Call out for Fixfest UK unconference

Fixfest UK unconference - Saturday, 6th Oct 2018

This is a space where participants of Fixfest UK, which takes place in Manchester on 6th October, can propose and request sessions for the unconference which will form the bulk of the programme for this year. The day will run from 10:00 registration and end at 18:00 with the plenary. Then move to a social in a local pub. The full programme will be posted soon!

[Tickets have now closed]

Help build the programme. Read on!

Everyone can contribute. You can add ideas to this document by clicking the edit button at the bottom of the page

How an unconference works

The whole point of an unconference is to break through the rigid structure of a regular conference allowing participants to collaboratively generate and deliver the content they want to see. The beauty of this is it can open up space for discussions and activities which might otherwise never have made it to the programme and which reflect the ideas, skills and interests of the participants. We want you to have fun and get creative with the Fixfest programme. Don’t be afraid to put forward ideas that might seem niche, or discussion topics that are tricky. We believe everyone has something to contribute so please don’t be afraid to share your ideas we’re a friendly bunch.


This year we have just one key theme and that’s hope - we figured we could all use a bit of it right now. Most sessions will fit into this theme because community repair is an inherently hopeful activity. So here are some ideas to help you drill down on what you’ve like to contribute:

:hammer_and_wrench: Practical / how-to sessions

:dolphin: Collaboration / working together within groups, regions, nationwide & internationally

:mega: Activism / responding to policy and political change local, national & Brexit

:raising_hand_woman: Improving Community Repair Spaces / exploring best practices for creating safe inclusive learning spaces


45 mins for a discussion style workshop
1h30 for a practical workshop

Number of people

Session capacity will depend on the space you’re allocated (see below), however its good to be flexible. Try to plan a session that could be adapted to accommodate + or - 10 people. We definitely recommend recruiting a co-facilitator.

Materials and rooms

Cinema Room Capacity: 32
Network Support Room Capacity: 12
Makers Workshop Capacity: 18
Exhibition Space Capacity: 20

  • All spaces have wifi
  • The Cinema Room and Network Support Room have AV
  • Makers Workshop has loads of tools, equipment and workbenches
  • We can provide you will flipchart, pens and post-its galore!


There are no hard and fast rules for what makes a great session but whether it’s discussion-based or activity-based, make it interactive. Please go easy on slides with text - tell stories and show photos instead.


It’s important to record and share the insights of your workshops so participants have something to refer back to and people who couldn’t make it can still get something from it. So have a think about how you will document the session, perhaps you want to appoint a note-taker or record it on a phone.

You can see our latest version of the programme here

Confirmed sessions:

Running list…
:dolphin: Building an online repair community & tracking our impact - @james @neil
:spoon: (Better) Restart Parties for neurodivergents and anyone lacking spoons - @Panda, @benski @Dave
:hammer_and_wrench: Intro to Circuits and Building Circuit Boards @nikhita
:raising_hand_woman: Hope and repair (Guest post: Hopeful repair, repairing hopefully)
:hammer_and_wrench: How to Set up a Community Reuse Enterprise @Sophie_Unwin
:hammer_and_wrench: How to solder @benski(?)
:mega: The Right to Repair and International Repair Day @ugo, @isabel
:raising_hand_woman: Using media for repair education/ skillshare - radio, youtube, etc @isabel

Workshop offers/requests:

Session(s) you would like to see - please add your ideas here:
:handshake: Networking session for Fixers in the North & Midlands
:hammer_and_wrench: How to solder
:raising_hand_woman: Addressing gender imbalance in electronics repair
:mega: Community repair in Brexit Britain
:mega: ‘Right to Repair’ in Europe
:dolphin: Building a local network: schools, councils & commercial repair
:hammer_and_wrench: How to tear down a smart phone
:dolphin: Collaborating with Hackspaces and Makerspaces
:hammer_and_wrench: Safety and risk in community repair settings
:raising_hand_woman: Hosting Restart Parties/ Repair cafes - getting over nerves, sustaining momentum
:mega: Organising community repair in areas that are struggling economically
:hammer_and_wrench: 3D printing
:hammer_and_wrench: Thermal fuses
:dolphin: Wiki editathon
:raising_hand_woman: Avoiding organiser burnout
:hammer_and_wrench: Using endoscopic cameras for fault detection
:mega: Celebrate International Repair Day on 20 October
:raising_hand_woman: Using media for repair education/ skillshare - radio, youtube, etc
:raising_hand_woman: How to grow you community repair group: managing increasing demand
:dolphin: Partnering with refugee and newcomer programmes
:hammer_and_wrench: Mini-Restart Party - a chance to fix our own stuff at last!

If you could run any of the above workshops stick your name next to it

@neil, are you up for running a sessions about with me? A chance to explain what it is, how it fits into everything we’re doing and what we have planned for it in the future? Could be a nice way to introduce people to the platform and encourage folks to get involved!

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Sure, that sounds good!

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Hello, am interested in running a workshop - aimed at repair cafes and anyone else interested - in how to set up a reuse and repair social enterprise, based on learning I’ve had over the past 10 years. interested in sharing this business model to build communities and create green jobs as well as spreading the benefits of repair education! I’m the Director of new company Remade Network, that provides training and campaigning resources to help groups set up repair businesses based on my experience co-founding Remade in Brixton, founding Remade in Edinburgh, and supporting Remade in Brooklyn.

Here’s a bit about some of the things I’m working on and have worked on:


Hi Sophie

Thanks for joining in/appearing. Sounds like a good idea - it would be good for people who are super enthusiastic to get a realistic notion of what goes into these sort of enterprises, not just a sales pitch :wink:

Feel free to add/edit the main post above to add your session!


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Hi Janet

Thanks…Yes sure I will make it warts and all :slight_smile: It is not so much intended as a sales pitch but to inspire others as to what is possible. But I do hope the learning I’ve had can be useful to others to create more impact- that’s the whole point of creating the network. I could also see if someone from Glasgow repair Café wants to do the workshop together as we are collaborating in Glasgow - what do you think? Open to all feedback!



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Hi Sophie,

This sounds great. Offering some practical advice with a healthy dose of inspiration fits our theme of hope nicely!

@Repair_Cafe_Glasgow are on the platform too - it’d be great to hear whether they’d be up for helping too :slight_smile:


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I look forward to here more from this. we want to create one in Leicester. Thanks for your input.

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Thanks! Hope I can help!

Hope sounds good! Yep. I’m up for that…they definitely have practical skills I lack.

I’ve added a suggestion on a short session to coordinate participation to International Repair Day - more info on this thread - perhaps we could run it together @isabel?

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great idea - definitely in!

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@Repair_Cafe_Glasgow, reckon you’d be up for helping @Sophie_Unwin run a session at Fixfest around how to set up a repair social enterprise?

I want to introduce Leicester Fixers and present our Outreach Programme in Leicestershire at the FixFest. Can I be added as a community keynote please. Thanks in advance.

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Hi Marie, this is great, we have slightly changed plans re the intro session but we will include you in our plans :slight_smile: we will probably message everyone separately.

As for a session idea, how about something along the lines of “Leaving our city and helping spread repair in the county”? That way, other groups doing the same could share their experience too?

Good idea. Thanks. Is there anyone else who had the experience in reaching out into the county, so we can team up to run the session?

It could be helpful to publish some bullet points for the sessions and/or start discussions about them. What’s the best place for that? Will there be Etherpads or should we use Discourse - and if so which category/tag? It would be helpful to advertise now one mechanism for all the sessions to use.

Hi everyone,

I’m Helen and I’m a research rather than repairer – at least for now :slight_smile: . I’ve been researching 3D printers and repair for my MSc and one of my findings from speaking to makerspace members is that these groups would like to collaborate with restart project groups and repair cafes to repair stuff. From emails to repair centres and restart project groups I understand digital fabrication tools aren’t really used. So, two thoughts - if anyone would be interested in chatting to me about this I’m happy to hear more from the restarters or repair cafe folks. Second, I see there’s a request for collaboration with makerspaces, and I would be interested in running workshop where we could generate ideas on how the different communities could collaborate to encourage repair and extend product lifetimes.


Hi @Helen_Calderon, we’ve already got someone spearheading this workshop but I’d be happy to connect you with him to see if that makes sense. Please email me at to get connected.
Are you in Manchester? We are inviting anyone who is not directly involved with organising community repair events but who is somehow involved with the movement of repair more peripherally to come to our social at the Pilcrow Pub from 18:00. Email me if you think you can come!

Hi Panda and all! James has really helpfully created a discussion on Discourse where people can leave comments during the day. It’s not up yet but will be published right before the event starts.

I think it’s a cool idea to create new discussions on Discourse to share ideas to plan sessions. People can create those and use the tag /category #feedback as well as #fixfest-uk-2018.

I’ve just created a space here for anyone to use, as needed: Sharing workshop ideas and resources for Fixfest 2018