I enjoyed reading this presentation that Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino, co-founder of maker biz Tinker London, gave at Made North. ADS raps about the familiar theme of the decline of traditional industry.

I think that when we talk about industry, most people have a romantic view that ignores the reasons why we stopped “making things” in the first place. One of the reasons why industrial times was so successful was partly because we had no qualms about hiring children to work (something Lewis Hine documented very well). Eventually when that was socially frowned upon, we started outsourcing the work to other people’s children and developed better technology to do less work. Cheap labour is China’s competitive advantage and short of going back to slave labour, the UK cannot go back to “making things” in that sense. Sorry.

I like how her perspective focuses on the UK, which has the additional bugaboo of American titans like Apple and Google stifling UK biz with their success.

Make Little, Make Often: Ideas for the Future of Manufacturing in the UK