March of the Makers

March of the Makers

Posted by on Mar 31, 2014 in Blog | No Comments

The ‘March of the Makers’: I don’t know whether you remember this term, coined by the esteemed George Osborne in his 2011 budget speech.  His idea wasn’t new – that ‘Made in Britain’ and ‘Designed in Britain’ are phrases that should ‘drive our nation forward’.  Not world-shattering perhaps, but his use of the word ‘makers’ rather than ‘industry’ or ‘manufacturing’ was unusual– it seemed to suggest small businesses ‘making’ things rather than large factories with sophisticated  machinery and large payrolls.  I’m not quite sure what progress he has made towards his goal, but I’m also not sure how many of us still have the skills or design-awareness to make things successfully and competitively.

The reason I was reminded of George’s ‘vision’ was because I recently heard an interview on Radio 4 ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03xdmz8  ) with Mark Miodownik, Professor of Materials and Society at University College London, who has a ‘bit of a thing’ about making.

Mark Miodownik

Mark Miodownik, Professor of Materials and Society at University College London

He agrees with George, that we need more making and less ‘pontificating’ in our society, and he is trying to redress the balance in a number of ways.