Max Wallace, President, Hackerspace Charlotte

Our 2nd speaker on the TEDxCharlotte stage today is Max Wallace, who entered the stage with a complicated contraption to assist with his presentation. Robots!

Max graduated high school in 1996 and was run over by a cheerleader’s car, and thus missed a speech by an important speech by a leader, urging students to major in math, science and technology fields. He jumped forward to 2002 where the same message was echoed, and then again to just a few weeks ago, where we’re (only no) at risk for losing our technological edge due to cuts in programs at schools.

The question he poses is this: What if we’re NOT at risk at losing our technological edge?

LOLCATS! First up on ‘taking a look at Internet culture’, of course. Max showed the crowd the power of the Internet by using the example of learning about Platypus venom (editor comment: they have venom?) and continues the point that the DIY culture, which used to just be limited to things like Home Depot, is now becoming do EVERYTHING yourself – including education.

Ma credits Julia Child with beginning the in-home (and online) learning trend, starting with her cooking show.

Hackerspace was born out of this self-learning trend, and are designed to teach hands-on skills in a non-traditional environment (editor comment: this means not a classroom in a traditional school).

“The rapid proliferation of knowledge is colliding with manufacturing and technology and revolutionizing the way we live.”

There are over 500 Hackerspaces in the world and they’re ‘a bunch of smart guys working in small rooms on machines you’ve never heard of’.

Enter, a flying, glowing robot.