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MIRA (Makerspaces for Innovation and Research in Academics) Conference

Dale Dougherty is the leading advocate of the Maker Movement.  He founded Make: Magazine 2005, which first used the term “makers” to describe people who enjoyed “hands-on” work and play.  He started Maker Faire in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2006, and this event has spread to nearly 200 locations in 40 countries, with over 1.5M attendees annually.   He is Preseident of Make:Community, which produces Make: and Maker Faire.

 In 2011 Dougherty was honored at the White House as a “Champion of Change” through an initiative that honors Americans who are “doing extraordinary things in their communities to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world.” At the 2014 White House Maker Faire he was introduced by President Obama as an American innovator making significant contributions to the fields of education and business.  He believes that the Maker Movement has the potential to transform the educational experience of students and introduce them to the practice of innovation through play and tinkering. 

 Dougherty is the author of “Free to Make: How the Maker Movement Is Changing our Jobs, Schools and Minds” with Adriane Conrad.  He is co-author of "Maker City: A Practical Guide for Reinventing American Cities" with Peter Hirshberg and Marcia Kadanoff.

 Prior to Make:, Dougherty was a co-founder of O’Reilly Media where he was an editor of many early technical books. While at O’Reilly, he developed GNN, the first commercial website, GNN, which launched in 1993 and was sold to AOL in 1995.  He coined the term "Web 2.0."   He lives in Sebastopol, California.

The Future We Make

Dale Dougherty - President of Make:Community


Making is fundamental to being human. Using our hands and minds to make tools is something humans have done for millions of years.  New research in neuroscience connects making with cognitive development and the emergence of language in humans. It also reminds us that for as long as we've been making tools, we have been a community of learners and teachers sharing technical knowledge and showing each other how to do things.  The rise of the maker movement coincides with the Internet providing new digital ways of teaching and learning, which encourages sharing on a global scale.  Yet this movement is also made up of stories, the very personal journeys for makers who discover their unique gifts and talents as learners and teachers.