• We are what we create together.

    makers. hackers. FOUNDERS. innovators. change makers.


    Field reports from all over the GIG global network


    The Global Innovation Gathering is a vibrant and fast-growing community of innovation hub founders, community managers, makers and hackers from across the world, who exchange ideas and collaborate online as well as offline at various conferences worldwide.


    The GIG network was born at the 2013 re:publica conference in Berlin and has grown and prospered with their invaluable support. re:publica has since become the venue for the GIG network's annual grand gathering.


    GIG has been growing steadily since 2013 and now comprises of more than 100 drivers of global innovation from almost 30 countries. With its diverse members and collaborative projects and due to its truly equitable setup, GIG is pursuing a new vision for development and cooperation based on equality, openness and sharing.



    GIG is a global exchange programme, both physical and digital creates meaningful connections between innovators. GIG provides a platform for its members to exchange knowledge, experience and share good practices, for instance through 

    • regular hangouts and discussions on issues central to the network, 
    • hosting a digital knowledge repository,
    • and encouraging network members to engage in collaborative production, co-creation, open technologies.

    GIG supports capacity development for hubs, through

    • Mentoring, coaching and training programs for hub managers,
    • Mentoring, coaching and training programs for hub members to enable them to develop good products and services, found start-ups, as well as scale up,
    • enabling personnel exchange between spaces.


    GIG engages in policy dialogues by gathering and analysing policies in the sector and aims to support community members in lobbying their governments to create policy frameworks that foster innovation and grass-roots technology development. GIG can also represent members interests by acting as an interface between governments, donors and innovation spaces.


    GIG provides a connection and entry point for donors, encouraging an open dialogue around developing suitable programmes and support structures with development organisations.


    GIG provides visibility and connections between locations around the globe, both physically and digitally, for instance through the mapping of spaces and activities (planned in partnership with Ananse) and by hosting Global Innovation Gatherings at different international events.


    GIG conducts and supports research in the field of innovation and development, digital rights and technology ecosystem questions carried out by local scientists and international teams.


    One example of our work and how these different components come together is the IoT Research and Event series we are currently planning.


    The members of GIG are commited to the values of

    Constant Curiosity, Open Collaboration, and Meaningful Impact.


    GIG is supported by partners and friends from all over the world of innovation and open collaboration.


    At the 2013 re:publica - Europe’s leading conference on technology & society - partnered with GIZ and AfriLabs to bring together over 25 representatives from innovation hubs in Africa, Asia and Latin America at re:publica in what was then called “Global Innovation Lounge”. The Global Innovation Lounge provided a stage to present the hubs and showcase the innovations happening in other continents. High quality talks were held at the lounge throughout the three days of the conference programme attracting much attention from re:publica visitors and press. Topics of the talks ranged from the role of Local Area Network Solutions in countries with low connectivity, to the role of Open Technology Networks, and ICT4D in post conflict countries as well as hub introductions from Madagascar, Zambia, Ethiopia and Egypt, to name a few.

    Due to the overwhelming success and clear need for a community, the Global Innovation Gathering was launched in 2014 as a community instead of a once-a-year-meeting, although GIG@re:publica is still the major physical meeting of almost all members and thus keeps the network going and growing.


    In 2015, over 100 global innovators came together at re:publica. In preparation of the gathering, a comprehensive study of the impact of GIG was conducted. The survey found that participants benefitted greatly from GIG in terms of:

    • Exchange of knowledge and best practices
    • Start of collaborations in sector-specific partnerships
    • Meeting with donors and experts to realize projects
    • Expanding reach and branding of hubs


    Apart from re:publica, there were many more conferences that GIG was represented at:


    E-Learning Africa 2013-2015

    Proto:type Yogyakarta 2014

    Asia Pacific Week Berlin 2015

    Connective Cities Dialogue Berlin 2014-2015

    MakerFaire Berlin 2015

    Mozfest 2015

    CCCamp 2015


    We aim to expand the presence of global innovators at many more conferences and events to enable a truly global conversation about the future of the anthropocene.

  • GIG at re:publica 2016

    In their fourth year at this massive technology conference, GIG members share their insights and knowledge on stage once again.

    Innovation in Refugee Camps

    Grace Keji, Kilian Kleinschmidt, Switxboard, Marlen de la Chaux, Ana Laura Santos, Katharina Dermühl, Kiron


    Refugee camps are often viewed as temporary refuges for people fleeing war and violence. However, due to conflicts and refugee situations becoming ever more protracted, refugee camps also become permanent or semi-permanent homes and have developed into towns and cities of their own in many cases. This session, convened by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), will look at the economics of refugee camps and highlight examples of innovation in the most unlikely settings.

    In Search of Makers – mapping the most creative community spaces

    Anna Waldman-Brown ANANSE Group, Chinmayi SK, Bilal Ghalib Gemsi

    Today, the Maker Movement encompasses 3000+ creative community spaces across 80+ countries-- places such as hackerspaces, fab labs, makerspaces, and tech hubs where anyone can have access to modern technology. Join us in our road trip to explore the world of innovation spaces and discover their impact on society.

    Top 5 things wrong with policy frameworks for innovation and entrepreneurship

    Nanjira Sambuli iHub, Georgia Nicolau, Martín Restrepo Appiar, Jay Fajardo Launchgarage


    400% import taxes on hardware, no legal base for co-working, criminalized use of technologies - policies can have a very direct impact on technology entrepreneurs and innovators. The panel will compare and contrast numerous policies from different countries affecting innovation ecosystems and evaluate successful and less successful policies from a grassroots perspective.

    Hardware for the Masses

    Simon Höher, Federico Musto Arduino, Juliet Wanyiri Foondi


    Maker technologies can play a powerful role in enabling economic development and the spread of a different concept of empowerment through technology - in particular when it comes to creating Open Source alternatives to corporate driven Internet of Things solutions. How can stutainable technology be made widely accessible?

    Hacking Humanitarian Aid

    Sam Bloch Communitere

    Disaster relief and the aid industry must innovate dramatically to keep pace with technology, human needs and the speed and internationalization of commerce. Because innovation must come from all players, grassroots organizations can influence the process by bringing their “bottom up” brand of innovation to the problem. By building dynamic, collaborative, on-the-ground spaces in places where the population is in greatest need, a space is created where big aid can serve local needs more effectively than ever before.

    A Circular Approach to Making

    Gabriela Agustini Olabi, Sénamé Koffi Agbodjinou, Anna Lowe


    From Brazilian Gambiarra to African DIY and repair culture in Europa, makers are exploring more sustainable production methods around the world. This new mindset can contribute significantly to the drive towards a more circular economy and also to validate a creative work done in the peripheries of the world.

    3D Printing Prostheses for Champions and Survivors

    Andrew Lamb FieldReady, Asem Hasna Row3D, Samer Shawar Vecbox, Denise Schindler

    What do Olympic Athlete Denise Schindler and Berlin based Syrian innovator Asem Hasna have in common? They are using 3D printing and technologies such as brain-computer interface and VR to improve their own prostheses as well as the lives of others. DIY electronics are promising a means to make customized, advanced technology available to the masses.

    The Good, the Bad and the Zero

    Nanjira Sambuli iHub, Cathleen Berger GP Digital, J. Carlos Lara Derechos Digitales, Kudzai M Mubaiwa iZone Hub, Lea Gimpel @gimpelle


    Explore different examples of zero-rated services across the world, looking into potential products of public interest as well as so-called walled gardens. Featuring speakers from Zimbabwe, Kenya, Chile and the EU, we will compare different regulations and patterns of investment trying to depict and identify strategies of how to increase access without undermining the free and open nature of the Internet which must be governed by human rights.

  • VIDEO Archives

    GIG members in action at re:publica

    GIG at re:publica 15

    Gabriela Agustini www.olabi.co

    Roy Ombatti AB3D

    Jay Fayardo launchgarage.com

    Natalie Miller johannesburg.impacthub.net

    Njeri Chelimo thedevschool.org

    Aphrodice Mutangana foyo.rw

    Geraldine de Bastion re-publica.de

    Ratozamanana Andriankoto Harinjaka habaka.org
    Lukas Kampfmann factoryberlin.com
    Tayo Akinyemi afrilabs.com

    Jona Repishti d-lab.mit.edu/people/Jona_Rep...

    Bilal Ghalib gemsi.org
    Mugethi Gitau ihub.co.ke
    Sheilah Birgen mlab.co.ke

    David Deissner vodafone-institut.de
    Nanjira Sambuli ihub.co.ke/research
    Yann Le Beux cticdakar.com
    Zara Rahman

    Aphrodice Mutangana foyo.rw
    Almut Wieland-Karimi zif-berlin.org
    Sanjana Hattotuwa ict4peace.org
    Hakim George Hakim Hegily
    Sudaneen Junubeen

    Ben Wagner cihr.eu
    Mustafa Naseem www.ipal.itu.edu.pk/team-membe...

    Gesche Joost drlab.org

    Juliet Wanyiri foondi.strikingly.com

    Anna Waldman-Brown anansegroup.com

    Samer Shawar vecbox.com

    Denise Karunungan labs.webfoundation.org

    Martín Restrepo appiar.io

    Muhammad Radwan icecairo.com

    Adam Molyneux-Berry icecairo.com
    Jon Stever theoffice.rw
    Ricardo Ruiz Freire culturadigital.br/labceus

    Alfredo Brillembourg u-tt.arch.ethz.ch

    Markos Lemma iceaddis.com


    GIG at re:publica 14

    Fabian-Carlos Guhl founderbus.org
    Faruq Hunter geeksgoneglobal.com
    Victoria Wenzelmann africahacktrip.org

    Jon Stever theofficerw.com
    Jay Cousins jaycousins.wordpress.com
    Sénamé Koffi Agbodjinou lafricainedarchitecture.com

    Markos Lemma iceaddis.com

    Friedrich Kitschelt bmz.de
    Pranesh Prakash cis-india.org
    Geraldine de Bastion re-publica.de
    Rosemary Mbabazi myict.gov.rw

    Tayo Akinyemi afrilabs.com
    Paula Gutierrez bogota.impacthub.net
    Jay Fajardo launchgarage.com
    Stefania Druga hackidemia.com

    Bilal Ghalib gemsi.org



    GIG at re:publica 13

    Where and how it all started! A recap of the first Global Innovation Gathering during re:publica 13


    The far reaching network of GIG






    Global events


    Innovation hubs


    Hugs guaranteed


    Brought to you by the ANANSE GROUP

    A - Alternate Tech Spaces | I - Incubator Spaces | F - Fablabs | M/H - Makerspaces / Hackerspaces | D - Distributed Spaces | T - Tech hubs

  • Connect With Us

    We're happy to meet new people!

    Konnektiv - Büro für Bildung und Entwicklung
    Global Innovation Gathering
    Wilhelmine-Gemberg-Weg 14
    10179 Berlin

    Geraldine de Bastion
    +49 30 577057625



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