Connecting the dots: understanding professional development needs of Istanbul’s makers for circular economy

Bakırlıoğlu, Yekta
Ramirez Galleguillos, Maria Laura
Bensason, Ivon
Yantaç, Asim Evren
Coşkun, Aykut
With the dissemination and increased accessibility of makerspaces (e.g. fab labs, creative hubs, learning platforms), cities now present an opportunity for loosely managed, distributed fabrication opportunities to recapture embedded value in products and resources and re-distribute them for the benefit of the city. Istanbul Metropolitan City, with its rather large population and land, as well as 24 active makerspaces focusing on different industries and fabrication opportunities (e.g. education, entrepreneurship, sustainability), presents potential for initiating a robust network of makers (e.g. designers, engineers, craftsmen, investors, students, entrepreneurs) to explore and exploit novel ways of value recapture and to transition towards a local, Circular Economy. However, these stakeholders initially require an understanding of potential opportunities and barriers for collaboration, as well as equip themselves with skills and knowledge beyond the act of making (including alternative ways to conduct business, value recapture, Circular Design, collaboration, etc.) in order to sustain their operations from an economic perspective. This paper presents the initial results of (1) a survey revealing Istanbul’s maker communities’ goals, priorities, target groups, and skills related to the Circular Economy, and (2) their collaborative attempt of a future, circular economy vision for Istanbul developed as part of a generative workshop. The maker community representatives explored existing infrastructure, resources and stakeholders of Istanbul to connect the dots amongst them and reveal untapped, concealed local opportunities for collaboration and co-creation. This paper presents the analysis of these studies to reveal the professional development needs of these maker communities for transitioning towards a local, circular economy. As a result, the authors propose strategies for training, capacity building and skills development both relevant to the local context of Istanbul and in line with the global concerns around sustainability and the Circular Economy.
EESD2021: Proceedings of the 10th Engineering Education for Sustainable Development Conference, 'Building Flourishing Communities', University College Cork, Ireland, 14-16 June.


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Citation Formats
Y. Bakırlıoğlu, M. L. Ramirez Galleguillos, I. Bensason, A. E. Yantaç, and A. Coşkun, “Connecting the dots: understanding professional development needs of Istanbul’s makers for circular economy,” presented at the EESD2021: Proceedings of the 10th Engineering Education for Sustainable Development Conference, ‘Building Flourishing Communities’, University College Cork, Ireland, 14-16 June., Cork, İrlanda, 2021, Accessed: 00, 2022. [Online]. Available: