Bay Area makers and UC Berkeley students join global movement to collaborate
and develop custom solutions with people with disabilities in 48-hour Makeathon.
[Berkeley, March 17-19] 95 innovators and makers will gather at Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation at UC Berkeley for TOM:Berkeley, a three-day technology-development marathon where participants work together with people with disabilities to develop solutions for everyday challenges. Physical prototypes address the local need, and the designs will be published online to address the needs of others with similar disabilities around the world.
Drew McPherson, TOM:Berkeley Organizer shares, “As a mechanical engineering student and quadriplegic due to Spinal Cord Injury, I am very excited to bring a TOM Community to UC Berkeley and engage my peers in an impactful way. I see so much skill and potential amongst my fellow students and see so many activities that my friends and I in the disability community struggle with or simply cannot do because no functional or affordable solution exists. By bringing these communities together many of these challenges can be addressed with local community members and through TOM the impact can be amplified to reach communities around the world. ”
TOM:Berkeley is the newest TOM:Tikkun Olam Makers community – a global movement of makers, designers, developers, and innovators who seek to solve challenges faced by people living with disabilities worldwide. The community is being launched alongside three other college campuses and one high school this Spring with the support of the Jim Joseph Foundation.
With 1.1 Billion people living with disabilities around the world, there are countless personal challenges which hinder independence and inclusion. The uniqueness of many of these challenges limits the prospective market size, limiting company development and driving prices up for existing commercial products. This event seeks to meet those needs within the local community by connecting volunteers with different backgrounds and skill sets, then providing support and structure to facilitate development.
“TOM:Berkeley is mobilizing local talent and resources in Berkeley to help local people that face neglected challenges that have no market solution and no government solution.” shared Gidi Grinstein, president of the Reut Group, “by creating a specific and extremely affordable solutions to a specific problem, and then making it globally available, every team can help tens of thousands of other users worldwide, supporting a global network of communities collectively working together to improve the lives of millions of people living with disabilities.”
The teams will have access to the state of the art workshop at both Jacobs Hall and the CITRIS Invention Lab at UC Berkeley, including 3D printers, laser cutters, water jet cutters, electronics fabrication. The eleven teams will have 48 hours to create a working prototype for their challenge.
TOM:Berkeley, starting March 17th at the Jacobs Institute on UC Berkeley and culminating on the 19th, brings together local Makers and people with disabilities on 11 separate challenges. The closing event which is open to the public will take place at Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation on 19th of March at 4pm, when TOM:Berkeley participants will showcase their prototypes to the community.
“We are so excited to bring TOM to Berkeley. TOM’s goal of bringing technology experts together with people living with disabilities in order to develop solutions to challenges would not be possible without strong local communities. With each makeathon, our network grows and we are able to help more people around the world.” shares Michal Kabatznik, TOM’s Creator of Global Opportunity
TOM:Berkeley (berkeley.tomglobal.org) is a local community for student Makers, designers, developers and engineers working together with people with disabilities to develop technological solutions for everyday challenges.This event is co-organized by the student group EnableTech at UC Berkeley, who will provide support for projects to continue after the event, and sponsored by CITRIS and the Banatao Institute and the CITRIS Invention Lab, as well as other sponsors, including Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation, MakerBot, Neurotech@Berkeley, FEM Tech, Jim Joseph Foundation, Engineering Student Services, and the Reut Group.
By mobilizing TOM Communities worldwide, TOM:Tikkun Olam Makers (tomglobal.org) seeks to address neglected challenges and develop millions of affordable technological solutions for people with disabilities around the globe. Established in 2014, TOM is a strategic initiative of the Reut Group, a Tel Aviv-based innovative policy and strategy group creating and scaling models to ensure prosperity and resilience for Israel and the Jewish People while courageously pursuing a vision to positively impact the lives of 250 Million people in a decade.