GEMSI works to facilitate the development of collaborative workshops in the Midde East and North Africa. GEMSI is a fiscally sponsored project by The School Factory. GEMSI’s goals are to break down the borders between ideas, people and countries. I believe that the open source philosophy is a path to egalitarian progress and can address some of our global challenges. Sharing, community and agency are core tenants at a hackerspace and we’re happy to have helped establish hackerspaces in Egypt, Morocco, Lebanon and Iraq.
Our strategies are three fold:
1) Connecting people within the city that are already a part of the culture. And connecting the groups that form with the international hackerspace community.
2) Demoing. We run pop-up hackerspaces and bring a variety of open source tools to get people excited about the possibilities of having a community space where they can actualize their ideas.
3) By creating content that can spread. Our biggest effort in that regard was the creation of this video we shot while helping with Lamba Labs in Beirut October 2012:
This is a video describing the genesis of GEMSI and our work:
Here is a older progress report after our first trip to the Middle East: