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

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DALE DOUGHERTY is the leading advocate of the Maker Movement. He founded Make: Magazine 2005, which first used the term “makers” to describe people who enjoyed “hands-on” work and play. He started Maker Faire in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2006, and this event has spread to nearly 200 locations in 40 countries, with over 1.5M attendees annually. He is President of Make:Community, which produces Make: and Maker Faire.

In 2011 Dougherty was honored at the White House as a “Champion of Change” through an initiative that honors Americans who are “doing extraordinary things in their communities to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world.” At the 2014 White House Maker Faire he was introduced by President Obama as an American innovator making significant contributions to the fields of education and business. He believes that the Maker Movement has the potential to transform the educational experience of students and introduce them to the practice of innovation through play and tinkering.

Dougherty is the author of “Free to Make: How the Maker Movement Is Changing our Jobs, Schools and Minds” with Adriane Conrad. He is co-author of "Maker City: A Practical Guide for Reinventing American Cities" with Peter Hirshberg and Marcia Kadanoff.

View more articles by Dale Dougherty