that demonstrate how they can interact with the world around them. The launch of Make: magazine in 2005, followed by Maker Faire in 2006, jumpstarted a worldwide Maker Movement, which is transforming innovation, culture and education. Headquartered in San Francisco, Maker Media is the publisher of Make: Magazine and the producer of Maker Faire. It also develops "getting started" kits and books that are sold in its Maker Shed store as well as in retail channels. The Make: brand caters to a universe of more than 25 million makers collectively across its Make: magazine,, Maker Faires, and Maker Shed properties.

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