Andrew Jawitz


Andrew Jawitz

Code for America Brigade, Maine


I am a Co-Captain of Code for Maine, the Code for America Brigade in southern Maine. I am the founder of CarFree Maine, and organization dedicated to finding alternatives to auto-dependency in rural regions/small cities. I have also learned a great deal from working with the vibrant African immigrant community in Maine, advising in the formation of the African Diaspora Institute. My background is not in technology, but rather in archival recording, ethnographic fieldwork and oral history documentary. This background helped me appreciate the importance of qualitative over quantitative data in rural regions and other communities where place and culture plays a significant role. I became interested in open source technology, and open hardware in particular, as having great potential to leverage place-based assets instead of erasing them.

Sessions for this user

* Where "Small is Beautiful" meets "Big Data"- Empowering Local Communities with Open Hardware

"The future is already here — it's just not very evenly distributed" - Author William Gibson Whether rightly or wrongly so, it has been argued that the "information revolution' has resulted in a wider gap between those with skills and access to digital resources and those who do not. The same can apply to entire communities where language, geography and cultural barriers have created a new world of "Have Nots". The growing civic hacker movement is making long strides towards eliminating the "silicon ceiling" effect, but thanks to the emerging practice of "open hardware" the "civic hacker" is joined by a new class known as the "maker"... The civic hacker is capable of great things, and already has enough of a track record to be proud of. But the hacker ultimately is, and should remain, part of a vanguard elite who like the Bletchley Park codebreakers of WWII possess skills of such value that the work of a single individual can have a direct impact on the outcome of a war (or election...) The "Maker" on the other hand represents a fundamental break from a passive society of consumers into something more closely resembling the small-scale producers and artisans on which the U.S was based on.
Andrew Jawitz