Restart Party in the United States?

Howdy everyone!

I hope I’m posting this in the right place and sorry to the mods if I didn’t, I will learn for next time! I heard about the Restart Project mentioned in passing on a podcast recently (I think it was Cortext, but I might be wrong) and thought it was an absolutely brilliant concept. But I was shocked that there hasn’t been a single Restart Party in the United States when I started looking for a local chapter to join (or at least, not as far as I can see). Is there any particular reason for that or has there just been no interest until now?

Even if I can’t officially be a part of the Restart Project, I’m working with my local library to set up something similar to this in our community. Are there any issues legal or otherwise with hosting a restart party in the United States which is why it hasn’t happened, or is it just there hasn’t been interest? If it’s the latter I’d love to advertise this as a Restart Party and hopefully get some more traction over here (well, as much as you can get in Iowa).

I am working through the pdf but so far haven’t seen much about starting a party in a new country and wanted to make sure I cover my bases before assuming this is just something I can do. Thanks in advance!


Hi David, welcome to the community! It’s great to have you here and learn that you’re interested in running a Restart Party :tada: I’m James, one of the staff team here.

You’re right that there aren’t many Restart Parties in the USA at the moment, although there have been some in the past (you can search for groups in the US on this site here). In the USA, it’s more common to find community groups running Repair Cafés or Fixit Clinics, which are both really similar to Restart Parties; the core concept is the same: bringing together volunteer repairers and local people with broken stuff to share skills, reduce waste and build relationships. Many Repair Cafés are part of the the Repair Café International network and you can search for one near you here. The Fixit Clinic network only operates in the US and online. You can learn more about them here (and they list events in this Google Form).

In any case, you are more than welcome to run your own Restart Party in Iowa (or Repair Café or Fixit Clinic)!

I’m not aware of any legal issues that would prevent you from running a Restart Party, so we can certainly help you get up and running :slight_smile:

It sounds like you’ve already found the main Restart Party Kit. You can find additional guidance here on the forum in the topics listed here. You’re also welcome to make use of the organiser tools here on the site. Learn more about those here.

Do let us know if you need a hand or have any questions :+1:


Thanks, don’t know how I missed that page in my searching!

After talking to a few people in the area, repair cafe seems to be the better known option (though there are no repair cafes for about 200 miles around us), but as a former teacher I still prefer the education focus of the restarters so I think I’ll keep perusing the site for resources. Appreciate the help!

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Great to hear David! We can certainly help you get started.
There are a number of organisers and repairers on this forum, so do post back with any questions that come up :+1:

Hi David,
There is other repair activity in the US and not too far from you.

In the case of the Minneapolis/St Paul area of Minnesota, county governments sponsor Fix-It Clinics, usually in conjunction with departments that handle waste reduction and recycling. Hennepin County has been at it for over 10 years. Ramsey, Dakota, Anoka counties started after that. The 3-4 hour events are held in libraries, recreation centers, universities, church meeting rooms. In other words, any place with enough tables and space who will have us. We move the clinics around the counties to engage as many residents as possible. Each county hosts a clinic once a month, but schedules are coordinated so there is a clinic some where in the Twin Cities almost every weekend. This is helpful for those who volunteer for more than one county. Each of the counties runs their own program. (I do what I can to provide consistency and improve the resident and fixer experience. )

We try to let residents do as much of the work as they can, teaching and learning as we go. Hennepin County has had the largest event with 224 residents and 315 items. Most common items are Lamps, vacuums, and fans but people can bring whatever they can carry (no gas engines) and we see everything. Success rates run 75 to 80+ percent.

A schedule of all our clinics is maintained here Iowa isn’t that far away. If you find yourself up here some weekend, please drop by one of our clinics. Let me know you are coming and I’ll make sure you get to pitch in.
Finally, there is a document that was created by Dakota County when they hired an outside party to perform the Fix-It Clinic Facilitator responsibilities. I have shared that with interested parties as a good starting place for things to think about when organizing Fix-It Clinics. If you are interested, I’ll try and find it.

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Thanks for sharing this Howard! I hadn’t made the connection that Iowa was close to you (my US geography needs some work :sweat_smile: )

How are you getting on @David_4077?