In 2011, Medellin was the 14th most dangerous city in the world, according to a Mexican NGO. Shaken by this statement, the city, who undertook a development plan since 2008, decided to invest on citizens to tackle the challenge of transforming the city. How? By giving to Ruta N, a public corporation created in 2009, the funds to offer programs and services based on technology, science, and innovation to local actors who aim to create employment and to improve people quality of life.
Want to see concrete examples of their actions? Come to the “Laboratorio de innovacion”, the innovation department of Ruta N created in May 2017, and you will discover dozens of them, each more impressive than the others. In this makerspace, you will meet companies, entrepreneurs, public organizations and teachers, all intrigued by the team members guidance who help them, with an adapted mix of methodologies (design thinking, lean startup, …), to transform their problem in opportunity and their activity in a more impactful project. The mission of this space is clear: rather than making themselves solutions to improve the city quality of life, they want to empower local people with innovation process and digital tools to transform them in superheroes, ready to make a positive impact on the city economy and security.
After a year, he succeeded to develop a united and talented team who helped dozens of actors to change their mindset and to develop their digital fabrication skills. For them, a problem is now rather seen as a challenge and the lack of resources as an opportunity to come up with new ideas.
For the team members, deeply involved to make a change, their next challenges will be to develop good practices to guide actors not only in their project idea but also in their effective deployment and to measure their impact in society. More than a place full of machines and makers, they built a positive and winning spirit to turn everyone into a change maker.