Slow progress in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and addressing climate change has meant that we urgently need simple strategies that can be implemented quickly.
Strategies for Sustainability (SfS) provide ideas that can be readily implemented by government, organisations, cities, neighborhoods, entrepreneurs and households to improve environmental, economic and social sustainability and develop a more sustainable future.
Maker hubs are sites where simple practical everyday products are made and sold. Products could include hand-made products for buildings (painted signage, street number signage, door mats, lights), gardens (benches, braai equipment, wooden plant boxes, brooms, trowels, rakes, tool sheds, kennels) and kitchens (place mats, cutting boards, spoons, flippers, bottle brushes) that can be easily made from timber and steel using simple tools.
Maker Hubs support the development of small circular economy enterprises that create local jobs and sustainable products. they are developed near to large DIY stores or building material suppliers where materials can be easily obtained to make products and where there is already a customer base. The large stores and the hubs therefore have a synergistic relationship as each benefits from each other.
Maker hubs have the potential to create significant sustainability impacts in an area by creating enterprises, jobs and producing affordable, practical, repairable, low embodied energy products made from local materials. These are the the type of environmental, economic and social impacts that can be created:
Small enterprises: Small enterprises to be developed with minimal input.
Employment: Maker hubs are labour intensive and will create employment.
Local business: Local enterprises would boost other local industries such as material suppliers and service industries.
Environmental: Locally manufactured products made from grown materials such as timber are much more environmentally friendly than imported metal or plastic products. Locally made products can also be more easily repaired and recycled.
Municipalities: Would identify suitable locations and let these to hub organisers to develop the hubs. Municipalities would monitor and support hubs.
Hub organisers: Would sign leases with the municipality and develop the infrastructure required to establish the hub. They would ensure the hub was financially sustainable.
Maker enterprises: Would make and sell practical products at the hub.
Customers: Households and businesses would purchase products from hub for their buildings and sites.
Maker Hubs are ideally located near material suppliers such as DIY stores and building material suppliers where materials can be readily obtained and there is a good local market.
Identify suitable locations.
Undertake feasibility study to establish the viability of the site.
Develop a simple establishment agreement with land lease and agreement with local material suppliers.
Advertise and appoint Hub Management Organisation (HMO).
HMO to invite and support entrepreneurs and establish site.
Maker Hub launched.
The Maker Hub can be used to create significant economic sustainability impacts in the form of new enterprises and jobs. It also provides strong environmental impacts by avoiding waste and resource consumption through longer-life repairable products. Beneficial social impacts in the form of organisational structures, networks and cohesion can also be created through the Hub.
Developing and implementing Strategies for Sustainability
Some SfS ideas have been fully developed and applied, others are being developed and some are new and experimental and require further research and piloting. SfS updates and examples will be published by Gauge and an SfS Compendium is planned.
Please get in touch with us if you are interested in developing and implementing strategies for sustainability or accessing the SfS Compendium.
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