Locally Productive, Globally

Connected Open Production Sites

The Challenge

“For us, unemployment is a kind of blasphemy; an unemployed is not a person, society itself does not accept him, he is not part of the circle of society. That is the true meaning of ‘unemployed’: a person who is not active in the heart of the society. Tell me, what use is that person?”

Unemployed graduate, Sidi Bouzid 

Tackling unemployment has been one of the goals of the 2011 revolution. Creating new paths of economic development is certainly one of the country’s biggest challenges, in order to mitigate chronic socio-economic challenges. Despite the return of economic growth, in 2018, the youth unemployment rate in Tunisia is still about 33, 5%. Many highly skilled young graduates are leaving the country due to better job opportunities abroad. About 262.000 jobs are needed to employ the country’s university graduates. The strong dependency on labor and foreign investments is, however, a challenge a lot of emerging and developing countries are facing.

Throughout the last decades, the specialization and centralization of mass production has created a strong dependency on labor and a rising individual alienation from value creating activities and the production of goods. This also results in a very limited participation of people in creating and shaping socio-economic and technological development processes. The conventional model of industrial production widens not only the gap between producers and consumers, but also between highly industrialized world regions (as producers) and less industrialized regions (as consumers and extended workbenches).

The unequal socio-spatial distribution of value added activities within global production networks examines that high value added activities such as machine design and manufacturing are limited to specific global places. As a result, a considerable amount of people are excluded from related knowledge and know-how.

The challenge is to tackle youth unemployment by empowering young Tunisians in making use of digital production technologies and profit from international knowledge networks, in order to create their own business models and become entrepreneurs on their own terms.

Our Vision

Opening up new paths for technological learning, innovation and local value creation!

Our approach aims at promoting bottom-up, grassroots technological and socio-economic development by combining two key concepts:open fabrication laboratories and open source hardware. In combining both concepts, we will further elaborate the idea of how digital production technologies and the concept of sharing and building knowledge in open source networks can contribute to technological empowerment and socio-economic development.

What is an open fabrication laboratory?

What is Open Source Hardware?

Further project information

The Network

Today there are more than 1000 FabLabs and Makerspaces spread around the globe. Design and construction knowledge is mostly open and virtually shared.
How To Get Involved

Take part in events in Tunisia that bring together students, makers, researchers, incubators, enterprises and policy makers! Become a Maker yourself and get your hands on open low-cost digital manufacturing machines! Take part in vibrant discussions about new ways of an independent economic development in Tunisia … and make new connections during our events!


Our Partners (PISWI 2)

Our Partners (PISWI 1)
Contact Info


Dr.-Ing. Tobias Redlich

Dr. rer. nat. Sonja Buxbaum-Conradi

Dr. Juan Manuel Grados Luyando

Helmut-Schmidt-Universität Hamburg

Laboratorium Fertigungstechnik

Holstenhofweg 85

22043 Hamburg


+49 6541 3827


                makers_for_tunisia (at) hsu-hh.de