Makers Unite aims to tackle social and environmental issues through the activity of co-creating up-cycled products with both locals and refugees. Starting in Amsterdam, the collaboration allows to identify abilities of newcomers and to connect their skills with local experts allowing with them to develop their individual talent. By giving the proper tools and opportunity to empower newcomers, Makers Unite offers the first steps for refugees to regain their dignity, connect with locals, build new networks and re-start their lives.
Makers Unite is innovative in solving both social and environmental issues caused by the current crisis. The uniqueness on the project lies on the co-creative design process that listens to every stakeholder (both locals and newcomers) in each stage of development. At first hand that enables the production of meaningful products that tell real stories and engage the European community, while by consequence that allows the participants to get to know each other, connect and generate new opportunities. Those can be by starting individual projects, getting to run their own new businesses or simply by allowing newcomers to feel comfortable in the first steps of their new lives.
Today we estimate about 700.000 life vests accumulated on the main islands used as entry points to Europe. Makers Unite up-cycles the life vests and rubber boats into products. These items are commercialized and the revenue is directed back to the refugee's cause. Together with migrants, locals from the Greeks islands and locals from the ‘hosting’ countries Makers Unite creates a circular economy that at the same time serves to raise awareness about the current crisis while creating meaningful relationships on a local level.