Thursday, 29 June

Next Society

Thu 29 June | 12:00 - 12:30


The Great Magnet

Distributed Manufacturing: Democratizing Technology or Embedding Inequality?

The idea of distributed manufacturing as a force for good in the developing world is nothing new, as evidenced by the emergence of thousands of maker spaces, FabLabs and innovation hubs across the globe. We are pursuing visions of people lifting themselves out of poverty and crisis, empowered by thriving entrepreneurial communities and new-found access to means of production. But how close to this vision are we?

During the presentation we will explore this question, drawing from the experiences of Field Ready, an organisation on the front lines of getting distributed manufacturing to work for those those affected by humanitarian crises.


Abi works as Technical Advisor for Field Ready, an NGO seeking to revolutionize the delivery of aid through local manufacturing. In 2016 she headed Field Ready’s operations in Nepal, working through numerous partnerships with NGO’s, maker spaces and industrial scale manufacturers to investigate how local manufacturing can best benefit the earthquake response.