Our world is constantly evolving. In recent decades, the digital age has revolutionized the way we consume and share information while green technologies have given us the means to produce our own energy. Soon, the world may experience another seismic shift as we attain the tools to create our own physical products. Produced by the VPRO documentary series, Making the Future examines this inspiring phenomenon which could forever alter the global economy and our way of life.
The bulk of the film takes place at the Maker Faire in San Mateo, California, where a new generation of hobbyists gather to show off their homemade creations. Easily accessible 3-D printers, drones and artificial intelligence technologies have democratized the process of innovation. The Internet provides these inventors with a forum where they can cut out the middle men, and share their concepts with communities of like-minded individuals. They work in collaboration to develop, produce and distribute the products of the future.
Tools and raw materials are cheaper than ever, and start-up costs are dwindling. The goods that used to be produced in mammoth multi-million dollar factories can now be realized in someone's basement. This dynamic poses a major challenge to the economic principles of capitalism as we know them, and it's put large corporations and brick and mortar operations on notice. Behemoths like NASA have recognized the writing on the wall, and are actively recruiting these makers to create autonomous robotic systems and other highly progressive technologies.
The maker movement encompasses much more than just creating your next piece of furniture on a 3-D printer. This do-it-yourself mentality has also reaped rewards in scientific fields like synthetic biology. With a modest workstation and information gathered from the web, an amateur scientist can set up their own homegrown lab where they might possess the capacity to manipulate human DNA and bacteria. This could bring about the next great cure for a mystifying disease. But a shadow figure with more nefarious motives could also produce the next great plague.
Making the Future provides an eye-opening look at the benefits and potential dangers that may accompany the next industrial revolution.
Directed by: Martijn Kieft