Empowering Communities, Bridging Gaps, and Shaping the Future
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On February 6, 2009, Neil Gershenfeld, Stuart Gannes, and Sherry Lassiter founded the Fab Foundation, embarking on a collaborative mission to blend education, innovation, and technology into a recipe for global impact. On our 15th anniversary, we reflect on the remarkable journey inspired by that dynamic trio.
For a decade and a half, the Fab Foundation has been at the forefront of a revolution in digital fabrication. With our support, the Fab Lab Network has sprouted more than 2,700 Fab Labs in over 125 countries, forming a web of innovation that connects minds and transcends borders. More than 120 of those Fab Labs were established by our own deployment team, helmed by Luciano Betoldi, our Vice President and COO. With key support from our Procurement Manager and Technical Guru Extraordinaire, Jean-Michel Molenaar, the team has narrowed the technology gap and bolstered humanitarian efforts across the globe.
The heartbeat of this revolution is education. Many Fab Labs have been purposefully established within learning centers—both formal and informal—offering support for teachers and students to explore digital fabrication in STEM education. As our international network grows, we strive to create new opportunities for learners around the world to increase their knowledge of the uses and applications of advanced technologies. We are the leading non-profit partner for the Academany, a globally distributed education portfolio designed by Professor Neil Gershenfeld and league of global experts. This has given rise to many other education initiatives spread throughout the Fab Lab Network over the years, such as Fab Academy, Fabricademy, FabAll-In and Fab Learning Academy.
Of course, a Fab Lab is nothing without its people. We are fervent champions of community. Each Fab Lab acts as a connecting hub, pulling together local neighborhood members into a collaborative network that operates on a global scale. The Annual Fab Lab Conference and Symposium, curated by our Outreach, Communications and Production Manager, Norella Coronell, is a testament to this community’s people power. Now in its 20th year, this event has become the largest and most impactful gathering of its kind, a space where diverse minds converge to co-create solutions for local challenges, weaving a global tapestry of innovation.
We are committed to maximizing the potential of the international Fab Lab Network. From tracking economic impacts to refining deployment programs, advancing digital education to prioritizing equity and inclusion, together we are sculpting the future with intention. We envision a world where advanced manufacturing seamlessly integrates into global frameworks, transforming consumers everywhere into creators, where technology and collaboration give birth to equitable, inclusive, and sustainable solutions.
As we blow out the candles on 15 years of innovation, we invite you to join the celebration. We celebrate with the two central figures in the Fab Foundation’s story: Sherry Lassiter, our President and CEO, and her longtime partner, Professor Neil Gershenfeld, Director of MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms. We celebrate with our new team members: Chelsea Lynn, Rodney Williams, Abigail McCune, Sam Peterson, Adrián Torres, and Claire Dorsett. We celebrate with our international consultants who play an integral role in getting Fab Labs up and running: Francisco Sánchez, Abu Adam, Sibu Saman, and Fabrice Traore. We celebrate with over 140 international organizations who have partnered with us over the years to build digital fabrication infrastructure to increase social impact. And we celebrate with each of you who has joined us on this journey—a community of more than 16,000 Fabbers around the world!
#FabAt15, a legacy crafted with ingenuity, collaboration, and an unwavering belief in the power of making things happen. #FabLove and Cheers to the Fab Future!
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