Maggie Philbin and Bill Thompson to Chair Debates at Brighton Maker Faire Mini Conference

Since announcing the makers for this year”s Maker Faire, we”ve been busy working on another exciting layer of the event – the mini conference. This programme of talks and debates runs alongside the main exhibition day on Saturday, and is a way for makers and those passionate about making to share their knowledge, ideas and opinions with the audience.

We couldn’t be happier about this year’s speaker line-up, which includes high profile names from TV and radio alongside acclaimed artists and makers. From conductive paint, digital pyrotechnics, toys of the future, and 3D printing, to the Raspberry Pi phenomenon and the art of metalworking, the conference will address the latest thinking in the world of makers, and give you – the audience – the opportunity to ask questions and get involved.

Maggie Philbin, presenter of BBC TV programme Bang Goes the Theory and Founder of Teen Tech, will chair a debate about ‘Making for Social Good’, exploring how the spirit of Maker Faires could be transferred into the school curriculum and whether the government’s latest proposal to get five year olds into programming is a step too far.

Bill Thompson, BBC News Online Technology columnist, pundit and presenter of BBC radio programme Click, will chair a debate about ‘The 3D printing revolution’, to find out whether the hype around this industry casino online is justified and whether it does have the potential to trigger the return of the cottage industry.

For Willard Foxton, a TV producer and journalist, this might be one of the last debates he takes part in. In 2012, he issued a challenge that the first person to 3D print a firearm was welcome to shoot him with it. Later this year he’ll travel to Texas to make good on that promise. His scepticism might have gotten him into serious trouble, but hopefully his wit will help him survive the trip to the US.

Another highlight will be a talk from award-winning digital artist Seb Lee-Delisle, who is the brains behind the famous PixelPyros – a digital fireworks display projected onto a large screen, which the audience controls with their bodies through motion detection sensors.

Jon Mills, one of the most influential UK makers of the last 30 years, will talk about his career as a metalworking artist, and, as age has caught up with him, the emergence of his alter ego “Mr Watt Grumpy Man of Metal”.

The conference is a great opportunity to hear from those on the cutting edge of the maker community and is guaranteed to give you some fantastic dinner party conversation starters! You might also pick up a few tips and tricks from the people behind famous arts or maker projects and innovative start-up companies.

Entry to the conference is included in the ticket price for the main Maker Faire, so grab yours before they run out! Tickets are on sale here:

You can find the full running order of talks and debates with background information about speakers and panellists here:


Founders Room at the Corn Exchange


11am-5pm, Saturday 7 September

About Andrew Sleigh

I'm a maker, web geek, writer, photographer and walker based in Brighton, UK. More at Follow me on Twitter at:
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