Last month I gave a 2-day Hackademia workshop in Trivandrum, India. I met my host, Satish Babu, head of ICFOSS, the International Centre for Free and Open Source Software, at last year’s IEEE Global Heath Technology Conference. I had given a talk about Hackademia and Shift Labs, and we talked afterwards about hackers and makers and innovation, and then there I was, in beautiful Kovalam, staring at the sea, and about to head back to help a group of participants — ranging from embedded systems designers to undergraduate information systems students — build some open source hardware prototypes.
We started the two days making some light-up cards and some e-textiles, and we had an introductory sewing workshop which was a delightful moment of cultural learning. Day 2 was arduinos and shields and building something with a purpose. There was also a 3D printer from Aha Gadgets, optimized for performance in settings with uncertain power infrastructure. I’m connecting them up with the iHub in Nairobi because I think that’s a perfect fit.
I’m working on getting back my camera which decided to go on a global adventure on its own, but there are amazing photos of the teams working on some terrific sensor-based projects. The workshop was an early step in encouraging the creation of a makerspace in their town, and I’m eager to learn how that project moves forward, especially since it parallels Hackademia efforts here in Seattle.
More on that later.