Making China: Cultivating Entrepreneurial Living

Friday, Apr 15, 2016

Silvia Lindtner, University of Michigan
April 19, 2016 | 4:30 PM | Sherrerd Hall, 3rd Floor

The national government announced a new policy, entitled “mass makerspace” 众创空间, followed by a series of initiatives such as “mass innovation” 大众创业 and “mass entrepreneurship” 万众创新. The underlying vision was that “making” would help democratize technological and scientific innovation beyond a set of privileged few and mobilize many – if not masses of – people to start-up their own tech venture.
How did it happen that “making” came to be seen a central enabler of transforming China into a producer of knowledge and innovation? In this talk, drawing from long-term ethnographic research in China spanning more than 6 years, Lindtner traces how a grassroots movement of free culture advocates morphed within only 5 years into a high-stake sociopolitical project aimed at upgrading China from a manufacturing to a global knowledge economy. Building on a line of research invested in the cultural politics of global innovation discourse and technology production in science and technology studies (STS), 
Silvia Lindtner is an assistant professor at the University of Michigan in the School of Information, with a courtesy appointment in theStamps School of Art and Design. She is affiliated with several interdisciplinary centers and initiatives on campus including theLieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies, the Science, Technology and Society Program and the Michigan Interactive and Social Computing Research Group, and directs theTech.Culture.Matters. Research Group. Together with Anna Greenspan (NYU SH) and David Li (XinCheJian), Silvia also co-directs the China-based Research Initiative Hacked Matter, dedicated to critically investigating processes of technology innovation, urban redesign, and maker-manufacturing cultures in China.