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MAKE Asks: is a weekly column where we ask you, our readers, for responses to maker-related questions. We hope the column sparks interesting conversation and is a way for us to get to know more about each other.

This week’s question: Maker Faire Bay Area is quickly approaching, and World Maker Faire will follow soon after in September. We are currently booking speakers for these events. When you go to Maker Faire who would you love to hear? It can be anyone from the tech, geek, science or art world. The sky’s the limit!

I would love to hear Dean Kamen speak. He is a true renaissance man, known for his pioneering work in the bio-tech field, the inventor of the Segway, his robotic prosthetic arm, and his off-grid compound on North Dumpling Island. Dean’s a maverick in the field and would fit in perfectly among us makers.

Post your responses in the comments section.

Michael Colombo

In addition to being an online editor for MAKE Magazine, Michael Colombo works in fabrication, electronics, sound design, music production and performance (Yes. All that.) In the past he has also been a childrens’ educator and entertainer, and holds a Masters degree from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program.



  1. Well, possibly I was prompted by your Dean Kamen suggestion (which is great!), but Elon Musk would be another one. Given the mix of electric vehicle, space and solar companies, he seems like he has some definite overlap with Maker sensibilities. Plus you know he’ll be looking to hire lots of Makers in coming years!

    1. Sean says:

      Seconds on Elon Musk!

  2. Mark Bünger says:

    Navi Radjou, about Jugaad Innovation. Jugaad is DIY in the developing world, and increasingly the developed economies too. Great perspective on creativity, innovation, and sustainability.

    1. Mark Bünger says:

      …and Bilal Ghalib of GEMSI. He’s started makerspaces in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, and now Palestine — another great voice on the global universality of the maker movement.

  3. Nick Offerman, and Jimmy DiResta.

    Do I really need to explain this?

  4. How about Vince Gingery? I’d love to hear some war stories about his dad, and about running Lindsay Books through a period that included the beginnings of the modern Maker movement.

    1. +1 on Gingery. Those books are too often unheralded – rich resources for the Maker movement today. I still treasure my copy of “Secrets of Lead Acid Batteries.”

  5. I really enjoyed Mike Rowe at the 2011 Maker Faire. Bring him back for more!

  6. Andy Barratt says:

    Please bring Adam Savage to the UK. I’d love to see him speak. Quite happy to pay more – the guy is such an inspirational speaker and only seems to do TAM in the US.

    1. +1 for Adam Savage! And may I suggest Tim Hunkin, maker of The Secret Life of Machines and the amusement arcade machines at Southwold Pier. We heard him speak at Derby maker Faire last year; maybe he’d be able to come to other Faires?

      1. Gregory Hayes says:

        Great call! I saw him present at the Open Make event at San Francisco’s Exploratorium, and would love to catch him live again.

  7. Ben Bradley says:

    I’d love to hear Ray “How To Make A Mind” Kurzweil.

    Okay, maybe he’s too busy with his new job at Google and all. How about David L. Jones of EEVlog fame? That would be a long and expensive plane flight, but worth it.

  8. dthorpe95005 says:

    James Dyson, inventor.

  9. Steve Wozniak… true renaissance man… and such an inspiration/hero to my family/children in particular

    1. Oh that would be great. I’d love to snatch one of his steel business cards he uses on flights to cut his steak just to spite the flight attendants.

  10. chuck says:

    I’m going to be speaking and hosting a workshop at the Tampa Bay Mini Maker Faire on noise circuits and basic synthesis. We’re going to make some noise!
    As for who I’d like to see speak (aside from myself!)- Forrest Mims, William Gibson and Mark Pauline of SRL spring to mind. I can’t get enough of Adam Savage!
    What I’d really like to see is a ’3D Printing Reality Check’ panel discussion with some of the luminaries of the 3D printing scene as well as an engineer, an economist, a designer and other experts to clear up some of the confusion as to what we can and can’t do with the technology and where it’s likely to be heading. The recent printed guns hysteria is a good example of confusing what we may be able to do in the future vs. what we can do right now.

  11. Matt says:

    A tech combo of Ben Heck and David Pogue (What I can make myself and what I can buy for myself)

  12. Sjon Pelletier says:

    Richard James aka Aphex Twin

  13. Jerry Isdale says:

    David Lang – openROV, zero to Maker, etc

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