Maker City

How a city prepares for the future

Accelerating economic opportunity by leveraging the Maker movement

Our newest tool for localists and city leaders

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About Us

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 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

Theory of Change


Identify Leaders

Identify a set of Maker Cities that are leading the way in leveraging the Maker movement and advances in manufacturing to create jobs and lasting economic opportunity.

Tell Stories

Of the people, organizations, and investments that are making a difference inside the Maker City. Stories underline what is possible and make it easier to rinse and repeat what works


Connect cities and towns with the resources they need to accelerate change


Codify best practices and build local capacity for change

Measure Results

Measure results in terms of Resilient Jobs created


Programs underway are in orange; programs where we are still seeking funding are in blue.

Our goal is to get at least 3 of these programs funded and off the drawing board in 2017.

Maker City Rankings
We are working with U.S. News and World Report (more than 30 million uniques per month) to create the Maker City rankings, much like the rankings they do for states and countries.
Maker City Rankings
Maker City rankings is a new and more forward looking way of thinking about what defines an industrial city or town.
Maker City Heroes
Identify the people and organizations that are leading change in cities and towns.
Maker City Heroes
Tell stories in video or a podcast format.  Includes a contest and appropriate reward for the top ranking cities and towns and their associated heroes.
Maker City U.
An online course targeting young people in community colleges and universities. Builds capacity to understand ecosystem and what is lacking so as to effect change.
Maker City U.
The goal is to recruit representatives from 5-6 different cities and towns to take the online course at the time. Includes mentoring and coaching to set up public | private partnerships.
Workforce Development Toolkit
A toolkit - not unlike the one created by our partner at the Pratt Center - on how cities and towns can access the needs of the major corporate employers.
Workforce Development Toolkit
Provides tools to better align employer needs with the curriculum and offerings of high schools, community colleges, and research universities.
Maker City Game
One simulation is worth a thousand words.
Maker City Game
A fun and engaging online game to showcase the impact of different investment strategies on the growth of Resilient Jobs.
National Manufacturing Policy Agenda
Created in conjunction with the Brookings Institution

A policy agenda designed to rebuild manufacturing

National Manufacturing Policy Agenda
Targeting heartland states and cities and towns affected by severe job loss e.g. plant closings and the decline of coal mining
Resilient Jobs Index
Created in conjunction with the Brookings Institution
Resilient Jobs Index
Created in conjunction with Brookings Institution, a metric that defines Resilient Jobs and measures the number of such jobs created on an ongoing basis.

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