The second edition of Kathmandu Mini Maker Faire (KMMF) was hosted at Nepal Communitere on 22-23 September 2018 with the theme “Design the Future.” The event, hosted in partnership with Rural Development (RDI), Maker Valley, and Global Innovation Gathering (GIG), attracted over 1,500 participants, and focused on health, education, and environment. It celebrated the maker movement in Nepal and its invention, creativity, and resourcefulness. The festival featured cutting-edge technology, digital fabrication, DIY projects, urban farming and sustainability, alternative energy, drones, bicycles, hand-made crafts, music and local food.
The Maker Faire had five aims: to highlight the growth of global humanitarian makers; create a platform to apply design thinking in building a better future; showcase innovative approaches to health, education and environmental challenges; foster partnerships between humanitarian makers; and provide seed funding to incubate promising projects in Nepal. It also explored how Nepal’s maker movement might contribute to the ways we design our homes, communities, cities, and our personal lives.
KMMF brought together over 50 makers and innovators from Nepal and abroad, including the Philippines, Thailand, Kenya,Uganda, Haiti, Germany, the UK, Bangladesh, and India. This dynamic group included Abdulmalik Adam Abdul, who left Kenya for the first time to come to KMMF 2018 to showcase Askotec, a mobile open-source makerspace. We strongly believe that creative solutions for challenges of Nepal’s future could come from Nepalis, and through cross-cultural exchanges with global makers such as Adam.
Businesses in Nepal included Karkhana, whose focus is on empowering young people to create innovative solutions to local problems for youth, which hosted a KidsZone: a space where children could let their creativity run wild with the amazing maker challenges. Kaalo101 created a live arts installation, which involved painting our shipping container structures with bright murals. Sparkle Lab, MakerValley and the Robotics Association of Nepal organized design thinking and engineering workshops to develop blueprints and transform them into 3D models using crafting materials, sensors, motors, and other electronic components. The humanitarian non-profit organization Field Ready held sessions that taught the audience how to 3D print medical supplies. DroNepal surprised the audience with a drone-centered opening ceremony.
The closing event was a pitching session where a jury—with Mr. Niraj Khanal, Ms. Salonika Singh, and Ms. Trishagni Shah—awarded 3 maker teams year-long business incubation grants: DroNepal, Airlift Nepal, and E-Rickshaw. The grant was a part of Nepal Communitere’s I-Cube business incubation programme, that supports early stage entrepreneurs and prepares them for seed investment.
Understanding the importance of spreading the maker movement across Nepal, KMMF partnered with UNDP’s Co Youth Lab and travelled to Biratnagar, Janakpur, Butwal, Surkhet, Dhangadhi, and Pokhara to raise awareness about Maker Marathons by conducting Design Sprints: a quick 3-hour Design Thinking session. This insured that KMMF 2018 would not be limited to just Kathmandu.
Our partners for the event were DFID Nepal, Kathmandu Guest House Foundation, Global Innovation Gathering, UNDP Nepal’s CoYouth Lab, Nepal Innovation lab, Vianet Communications, Antarprerana, Karkhana, and the Robotics Association of Nepal (RAN). We’re grateful for the support that we have received to give local makers a platform to showcase their abilities and creativity.