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MAZI festival in Edinburgh, UK, October 2018

September 28, 2018 - Reading time: ~1 minute

Do-It-Yourself Technologies for Action and Empowerment

Stories, practice and perspectives.

16-18 October 2018 – Edinburgh, UK

A festival of DIY community WiFi networking events is being planned to take place in Edinburgh, UK this autumn. Key events, including a symposium and hands-on workshops will take place around the 16th to 18th October. Further events, organised with the unMonastery partners will also take place around the city. More details will be produced when they are available, so watch this space!

Full details

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MAZI impact workshop: The Open University in London

July 16, 2018 - Reading time: 2 minutes

Join The Open University and MAZI at an impact workshop in London on the 20th July.

Where Creekside Discovery Centre, 14 Creekside, Deptford, SE8 4SA
When Friday 20th July 10.30-17.00

  • 10:30 – 11:00      Introduction to MAZI, the toolkit and examples of its use:
  • 11:00 – 11:15      Hands on look at the toolkit
  • 11:15 – 12:15      Identifying use case scenarios: thinking about ways in which you might be able to use the toolkit
  • 12:15 – 13:00      Working lunch
  • 13:00 – 15:00      Low Tide Walk and a demo of using low cost networking for environmental sensing
  • 15:00 – 15:15      Tea/cake
  • 15:15 – 15:45      How should we improve it? Developing the toolkit to improve its offering
  • 15:45 – 16:45      Exploring opportunities to collaborate in the future 
  • 16:45 – 17:00      Wrap-up and close

For any question contact Gareth Davies (; 07780864555)

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DSI Fair 2018 Rome: MAZI co-organised workshop

June 8, 2018 - Reading time: 5 minutes

The Digital Social Innovation Fair took place in Rome 6-7 June 2018

As part of this programme of events MAZI partners co-organised a workshop on: Collaborative making, frugal technologies, art and creativity.

This workshop began with a short introduction of three CAPS projects: MAZI, OpenMaker, Made4You and also from the representatives of Human Ecosystem Relazioni (HER).


  • Elizabeth Calderón Lüning, Co-founder and CEO at Common Grounds / Nachbarschaftsakademie  (MAZI project)
  • Ingi Helgason, Edinburgh Napier University (MAZI project)
  • Salvatore Iaconesi, HER
  • Oriana Persico, HER
  • Dario Marmo, Project Manager at OpenMaker
  • Hamza Zeytinoglu, Scientific Lead and the Coordinator of the Openmaker DSP
  • Silvia Binenti, Project and Comms Officer at OpenMaker
  • Enrico Bassi and Marta Savoldelli, OpenDot  (Made4You)
  • Antonia Madella Noja and Cristina Dornini, Tog Foundation (Made4You)

The workshop participants then organised into four groups, each addressing a theme based around the speakers’ topics; Community networks; Art and Creativity; Making and Manufacturing; Healthcare.

Each of these themed groups then participated in enthusiastic smaller group discussion addressing challenges and questions around the roles that grassroots, co-design, and collaborative making approaches can play in social innovation and creative practice. Specific discussion questions were provided to the groups:

  • What are the most important values of this kind of approach?
  • Who is this approach aimed at? Identify consumers, stakeholders, beneficiaries etc?
  • What are the factors that enable developing consumers into becoming producers?
  • What makes this approach unique and different to other approaches?
  • What are the key resources needed for long term sustainability? Human, intellectual, physical, economic etc.
  • What are the key challenges or blockages for success to be overcome?

To conclude the session, feedback was given from each of the groups to the rest of the workshop.

About the DSI Fair

Digital technologies and the Internet are rapidly and radically changing the dynamics of both individual and collective human experience, underpinning innovation across private and public sectors, being core enablers for the transformation of the European society and services. This represents a unique opportunity to address some of the most pressing social and environmental challenges.

Across Europe and all over the world several initiatives are actively working on this front from different angles and perspectives. But for these initiatives to have an impact and effectively engage all civil society players, there is a clear need to properly link and coordinate efforts, while ensuring promotion of technologies and solutions that can ensure better citizens’ protection, inclusion, education and participation.

The ambition of the DSI Fair 2018 is to create a space for all these players to gather and align on priorities and key directions shaping the European research and innovation agenda.

The DSI Fair 2018 will offer a rich program featuring an international conference, focused workshops, networking and hands-on sessions. The line-up of speakers includes experts and practitioners, as well as policy makers and civil society players.

This event will specifically provide opportunities to discuss how initiatives tackling social and environmental challenges in Europe and beyond are at the core of realising a more secure, trusted, inclusive and participatory Next Generation Internet. It will also provide the opportunity to promote how a number of advanced technologies (blockchains, decentralised data protection, artificial intelligence, etc.) and EC-driven initiatives, like the 5MEuro blockhain Prize, can help realising a more secure and trusted Digital Single Market.

Follow #DSIFair2018 on twitter!

The DSI Fair 2018 is supported by the Assessorato Roma Semplice

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RightsCon Toronto 2018: MAZI Session and Toolkit Demo

May 17, 2018 - Reading time: 2 minutes

MAZI hosted a session in the world’s leading conference on human rights, RightsCon 2018, in Toronto, Canada, 16 May 2018. The session “Digital inclusion in urban renewal: DIY toolkits for citizen inclusion & empowerment brought together activists, DIY communities, policymakers, journalists and human rights defenders, presented the latest trends in Community Networks and DIY culture and demonstrated the MAZI toolkit in a hands-on workshop.

Luca Belli, Senior Researcher at the Center for Technology and Society (CTS) of Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV), gave a talk about network self-determination, digital inclusion and everyone’s right to build the Internet. Doug Schuler, member of the MAZI advisory board, presented opportunities and challenges of DIY Civic Intelligence and finally the Next Generation Internet activities within the European Commission were presented.

In the hands-on workshop, the audience was split in three groups, each group was provided a different MAZI Zone and they were called to configure their zone according to a given context following guidelines. In this interactive workshop, important feedback about the usability of the MAZI interfaces was gathered and new ideas were emerged and shared with everyone during the last sum-up session.

Photos from the session:

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Making, DIY & Participatory Design: ACM CHI 2018 workshop

May 8, 2018 - Reading time: 6 minutes

CAPS projects MAZI and MAKING SENSE workshop at prestigious global ACM conference

The MAZI project teamed up with another CAPS project, MAKING SENSE, to deliver a workshop on 22nd April at The ACM CHI 2018 conference in Montreal, Canada. The workshop proposal, titled Maker Movements, Do-It-Yourself Cultures and Participatory Design: Implications for HCI Research, was accepted after a competitive peer-review process. The topic of the workshop addresses methods of participatory design and the democratisation of technology and social innovation, with a particular focus on the emerging trends of maker culture and Do-It-Yourself approaches. The workshop submission can be downloaded from the ACM library.

The growth of the maker movement, and the wider availability of low cost technological components, has supported a wider participation in the hands-on activity of making objects. However, questions arise around the scale of impact that is possible within the essentially individually-oriented practice. Making is often carried out as an end in itself, for the fundamental, creative pleasure and direct engagement with materiality that the practice affords. In the European context, research projects including Making Sense and MAZI are developing approaches to engage citizens in the design and development processes of interactive networked technologies. These projects are addressing challenges and questions around what participation means against the background of widely accessible design tools and technologies.

As well as the presentations, participants spent time discussing emerging research themes in groups.

Within the workshop itself, 14 papers were accepted for presentation after an open call, with a review process carried out by the workshop organising committee, comprising members from institutions in the UK, USA, The Netherlands, Spain, Germany, Portugal and Denmark. Authors of the accepted papers represent a wide range of universities and research groups, from countries including the USA, UK, Canada, Germany and Cyprus.



More photos of the workshop event are on Flickr.

The ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems is the premier international conference of Human-Computer Interaction. CHI Conference website:

Workshop website:

Making Sense:



Michael Smyth, Edinburgh Napier University, UK
Ingi Helgason, Edinburgh Napier University, UK
Frank Kresin, University of Twente, Netherlands
Mara Balestrini, Ideas for Change, Spain
Andreas Unteidig, University of the Arts, Germany
Shaun Lawson, University of Northumbria, UK
Mark Gaved, Open University, UK
Nick Taylor, University of Dundee, UK
James Auger, Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute, Portugal
Lone Koefed Hansen, Aarhus University, Denmark
Douglas Schuler, Evergreen State College, The Public Sphere Project, USA
Mel Woods, University of Dundee, UK
Paul Dourish, University of California, Irvine, USA

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MAZI demos at the Edinburgh International Science Festival

April 17, 2018 - Reading time: 2 minutes

Over 5000 members of the public attended a Saturday Family Fun Day in Edinburgh, UK, as part of the Edinburgh International Science Festival in April 2018. The MAZI project was there to show off examples of Do-It-Yourself networking, including interactive HTML games and activities built by Edinburgh Napier University students. The day was extremely busy, with many children and their families trying out the MAZI networking demos, hosted on Raspberry Pis running MAZI Zones, and learning about local WiFi networks, coding and creating projects with a Raspberry Pi.


MAZI took part in the festival event, organised by Heriot Watt University, alongside many other researchers, showcasing their scientific work to a wide audience. Edinburgh International Science Festival, founded in 1989, aims to inspire people of all ages and backgrounds to discover the world around them. The annual Science Festival: the world’s first public celebration of science and technology is still one of Europe’s largest.

The two-week festival gives audiences amazing experiences through a diverse programme of innovative events. Alongside the annual festival in Edinburgh, the organisation has a strong focus on education and runs a touring programme that visits schools around Scotland throughout the year.


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