6th November, 2013
Attendees: Ned, Steve, Felix, Remy, Martin, Pete, Dave, Sam, Toby, BJ, Josh, Graham, Michael, Sam, Jmac, Dillon, Adrian, Simon, Michael, Alex, Tony.
1. Future Meetings:
- 2nd Wednesday of the month (monthly meetings)
- 11th December, 2013 at Casablanca.
2. Intro to Space
Jmac provided an overview of Casablanca. The meeting space is available for use until the structure of the group is worked out. There is a space that could be used as a home for the Makerspace if the group wants it. More info on Casablanca at:
Adrian from the Roost provided some insight into to managing community space, emphasizing the need for a pricing structure that covers costs and provides scope for future contingency.
- What sort of space do we need?
- Do we require 24/7 access? Is it possible to create a keycard/access system that enables access but provides security for the group?
- What sort of use for the space do we envisage? Suggestions included a communal workshop, storing tools, access to tools, and access to specific resources such as a 3D Printer
- What are the requirements for insurance? It was noted that Linux Australia provides insurance – could we become a sub-group?
- Can we develop a risk profile for the space that covers different work/tools in use, particularly any high risk equipment?
There was a proposal that members of the group investigate the requirements for risk management and workplace safety, including induction processes, establishing a safe work package, due diligence, hazard assessment, appropriate documentation, collaborative risk assessment and a safety management process.
It was noted that many other groups, including existing Makerspaces and ‘Men’s Sheds’ are likely to have developed similar procedures and protocols, and that it might be possible to explore these as templates.
3. Group Structure
Two broad options were considered: to establish a loose collective or to formalize the group as a structured organisation.
It was noted that to fulfil requirements for insurance, rent/leasing, and maintaining a space, a legal entity would be required. In terms of an organisational structure, there are a range of options available. It may be sufficient at this stage to exist as an unincorporated association, whilst other options are investigated.
Other considerations for legal structures related to ensuring a critical mass of people: for example, how many people do we want in the group? What is the minimum number to ensure viability?
Graham offered to discuss options with his advisor, and to report back on email/next meeting.
Michael, Graham, Pete, Steve, Dillon, Simon offered to investigate different components of group structures and WHS/Insurance requirements, and to report to the group via email/next meeting.
A number of funding options were proposed:
- Crowdfunding: e.g. Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, Pozible, Startsomegood.
- Potential commercial sponsorship: e.g. Jaycar
- Fundraising through stalls at public events: e.g. A 3d printer demonstratimakerspaceon
- Outsourcing our skills, providing services, holding workshops (how to fix your computer)
It was noted that some of the initial formation can be done via sharing and group donations, there is a need for fundraising upfront for equipment that cannot be supplied via this approach.
Questions were raised regarding structure of membership:
- What is an equitable approach to membership?
- How can we ensure our membership structures allow us to collaborate?
- Could our membership pricing structure be based on how much people can afford?
- Who do we perceive as our membership base? Many people would be interested if they knew about it?
Suggestions for increasing the membership base included approaching engineering students at the university, and potentially collaborating with the university space. It was also noted that the current level of interest may be sufficient to establish a working space.
Also noted that the upcoming Maker Faire could provide an opportunity to identify new members and to promote the group.
Alex to send information about the upcoming Maker Faire to the list.
Everyone to consider and suggest a pricing scheme at the meeting. This could be done anonymously if desired. Suggestions to be sent to the elist or raised at the next meeting.
Anyone familiar with the membership/pricing structures of local Men’s Sheds to provide information to the list/next meeting.
5. Online Presence
Noted that our current online presence consists of the Facebook group, elist, and wordpress site.
- Dropbox? Key documents could be shared through the group, such as safety sheet samples, OH&S information etc.
- A communal Wiki? A Wiki could include individual profiles – no personal details – but focused on skills and interests.
- Joomla/Drupal? These platforms create greater flexibility and relatively easy to establish and maintain.
- There is a risk that we rush to establish a unified communications platform that does not anticipate future needs/requirements. Succession planning should be considered.
- We need to decide how open the communication of the group is. Do we need security and privacy in our communications?
- Do we want our own server?
Sam, Ned, Sam, Felix to form a working group to consider the online communication and presence of the group.
6. Group Names
A range of names were suggested: Newcastle Makerspace, Novaspace, Stuff, Newcastle Makers, Make:NCL, Newcastle HackersSpace, Hunter Hackerspace, Hackernova at Casablanca, HackersLab.
- We need to recognize the future potential of the ‘brand’ of the makerspace, particularly if it generates commercial products in the future.
- Recognise trademark and IP issues around the choice of name
- Ease of web search (ie. It might be good to have Makerspace and Newcastle/Hunter in the name)
- Consider the value of hackerspace vs makerspace. Noted that it may be desirable to reclaim the term ‘hacker’, but that it also has negative connotations in the wider public.
Ned to establish a doodle poll, with the option to propose new names. The top options to be presented to the next meeting for a vote.
Some options for promotion considered, for example the Newcastle Airforce Newspaper – “Radar” – as a potential advertising location.
Graham to send a proposal for Radar to the list for consideration at next meeting.
We will need logo/graphics etc. as we develop. Provides opportunities for branding, merchandise and fundraising opportunities (eg. Tshirts).
Everyone to identify ideas for logos. Proposals to be put to the group for the next meeting and a doodle poll established (noting that we should have a name finalized by then).
8. Going Forward
Ned to set up a doodle poll for a weekend day at Casablanca (with an emphasis on sharing projects rather than group formation)
May be an opportunity for a group visit to the Sydney Makerspace Robots and Dinosaurs