RSA Makers Summit 2015

Public talks


Great Room Auditorium, RSA House

  • Circular economy
  • Making
  • Manufacturing

youtube Video edit coming soon - subscribe to be notified

mixcloud Download the podcast for each session from Soundcloud


A new industrial revolution is in full swing – but how much do we really know about it?

The arrival of new tools such as 3D printers and Raspberry Pi, the growing consumer appetite for home-grown UK products, and the emergence of open access ‘makerspaces’ have all played a part in enabling and encouraging more people to try their hand at making. Government data shows that the number of one-person manufacturing businesses has grown by nearly 30 percent since 2000.

However, despite much commentary about this trend, there is still much that we do not know about the implications of a growing community of makers, such as:

  • What has fuelled the growth of making, and can it last?
  • How much of this activity will lead to world class maker start-ups?
  • What bearing will it have on the UK’s fragile manufacturing base?
  • Will it help the UK transition to a more prosperous and sustainable economy?

In a bid to answer all of these questions and more, we have gathered together some of the brightest sparks in the maker movement. Join us for this all-day feast of ideas with some of the world's leading inventors, tweakers, crafters, doers and visionaries.



10:30 – 11:00    Opening remarks


11:00 – 11:45    Session #1 – Introducing the next industrial revolution

A conversation exploring the emergence of the maker movement in all its forms and the factors that are fuelling its rise – from the arrival of cheaper tools, to the revival of making in popular culture, to the growing consumer appetite for domestic goods.

Panellists: Liz Corbin, Institute of Making and co-founder of Open Workshop NetworkJulie Madigan, Manufacturing Institute; Indy Johar co-founder of 00Rosy Greenlees, executive director of Crafts Council

Chair: Peter Marsh former FT journalist and author of The New Industrial Revolution


11:45 – 12:15    BREAK


12:15 – 13:00    Session #2 – Atoms, bits and everything in between

A discussion looking at how the advent of the digital age and the introduction of new technologies have changed the nature of making, as seen through peer-to-peer marketplaces, open source hardware initiatives, the internet of things and digital fabrication tools.

Panellists: Philip Colligan chief executive of Raspberry Pi; Bethany Koby, Technology Will Save Us; Jessi Baker Provenance HQ; Sylvain Preumont, founder of iMakr and

Chair: Kitty Knowles, journalist, The Memo


13:00 – 13:45    LUNCH


13:45 – 14:15    Session #3 – Meet the 21st century makers

An in-conversation session where a diverse group of makers will share their experiences of creating under different conditions – from those that work on craft to those that build high-tech robotics, and from those that make for themselves to those that manufacture for the masses.

Participants: Makeda Matheson film-producer turned cashmere-enthusiast and fashion designer; Emily Brooke BLAZE bike light designer; Alison Lloyd, founder and designer, Ally Capellino; Mark Brearley, Cass Cities and proprietor, Kaymet.

Chair: Anthony Painter, director of policy and strategy, RSA


14:15 – 15:00  Session #4 – Makerspaces: The new factory floor?

A conversation examining the potential significance of the growing number of so-called makerspaces and what they could mean for hobbyists, educationalists, entrepreneurs and consumers alike.

Panellists: Tom Tobia, Makerversity founder; Daniel Charny curator and founder of Fixperts; Sophie Thomas, Great Recovery, RSA; Asa Calow creative technologist and Madlab founder 

Chair: Zoe Laughlin, co-founder/director of the Institute of Making and the Materials Library project


15:00 – 15:45    'Show & Tell' with Makerversity 

Several makers from the Makerversity workshop will pitch up in our breakout room to showcase their products and stories


15:45 – 16:30    Session #5 – Taking maker start-ups to market

A debate looking at the opportunities and challenges facing micro manufacturers, and whether there is any truth to the widespread belief that it is becoming more viable to run a maker business in the UK.

Panellists: Fi Scott founder of MakeWorksLaurence Kemball-Cook, founder and chief executive of PavegenAnde Gregson, co-founder Fab Lab London and creative technologist; Roland Ellis, designer.

Chair: Haidee Bell, Head of Design Programmes, Design Council


16:30 – 17:15    Session #6 – Forging an economy fit for the future

A session looking at how a burgeoning maker community might help us make the transition towards a different kind of economy where individuals are more creative, our economy more prosperous and our environment more sustainable.

Panellists: Tim Jackson ecological economist and author of Prosperity Without Growth; Vinay Gupta, global resilience guru; Kate Raworth, creator of Doughnut Economics

Chair: Tony Greenham, director of Economy, Enterprise and Manufacturing, RSA.


17:15 – 17:30    Closing keynote 'On Craftsmanship' - Richard Sennett, Centennial Professor of Sociology at LSE and author of The Craftsman


Twitter  Instagram  

Be the first to write a comment


Please login to post a comment or reply

Don't have an account? Click here to register.