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UK repair activists: join us for Fixfest, 4 June – 9 July

After our initial disappointment in cancelling a live event in Glasgow, we’re really excited about Fixfest UK this year. We have more space than ever – for up to 200 participants in a month long online gathering for repair activists. We’ll share perspectives, inspire and learn from each other and continue building towards a fairer, more capable and greener future.

This is primarily aimed at people already actively volunteering and sharing skills in their community, but we’ll have space for allies and newbies. Please get in touch directly if this your case.

We’ll meet every Thursday evening and Saturday morning from 4th June through to our closing session on 9th July. We encourage you to get a ticket now, create a profile and check out the programme

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The Fixfest UK programme

We’ll open on 4th June with an Inspiring Keynote from Josh Babarinde, Founder and CEO of Cracked It, a mobile repair social enterprise staffed by ex-offenders and at-risk youth.

During the same evening, next, we’ll launch straight into a session on Right to Repair in the UK, led by Libby Peake of Green Alliance and Restart’s own Ugo Vallauri.

Next, Restart’s Janet Gunter will lead a session on how UK repair groups can work together effectively as a decentralised network. How can we help each other, strengthen our work and even fundraise together?

After that, Chris Moller of Cambridgeshire Repair Cafes will tell us about a scandalous component responsible for the failure of countless products — the electrolytic capacitor. Why are so many failing in our TVs and appliances? What can be done?

Then John McCrory of Repair Café Wales will lead a workshop on Engaging Online with Adult Learners of Repair. This will be a great follow-on to a community call on online events in April.

On 20th June, the day we were supposed to meet in Glasgow, we’ll be welcomed by Jon Dawes of Glasgow Repair Café for a Saturday morning social. BYO coffee, tea, smoothie or cake.

Next University of Dundee researcher Felipe Fonseca will lead a session on reuse and repair in urban settings. How can we prevent so many reusable and fixable items from going to waste?

East London friend Jennie of Cheeky Handmades will lead a Sewing Machine Repair and Maintenance Skillshare. Sewing machines link textile menders and electrical fixers. We’ll learn about machines old and new, and focus on taking care of older machines built to last.

Dorkbot London’s delightful MC Dave Green will host our Lightning Talks, Demos and Show ‘n’ Tell session.

In our closing session on 9th July with Restart’s Neil Mather and Monique Szpak, we’ll look into the data we are collecting at our repair events. Our data is powerful. Each repair is an act of commitment by a frustrated person, more powerful than a signature on a petition. How can we ensure our data can change the system of production upstream?

How to add to the programme

This is an unconference, and half of the sessions have been suggested by participants. There are still two ways to shape the programme:

  • We invite anybody from the community to propose a five minute lightning talk, demo or show ‘n’ tell for the session on 2nd July
  • We also invite proposals for the remaining opening session on Saturday 4th July

[Photo credit Vicky Grout – Positive News]

4 responses

  1. A great event I’m sure. I’d like to cover or see be covered, items such as ‘teaching basic maintenance’ and top tips for keeping things running for longer. Often, before I start a repair, the basics have been ignored such as batteries, contacts, cleaning and wiring. I’ve been considering running a mini course on this subject for a while.

    1. janetgunter

      There is one session open, for the taking. That said, we hope that Repair Cafe Wales will address attention to the foundational knowledge required for repair in “Quality Engagement with Adult Learners”. Look forward to seeing you at Fixfest!

  2. What kind of service have Repair Cafes been offering during lockdown? Repair Cafe Malvern Hills has implemented an emergency service for items considered to be essential during isolation, i.e. entertainment devices, kitchen/household appliances and garden equipment. We also offer a weekly sharpening service from a unit on a nearby business park. We have strict guidelines, special registration forms and a phone triage service – and the service is going well and very much appreciated. We need to think ahead – what plans do Repair Cafes have for a post-COVID 19 service?

    1. Ugo Vallauri

      Thanks Jan, great to hear from you! Really important point, we hope you’ll be sharing your approach during Fixfest UK. We have an open session for the taking, if you’d be interested in running one. Otherwise the opportunity to contribute to the “show’n’tell” planned for 2nd July.

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