Maker City is a social-impact and advocacy firm based in San Francisco.

In 2016, we wrote the book on the Maker City in conjunction with the Obama White House and its Office of Science and Technology Policy. The book – entitled Maker City: A practical guide to reinventing our cities – went on to become bestseller in the entrepreneurship and urban & regional planning categories on Amazon.

The book explores how the ethos of the maker movement can help bridge the significant gap between 1) the skills available in the workforce and 2) the types of jobs and economic opportunity available.

A skills gap that cities and towns can close by following the prescriptions we lay out in the book:

  • Allow young people to go hands on with the modern tools of production (computer science, CAD/CAM, robotics, electronics, CNC tooling)
  • Better align skills training with the needs of local employers
  • Create an ecosystem that allows local manufacturing to thrive
  • Come together on a regional basis to create competitive advantage and greater economic opportunity

One of our core projects in 2017 involves working with U.S. News and World Report (30 Million uniques per month) to create the Maker City rankings, much like the rankings they do for states and countries. Maker City rankings is a new and more forward looking way of thinking about what defines a city or town intent on preparing itself and its citizens for the future.

By Peter Hirshberg, Dale Dougherty, Marcia Kadanoff
Generously funded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

Peter Hirshberg

Peter Hirshberg

Co-Founder | Maker City Project

Peter has been speaking and lecturing about the Maker City since 2014.

Marcia Kadanoff

Marcia Kadanoff

Co-Founder | Maker City Project

Dale Dougherty

Dale Dougherty

Founder & CEO | Maker Media

Dale coined the term “Maker City” sometime back in 2013/4 on a visit to Detroit.

Omeed Manocheri

Omeed Manocheri

Programs & Events

Laura Snooks

Laura Snooks

Research & Writer

Praise for our Work

Press & Partners

“This is a wonderfully specific and useful book about one of the most promising economic and social trends in America. The positive prospects that Peter Hirschberg, Dale Dougherty, and Marcia Kadanoff lay out closely match what I have seen in cities across the country. And the spirit of resilient adaptability that they portray, including with practical steps on fostering it, will be an important part in the next stage of U.S. economic growth”

James FallowsAtlantic

“Maker City is a manifesto for productive change in America's cities. With sharp vignettes and instances from around the country, the book depicts a new groundswell of entrepreneurial and civic-minded energy that is bringing tech people and crafts people together to work--city by city--to create new partnerships to reinvigorate city-based industries.”

Amy LiuVice President and Director, Metropolitan Policy Program, The Brookings Institution

“Maker City shows with clarity and rich examples ways in which cities can harness the tremendous potential of the Maker movement and urban manufacturing to create a more resilient local economy and more vibrant city.”

Kate SofisCo-Founder of the Urban Manufacturing Alliance

“Maker City is a must read for anyone concerned with the economic future of their community, city, or nation. I believe that this is one of the most important urban planning books since Jane Jacobs The Death and Life of American Cities. It compels, no… demands that we all go to work on the future of our cities. The Maker City is an achievable vision. If you care about the future or want to help create it… read this book.”

Mark HatchCo Founder, TechShop

“Chock full of examples of how Maker Cities are getting cities right in ways that are clever, inspiring, highly replicable, and sustainable, not faddish.”

Hugh MacworthFormer venture capitalist, tech executive, and father of a 16-year old Maker
How We Measure Results

The number of RESILIENT JOBS created

Take advantage of local supply chain
At least 50% of the product is made locally.
Pay at least $20/hour
Sufficient to pay for a 1 bedroom apartment in most cities and–with two wage earners in the household–sufficient to support a family of 4.
Where workers with different skills are paid more for those skills
Invest in creating talent through an explicit focus on upskilling workers. In today’s economy, skills need to be constantly refreshed to stay current.
Add value beyond routinized assembly or logistics
Low-value, routinized jobs can and will be replaced by robots in the near future.

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