First meeting of the Soldarity FabLabs network

The aim of the first Solidarity FabLabs workshop held on 1 December was to get the FabManagers together. It was a way of bringing the Solidarity FabLabs network to life and more importantly, to provide an opportunity for everyone to discuss their practices.
FabLabs Solidarity workshop FabManagers
For the first time since the launch of the Solidarity FabLabs programme, all the FabManagers and the Foundation’s patronage representatives met together for a day. A time devoted to feedback on experiences within the labs and other interaction. “It helped us to see what the other FabLabs are doing,” commented Nicolas Lassabe, co-founder of the Artilect FabLab who was present at the event. The round table enabled everyone to learn about the various Solidarity FabLab projects. Sébastien Personne and Benjamin Lemay, from La Machinerie FabLab in Amiens continued: “The idea of community is important.”

The interaction session was followed by initial discussions about ways of applying the programme and touched on the issue of certification for young people. Would it be necessary to develop a common core of skills? Different questions that received different answers from different FabManagers. “I think we could devise a test for certification,” Nicolas Lassabe suggested. “Everyone has a laser cutter or 3D printer. We could have a diploma with different modules agreed by all the FabLabs.”

Nicolas Lassabe (right) and Claude Soria from the Artilect FabLab.


A position that Sébastien Personne and Benjamin Lemay nuanced: “Nowadays, youngsters do 3D printing, but maybe they won’t in the future. Besides skills, we have to imbue in them a new mindset. In a way, we have to teach them to learn.”

Continuing to move the programme forward

Benjamin Lemay,  Sebastien Personne
Benjamin Lemay and Sebastien Personne from La Machinerie Fablab.

After the feedback, the afternoon was spent in workshops. Working in different groups, the participants were given an opportunity to reflect on three focus areas: awareness-raising, training and incubation. The groups were highly productive and certainly not lacking in ideas: holding open days, developing skills, developing entrepreneurship, etc. “Many start-ups are hatched at the Artilect FabLab. We could arrange for young people to meet project leaders,” suggested Nicolas Lassabe. “I strongly believe that they could develop their businesses in the FabLab.”

Sustaining young people’s interest in the long term is also the aim of La Machinerie FabLab, as Sébastien Personne explained: “We are trying to find ways in which we can engage young people in the FabLab during open sessions.”

This first day of the Solidarity FabLab network was very rich in interactivity and looks set to be followed by more meetings during 2016. New opportunities to move the programme forward, so that each young person can get the most from their experience.


>>> Photos taken during the event on 01/12.

network FabLabs Solidarity meeting people
réseau FabLabs Solidarity speak Cohabit
meeting FabLabs Solidarity FabManagers
network solidarity fablabs speech Brigitte Audy
Léo FabLabs Solidarity Cohabit
workshop network FabLabs solidarity Nicolas Lassabe, Hélène Ferrero

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