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Manager, Makerspace Studio - Public Sector

"A makerspace is often described as “a collision of art, technology, learning and collaboration.” Makerspace studios are designed as collaborative workspaces in schools and libraries as well as in innovative private sector organizations. The idea is to create a separate space to make, learn, explore and share high-tech and low-tech tools, like 3D printers, laser cutters, sewing machines, etc. Aimed at solving problems (social, environmental or economic), the space is unique in that it helps individuals, communities, their teams and their organizations to design, prototype and manufacture items using tools that might otherwise be inaccessible. As the manager of this innovative space, I lead our team in changing how problems and solutions are explored, understood and solved. My team and I look for design opportunities in which entrepreneurs and creatives can work together to grow and thrive. By constantly leveraging my relationships I am able to support cross-sector pollination by bridging diverse industries and fostering economic impact for diverse clusters. It is quite the space and quite the journey."

Salary Range:

$82,000 - $105,000

The Tip

Take every opportunity to broaden your experience across disciplines, organizational type, sector and industry. You will find that many of the skills you acquire are transferable across sectors and fields.

Priority Knowledge & Skills
Systems Thinking

Knowledge & ability to:

  • Understand systems thinking

  • Analyze and map systems

  • Thrive in ambiguity and manage complexity

  • Recognize trends, opportunities and underlying patterns


Human-Centered Design & Design Thinking

Knowledge & ability to:

  • Apply human-centered design principles to solve problems

  • Think laterally

  • Identify patterns

  • Work with third-party groups, such as think tanks, labs and accelerators

  • Ability to formulate research questions

  • Synthesize key issues


Communication, Collaboration & Facilitation

Knowledge & ability to:

  • Use contextual knowledge

  • Communicate effectively in all formats

  • Design and facilitate collective impact initiatives

  • Facilitate small & large groups

  • Cultivate new collaborations and partnerships across sectors

  • Develop & execute workshops, training sessions and/or events

  • Use technology and specialized collaboration tools

  • Compelling presentation & report writing skills


Knowledge & ability to:

  • Be authentic, empathetic and ethical

  • Ask questions

  • Embrace challenges as opportunities to create systemic change

  • Demonstrate long-term social impact and sustainability

  • Break down silos and leverage relationships

  • Engage a changemaker mindset


Oversight & Knowledge Management

Knowledge & ability to:

  • Develop and manage the planning process

  • Direct coordination of activities across departments, stakeholders, clients & users

  • Manage operations & resources; provide oversight

  • Leverage stakeholder relationships

  • Develop and implement program schedules

  • Budget management & oversight

  • Evaluate social, financial and collective impact


Core Transferable Skills

Be an expert at all core transferable skills:

  • Thinking skills

  • Communications skills

  • Organizational skills

  • Interpersonal skills

  • Technical literacy

Building Block Experiences
Education & Learning:
  • Certificate in Applied Design, Design and Applied Arts

  • Bachelor of Fine Arts (Design & Applied Arts)

  • Master of Industrial and Product Design

  • Post-master’s diploma in environmental design

  • Management Certificate in Entrepreneurship

  • Ongoing professional development courses to increase knowledge of programming, teaching, and digital design


Have always been interested in the lab experience, so my master’s thesis was on the entrepreneurial use of makerspaces and innovation labs.


Employment Experiences:
  • Worked as a customer service rep at arts and crafts store on weekends during high school

  • First job at university was in the computer lab as an assistant, including teaching and mentoring students

  • Summer job coordinating travel logistics of global food program, sending supplies for famine relief

  • Worked in the U.K. as a design specialist for a local nonprofit that focused on sustainability solutions for the effective management of food waste

  • Taught design thinking in a number of postsecondary institutions

  • I operate my own product design firm and sell my products online


I tend to look at everything with an eye to the design. I am always thinking about how a product or service could be designed better and how could I test and build a better prototype for a particular product.

Makerspaces are kind of funny that way- we have the ability and the resources to study problems, look for solutions, test out ideas, and actually physically build a prototype to see if a certain solution will actually work, it is really cool.


Community Experiences:
  • Lifelong member of freeware communities, sharing software, platforms, and knowledge

  • Volunteered at the library teaching coding skills to kids which led to a summer job during high school at a kid’s camp

  • As a graduation present my parents sent me to Africa to volunteer on a project to bring clean water to communities


I ended up creating a software program to help communities determine the most efficient and inexpensive method for obtaining clean water, which led me to want to continue my studies at university.

Contextual Experiences:
  • Constantly building things at home or trying new crafts; love working with new materials

  • Building things led to setting up my own small design firm

  • I have an online group of friends and a face-to-face group of friends. They all like to push the boundaries about what is possible and believe strongly in free internet access for everyone.


I have traveled and lived in a number of different countries over the past ten years and have built an eclectic network of design friends and colleagues I can call on to test new ideas.

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