Ten statistics that reveal the size and scope of the Maker Movement

The Maker Movement is being lauded as the New Industrial Revolution. It has arrived and “it will be bigger than the Web,” says Chris Anderson, former Editor-in-Chief of Wired magazine. A new generation of hackers, designers, artists and entrepreneurs are all part of the rise of the DIY (Do-It-Yourself) culture that has led to Makerspaces sprouting up across the country.

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What is the Maker Movement all about?

The Maker Movement is all about using technology to empower yourself, to create your own things, the technology you want to exist. Social media networks are segmenting; people are discovering their niche communities based on common interests. But wherever you go on the interwebs, you will encounter Makers—people sharing their projects, how-to instructions, tutorials, videos, patterns, source code and more. More people are choosing to become Makers because…they can. Access to all the resources one needs to create is now available, and you don’t have to be an engineer to be able to make. Everyone can make something.

How many Makers are there?

The Atmel Corporation, a worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of microcontrollers, has calculated that there are approximately 135 million adult Makers in the United States. This is over half (57 percent) the American population 18+ and does not include the millions of children and teenagers who are active in STEM projects through science fairs, robotics teams and tinkering in their basements.

Where is the Maker Movement headed?

Mark Hatch, CEO of TechShop, explains that “with the right motivation and time on your hands, you can now go through your own personal industrial revolution in 90 days, and can launch a company or product within those 90 days.” Moreover, analyst Jim Tully with Gartner, the world’s leading IT research and advisory company, projected that by 2018 nearly 50 percent of the Internet of Things (IoT) solutions would be provided by startups which are less than three years old.

Ten Statistics that reveal the size and scope of the Maker Movement:

1. There have been over 400 Maker Faires organized around the world since 2012.
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2. A record 215,000 people attended the two flagship Maker Faires in the Bay Area and New York in 2014, with 44% of attendees first timers at the Bay Area event, and 61% in New York.
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3. The White House held its inaugural Maker Faire in 2014. “Today’s D.I.Y. is tomorrow’s ‘Made in America.’”
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4. President Barack Obama proclaimed June 12 through June 18, 2015, as National Week of Making. Calling upon all Americans to observe the week with programs, ceremonies, and activities that encourage a new generation of makers and manufacturers to share their talents and hone their skills.
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5. There are 1975 hackerspaces across around the world.
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6. $529 million was pledged to Kickstarter projects in 2014. That’s more than $1,000 a minute.
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7. The world’s crowdfunding sites reached close to $5 billion in transactions last year. By 2025, the crowdfunding investment market is projected to reach $93 billion.
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8. The 3D printing market is projected to be worth $8 billion by 2020.
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9. World demand for 3D printing is projected to increase more than 20% per year to $5 billion in 2017.
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10. Distributors estimate that over 1 million Atmel powered Arduinos have been sold since 2005.
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How can the Cooperative Extension System bolster the Maker Movement?

It is now Extension’s moment to take a leadership role in the Maker Movement. We have the research and resources of the Land Grant University system. We have the tech, grant-writing and social media skills to connect Makers, support them in their entrepreneurial endeavors, and apply for funding that will democratize access to the tools of innovation. Extension can partner with local Makerspaces to host workshops on Lean Startup Principles, facilitate Startup Weekend events and 4-H Maker Camps for youth. We can support this movement in similar ways we’ve traditionally supported the agriculture industry. Likewise, Makers can work with Extension as volunteers to advance citizen science projects, lead/teach in 4-H, and help us confront complex community issues with hi-tech solutions.

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