Top image photo credit: mattyfo / Foter.com / CC BY.

Mitch Altman, founder of San Francisco's renowned Noisebridge hackerspace, lives and breathes hacking. So, last November, when he told the TEDx Brussels crowd that more than 1,100 new hackerspaces had cropped up around the planet in the previous five years, he knew what he was talking about. The reason behind the dramatic lift-off of this movement is two-fold, according to Altman: community and creative expression.

He goes on to note how community is in our DNA, it's key to our survival, as is creative expression — the component that helps us make tools and, then, to improve upon those tools. Anything and everything can be hacked, because anything and everything can be improved, from crafts to computers, society to science. And hackerspaces provide the kind of collaborative environment that allows those ideas to flourish.

Altman says he, basically, came alive after his first successful hacking project — TV-B-Gone. It's not just that the invention finances his life, it's that the overarching hacker movement inspires his life. He goes on to suggest that a world in which everyone is inspired to do and share what they love would be a pretty great place, and that is why the thousands of newly established hackerspaces are so thrilling to him. Altman even goes into the details of how to set up a hackerspace of your own.

Kelly McCartney


Kelly McCartney |

Having won prestigious literary competitions in both grade school and junior high, I attended college with a Scripps Howard Foundation scholarship, earned a BA in Journalism, and interned at Entertainment

Things I share: I seek. I write. I think. I roam. I listen. I care. I wonder. I help. I flirt. I try. I dream. I grow.