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Inspired and energised from Fixfest UK

Plenary session at Fixfest UK

On Saturday in Manchester, 59 community repair activists from all over the UK got together to mingle, share, help each other out and think collectively about growing our movement and bringing down the barriers to repair and longer-lasting products. Twenty five different community groups were represented from Belfast to Pembrokeshire to Glasgow and Brighton.

There was a great sharing and buzzing feeling from the beginning of the day. We soon realised that of 61 free tickets, only two people did not show up. Very dedicated and excited group!

The theme of the day was “Hope” – but not some kind of naive hope. This was a very alternative hope, built on our abilities to fix and hack things, and we don’t just mean consumer products. We mean systems: at the level of international policy, national policy and the way we organise ourselves in cities.

A participant at Fixfest asked us if this event was “political”. At first we did not understand. While obviously we are not *party* political, the barriers we face to fixing our economy and society so that they serve people and planet are political. Perhaps they require us to create a new language, to push our imaginations and to contemplate deep change.

Our joint declaration

We hope our “Manchester declaration”, drafted at Fixfest UK, is just the beginning of this work. Please get in touch with Ugo by 17th October if your community repair group would like to sign. (Those who could not make it to the event are welcome to sign.)

Documents of the day

Photographer Mark Phillips, who is working on a long-term documentary project on repair, documented the day. We’re super grateful for these photos, which are licensed for reuse but please credit him.

Here’s our collection of tweets:

We’re already at work on a podcast from Fixfest UK, with live recording from the opening session and interviews with podcaster Dave Pickering. Look out for this in November – or you can subscribe now.

Read up on the results of these sessions and more on our forum:

  • 3D Printing
  • (Better) repair events for neurodivergents & anyone lacking spoons
  • Circuit boards
  • Collaborating with hackspaces & makespaces
  • Community reuse as social enterprise
  • Getting kids into repair (in schools?)
  • Guerrilla Repairing
  • How to grow your group: reaching out further
  • How to solder
  • How to use the media for outreach and repair education
  • Getting great feedback about the social benefits of your events
  • Meetup for fixers in the North & Midlands
  • Online community & tracking impact
  • Right to repair, International Repair Day & the UK declaration

Not the last Fixfest

We hope there is appetite – and budget – for another Fixfest UK in 2020. In the meantime, we’re encouraging participants to keep in touch on Restarters.net.

We’ll also be announcing soon the date and location of a global Fixfest in 2019. To keep in touch about that, definitely sign up for the global mailing list.

Thank yous

Thanks again to sponsors Nesta, DCMS and Sugru – and to Madlab, it was a real pleasure to be there and the staff was excellent. Big thanks to our own event organisers Ellie and Karen.

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