The benefit of hackerspaces or makerspaces for individuals and for the tech community at large is pretty much a no-brainer to most people. They allow for people to grow their technological talents with the help and support of other like-minded creators. But have you considered the direct benefit these spaces can and do have on their direct communities and the way of life of the individuals in that community? Hackerspaces can benefit a community in ways most people won’t even immediately recognize!
Hackerspaces can bring fame to a community
Imagine if Bill Gates had invented Microsoft in his local hackerspace. Or if Steve Jobs had created the first iteration of the iMac in a makerspace around the corner from his home. Those hackerspaces, those communities, those towns, would forever be known as being the starting place of something great.
The implications of that for that particularly community are huge. That hackerspace may become a landmark or tourist destination, bringing traffic and revenue into that area, which complements local businesses and local economies. Following this, you have a whole new generation of makers who would be inspired by this achievement. They would know that they could very well create something great themselves.
Hackerspaces can be a great after-school place for kids
Imagine a community where kids are not encouraged to launch themselves into scientific or technological exploration, even if they had the interest already. Imagine a place where kids passionate about science had no safe, fun, or informative place to learn other than school, which closes down at 3pm.
Hackerspaces are awesome places for students to go after school to extend their learning. Experienced builders and makers are typically more than happy to share what they know with the next generation. This creates a group of kids who, otherwise, may be roaming the streets with friends, sitting at home playing video games, or worse. What more could a parent want for their child than a low cost, safe, education environment to send their kids when they aren’t in school?
Hackerspaces can create community
Any place that brings like-minded people together fosters a sense of community. These days, people rarely know their neighbors or the other people in their community. When people bond over similar interests, it creates stronger and more lasting connections. Communities where individuals know, like, and trust each other means that community is safer and more productive.
Hackerspaces can help fund the local economy
When people come together to create, they need supplies, tools, resources, and materials.
Hackerspaces are a great place for local creators to supply their wares to those who need them. Maybe someone is building a computer and they need wiring. Instead of ordering off Amazon or going to a chain store, they may patronize another member of the hackerspace who sells what they need. Maybe someone is building a device and they want to sell it online. Another member may be a web designer or coder and could offer their services. This close knit community can help foster the funneling of local funds into the local economy, making the community stronger overall.