In March, the Diversity Speaker series hosted a chat about a different kind of diversity: economic and cultural issues in fabrication and factory sourcing. It was one of our longest, most freewheeling diversity talks to date, led by this panel of makers and instigators:
Leo Bonanni, Sourcemap
Matthew Burnett, Maker’s Row
Tanya Menendez, Maker’s Row
Jie Qi, MIT Media Lab
Pol Pla i Conesa, MIT Media Lab
In January, Pol and Jie traveled to Shenzhen, China, as part of a Media Lab group, led by Bunnie Huang (http://www.bunniestudios.com/blog/?page_id=2812), that explored sourcing and hardware options from Shenzhen factories and markets. Several months earlier, Tanya and Matthew launched Maker’s Row (http://makersrow.com), a Brooklyn startup focused on domestic (U.S.) sourcing. Pol, Jie, Tanya, and Matthew will share their experiences, and reflect on the decisions we face in sourcing our projects locally and globally. Leo Bonnani introduced the topic and the role of his startup, Sourcemap (http://sourcemap.com), in bringing this issue to light. Also contributing this this spirited discussion were Gershon Dublon, who also went on the Shenzhen trip, and Joost Bonsen, ML’s Entrepreneurial Guru.