Posted in 6-8 October 2017, CommunitySubscribe to our posts

Save the date for Fixfest – 6-8 October 2017

From Friday, 6 October to Sunday, 8 October, we will be hosting the first international Fixfest in London. This will be an opportunity to bring the international Restarter community together for the first time. People interested in fixing from all over the world — activists, designers, makers, tinkerers, and more — will be able to meet up and share experience.

With data gathered from our Fixometer, we’ve determined that only half of the items brought to us are successfully repaired. We know this is an immense source of frustration for our volunteers and our extended community, and we think it’s time we put our heads together to brainstorm solutions to this systemic problem.

We’re planning a weekend of panel discussions, talks and workshops – both with you, and by you. In between events there will be time to meet new people and form connections. We’re still at the party-planning stage of our preparation, and we want you to be involved. What or who would you like to see at Fixfest? Do you have a favourite repair guru, a particular topic you want to see discussed, or a skill that you think should be shared?

Leave us your thoughts in the comments, and stay tuned for more details on this exciting event!

12 responses

  1. Clive Sinclair

    My opinion is that a 50% repair rate given the ‘open’ public environment is not bad at all. Device specialists working at fully equipped benches outside of a public gathering would be needed to improve on this.

    Think about ways that private and commercial outbased repair staions can be utilised whilst still retaining the essence of the scheme by deciding at public gatherings, through inspection, which devices need to be repaired in a more controlled and equipped environment.

    1. janetgunter

      Hi Clive,
      This sounds like a great topic for a workshop – how we can more effectively refer community repair participants to professionals. Some of this starts with mapping who is out there. We know we are not the only ones doing this (https://therestartproject.org/repair-economy/commercial-repairers/), so it would be great to compare notes with others.

      Thanks

  2. Sergio Almerares

    I think that not only the Restart Parties should be tracked on the Fixometer.
    When I repair the washing machine, the dishwasher, the Desktop PC, the music instrument of a relative or neighbor I feel I do it as Restarter.
    I know that doing it in a party is better, but a dishwasher is not so easy to take with you.

    1. janetgunter

      Hi Sergio
      We promote community repair, that is currently our niche, but we are talking with iFixit who helps people at home – they help track DIY completed repairs. We hope they will be at Fixfest, and we can discuss how to best log these kinds of repairs together, using a data standard.

      1. Sergio

        I didn’t know iFixit.
        I will take a look as soon as possible.
        I really hope to be at the Fixfest, also to talk with you and Ugo.
        Thank you Janet.

        1. janetgunter

          We really hope you can make it! 🙂

  3. Sergio Almerares

    Why we don’t write a checklist for a newbie Restarter?
    Something like:
    0) Have basic tools as screwdrivers, tester, soldering iron, insulating tape, Sugru…
    1) ask for symptoms and possible causes
    2) verify symptoms (remember to plug and power on the device)
    3) open the device (remember to unplug the power cord)
    4) make and verify hypothesis (starting from more common like interrupted fuses, electric contacts)
    5) take photo of original status before disassembly complex parts
    6) In case search in internet for help

    1. janetgunter

      We have a welcome document for our Restarters in London. Most of it addresses the social and safety aspects. But it does not teach repair skills per se. Instead those are addressed on our Wiki – but could always be improved. Let us know if you’d like to join! http://rstrt.org/wiki

      1. Sergio

        Thank you Janet.
        I didn’t know about your wiki.
        I did a fast look, now I have not a lot of time.
        I like it and if I will not find what I have in mind could I write and propose a short, easy, basic thing as a “Repair for dummies”?
        If it would be useful and I’ll find the time…
        Kindest Regards.
        Sergio.

  4. Chris Setz

    A step forward may be more standardised subsystems. We in the UK have already imposed a standard – the 3 pin UK power plug, so why not follow the cable into the device and standardise more? Manufacturers could voluntarily sign an agreement supporting standard, open source power modules that would lower manufacturing costs. Maybe start by indentifiying those manufacturers\importers willing to do so?

  5. Hey there,

    I will post here some ideas and challenges we are facing in Barcelona. Looking forward to discussing these and other topics during the fixfest!

    How can we find and maintain repair volunteers? In Barcelona, there are 3-4 dedicated volunteers that participate regularly. We would like to find more volunteers to participate so that we can host more Restart Parties without overworking anybody. Might money be an appropriate compensation and incentive for more repair women and men to join? Where would we find these people?

    The municipality of Barcelona has started to organize repair events on their own. This is great of course, but brings in a position where we either become obsolete or have to innovate. Have other groups experienced the same and how do they deal with it? What can we do what the municipality is not doing?

    Money and compensation: We have been running our group without any compensation. We have now encountered the limitations of this approach by not having enough time to grow the movement. Also, as commented above, money could be an incentive for repair technicians. What are the pros and cons of taking money and what could be appropriate social business models?

    We have spent quite some time on setting up our web page, email newsletters, events management. It would be great to design and develop some infrastructure together with other RP communities. Ideas could be event management with integrated fixometer to calculate CO2 and waste savings, reminder emails, reminding owners of unrepaired devices to future RPs or connecting them to other repair initiatives, etc.

    Best,
    Stephan & Restarters BCN

    1. ugomatic

      Hey Stephan, all very good points – thanks! Looking forward to discussing them next week at Fixfest 🙂

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