Maker Fest Pakistan will be a social event where tech-innovators, creators, artists and hobbyists from across the country will showcase their devices, inventions and products created without proper support. Maker Fest is a continuation of Maker Faire, which is hosted across America, Europe, Africa and Japan, among other locations. Maker Faire was launched in California in 2006 and now hosts hundreds of thousands of attendees twice a year.
Introduced three years ago, Maker Fest India immediately spread across the country and Jadeja hopes it will become a growing movement in Pakistan as well. She hopes to attend the launch of Maker Fest in Lahore early next year. She is devoted to peace between India and Pakistan and says that she and her late husband, Rajeev Motwani, always wished to support and encourage entrepreneurs in the subcontinent.
She adds that the mindset in Pakistan and India is driven by scarcity and competition. The secret of success in Silicon Valley is a mind that acknowledges abundance and collaboration. “Our focus is to shift the mindset from one of scarcity and competition to that of abundance and collaboration. It is about absorbing the dynamics of the Bay Area.”
Explaining the programme, she says, “I don’t have a standard criterion for picking up fellows. I have my own metrics that are based on a gut feeling. Doing well alone is not as important for me, their work should spill over into other circles and create a social impact.” She then explains how she is supporting entrepreneurs from Pakistan. “The young entrepreneurs and activists from Pakistan are fearless, courageous and care deeply about the world around them. I feel that Pakistani youth are putting their efforts into causes that make a positive social impact, which is humbling, at the very least.
“While in India, we are able to reap all the benefits of economic development, Pakistani youth are involved in a struggle for survival despite all the threats and dangers. As a mother, I feel worried that they are putting themselves in danger and still bravely sticking out their necks.”
Asha Jadeja has expansive plans — she hopes to create a collaborative bridge between India and Pakistan through the RC fellowship. Maker Fest Pakistan is going to be a high impact collaboration between Indian and Pakistani fellows and she hopes at least one or two Pakistani start-ups with roots in the valley will spin out of the fellowship. “The collaboration would not only be at a subcontinent level but potentially at a global level,” she says.