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Ben Shultz, a PhD student in Geography at the University of Tennessee, is conducting research on innovation and creativity in DIY and makers communities for his dissertation. The survey is completely anonymous and takes less than 10 minutes to complete.

Ben says:

In academics we have traditionally viewed innovation and creativity from the perspective of a large corporation. But we have overlooked the incredibly innovative and creative ideas that come out of the DiY community.

With its substantial web presence and an ethos based on sharing and repurposing knowledge, the DiY movement changes how and where innovations come about. Rather than protecting innovations or charging for access, the DiY community freely reveals designs from start to finish on the Internet. The non-hierarchical, open manner in which creative media are produced in this setting democratizes the innovation process and opens creative pursuits to a geographically distributed public.

As part of my research, I’m conducting a simple web-based survey to get an idea of where makers are (I’m in geography after all!), how they share knowledge, and what influences their creative endeavors.

With my dissertation, I plan to reciprocate the DiY ethos and keep my research as open as possible. I am keeping a blog of all my research progress, including write-ups and aggregated results, and inviting anyone interested to use the information. You can check out my blog, DiY Dissertation. I hope to offer you back useful and interesting information on both the research process and the DiY community.

You can access the survey here or use the following URL:

http://www.surveygizmo.com/s/131093/a9nnw

Dale Dougherty

I’m founder of MAKE magazine and creator of Maker Faire. I am CEO of Maker Media, the company that produces MAKE, Maker Faire and Maker Shed. I am Chairman of the Maker Education Initiative (www.makered.org).


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