Workshop Vulca @FAB14

4 minute read

note: this post is linked to this Pull Request, feel welcome to contribute.


We were at FAB14+ Mobility in Puy-En-Vellay.
And has you may know, I’m thinking, talking, working a lot about documentation these days/months… and Beno Juarez from Lima ran his workshop about “how to constitute a global documentation” which was very interesting, especially because we finish the session with this conclusion:

Where to start on this global documentation?
Imposing a common platform? Creating a new one to rule them all? That could be the most “top-down” BS thing to do in a maker community.
Bringing back the maker at the center.
We are all different, let’s cultivate this. Everyone can choose his way to do it and then why not reusing the concept of RSS link.
Something simple like adding some metadata into the documentation to help other search engines, or fablabs to aggregate contents from their community into their own webpage.
That could be a start, right?


I’m actually using the same concept here with the YAML section of the post.

This is after that, Alex asked us (Rasmus and me) if we could take care of a workshop about documentation and Vulca.

So, of course, we worked in last minute. Here’s our office: image

FAB14 Toulouse

Let’s first talk about the recipe.

Because it was also a good opportunity to challenge Vulca concept and two of their ambassadors.


  1. Take a bearded guy from Copenhagen and another bearded guy from Brussels and let them work together.

Basically, it should go like that:

  1. Rhythm. We asked 4 questions
    • What is the ideal documentation? very Open
    • What do you need? to close and skim the top important need
    • What could motivate you to document these? again, Open
    • How do we make it work now? And close again to collect concrete leads
  2. Then, leave the group, have a beer, to help an intense brain computing power, and come back with a conclusion.
    One good beer is the secret to unlock just enough creativity

nda workshop rythm


Source: photo vulca facebook.

We asked the same series of questions from three point of view.

nda workshop flow

We had a very short time to conclude since the workshop was more productive than expected. :+1:

clean conclusion

Starting from bottom left with what need Vulca, what can they offer, same for maker/fablabs and going up layer by layer.

Vulca is not a new network neither a new platform. Don’t ask them if you can do stuff to help, just do it, they don’t have resources to micro-manage everything.
They will not create contents but connect to EU and can be use to validate some level of requirements for documentation. Some specifications to respect if you want to benefit of the program.

As a maker, that’s great because we don’t want another platform neither. A personal website or portfolio, whatever the platform, is perfect to collect our own work and connect with other makers or even customers, independently of our fablab or the one we travel in. But please, you must agreed on some standards we’ll have to follow and make it easy to use.

As for fablabs, there is already a lot to do so another platform to maintain is out of question. And if some automated system could help for common tasks and make thing easier for makers, that would be perfect.
To help on this, some kind of gamification to guide members and support them into more collaborative behaviors is already developed somewhere… (I’m talking about me at Openfab :wink: )

And we finish with concepts who popped out as important to have to help.
Like a leveling system for skills which you’ll learn through mentorship. Rewards which can begin as motivator, badges to certified skills earned.
All of theses local mechanics will help to grow a culture of documenting, supported by positives incentives (not threat or punitions).
Which can give access to mobility and more cultural exchange IRL (in real life).
Your portfolio will help match making with makers and fablabs, a passport maker could be your CV or maker ID with your certified skills earned anywhere in the world.

That’s the beginning of a new and beautiful virtual country, we don’t need more borders between us. Let’s do more together.

Bonus - The non-documentors anonymous

To late today.
I’ll document that tomorrow.
Mmmmm, I probably should call my sponsor for that…

note: this post is linked to this Pull Request, feel welcome to contribute.