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The first, beautiful Maker Faire in Rome

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On the morning of October 3, 2013, many of us felt like we had made the revolution (but no, let’s face it right away). I remember that it was raining on Rome. A light drizzle from early autumn, but we saw it as a sufficient clue to predict that the first Maker Faire in Rome would be a flop.

But when we got to the Palazzo dei Congressi, Eur area, there was an orderly line of people waiting to enter. The same line we had seen the year before, when, with the Chamber of Commerce, we had organized a one-day conference with a cryptic title for many, Makers. They reminded us of a cultural current born in the United States some time before that held together the world of do-it-yourselfers, electronics and small inventors. A feast of innovation. It was then that with Massimo Banzi, co-founder of Arduino and tutelary deity of makers in the world, we proposed to Massimiliano Colella, director of the company of the Chamber of Commerce dedicated to innovation, to bring a real Maker Faire to Rome and make it the first European Maker Faire. It was easy and auspicious to tell us “all the roads of innovation lead to Rome”.

In reality, the European makers had no idea that there was a ferment of this type here and to let them know in the summer we had sent in a camper two young and talented videomakers (Alice Lizza and Davide Starinieri) to discover the young people who were making the third industrial revolution. To tell them and invite them in person. In fact, they came. That first Maker Faire among the exhibitors had a very high number of European inventors. She was beautiful. In that year we decided on a format that has never changed: weekend open to everyone, especially families, Friday morning for schools and Thursday “grand opening conference”. Precisely on that occasion I consolidated a partnership with a true champion of direction: Cristina Redini. I had put on the usual program full of inventors, entrepreneurs and dreamers (“How to Remake the World”, the title). There was also a bubble wizard, a spectacular laser-clad artist, and someone who claimed to have invented a device for reading other people’s minds (he tried mine, but he must have found chaos).

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Well, Cristina Redini helped me turn that chaos into an exciting show. For those wishing to relive that day there is also a video of a couple of minutes. You will notice that I had decided to start it all by running like crazy from the director to the stage at the bottom: there were about twenty steps to separate them, about a hundred meters. What if you fall? Cristina asked me. I don’t fall. But what if you fall? I don’t fall. I’ve always been a lucky guy.

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