The very first e-NABLE Community Conference, or Enablecon, was held back in 2014, and the annual event has just continued to get bigger since then. We’ve learned that the Enable Alliance, headed up by Maria Esquela, will hold Enablecon 2019 next month, giving e-NABLE designers, educators, students, and volunteers a place to gather and learn about what’s been going on in the heartwarming prosthetic community.
This year, the e-NABLE Annual Global Conference theme is “The State of Science, Technology and Our e-NABLE Community,” and will be held October 12th and 13th in Maryland; visit the event page for more information on tickets and registration. But while Enablecon 2019 may only last those two days, the entire week before is filled with all sorts of related activities and events.
First up, Baltimore Innovation Week runs October 5-11, and there will be daily workshops, roundtable discussions, expos, and conferences with a variety of themes, such as Exploration, Creative & Media, and Science & Technology. Special events include a visit to the Washington, DC-based Newseum for An Evening with George Will as part of The Conservative Sensibility book tour; a private tour of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; guided walking tours of “Silent Spring” author Rachel Carson’s home and the National Mall; and e-NABLE Lab Visits to George Mason University’s Center for Adaptive Systems of Brain-Body Interactions and the John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.
On Friday the 11th, there will be e-NABLE device and studies reviews at the University of Maryland College Park’s Stamp Student Union Building and a hands-on bioprinting workshop led by engineer Christian Silva, the founder of Fabrilab.
Finally, Enablecon 2019 activities will begin Saturday morning, October 12th in the Stamp Student Union Building with a Morning Report involving overseas e-NABLE chapters. In addition to Silva, there are a plethora of additional keynote speakers for the day, including:
- Jen Owen, Co-founder of e-NABLE and Founder of the website enablingthefuture.org
- CDR James Coburn, Senior Research Engineer for the FDA Office of the Chief Scientist and Senior Advisor for Emerging Technologies Consultant, Additive Manufacturing of Medical Products Core Facility
- Michael Weinberg, Executive Director of the Engleberg Center on Innovation Law and Policy
- Dr. Brock Wester, Project Manager and Assistant Group Supervisor for the Intelligent Systems Group in the Research and Exploratory Development Department of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
- Chad Coarsey, Analytical Development Scientist at ADMA Biologics, Inc. and Director of Operations for The Bionic Glove Project
- Janet Bih Fofang, Electrical Engineer and International STEM Educator, Recipient of the Grace Hopper Award in Education
After a group photo and lunch, there will be several short workshop and panel discussions that represent activity and projects in the community focused on Getting Started/Lifetime Learning, Devices and Hardware, Kids Activities, and Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Professional Development.
There will be a late afternoon Group Closing featuring presentations “for the good of all,” workshop summaries, calls to action, and something called e-NABLE Safe Haven, which is to help identify vulnerable members of the community and address risks. Then, there’s a time for self care before the New Year Party, complete with costumes, bowling, awards and recognition, a group picture, and the Storytelling Stage, with a theme of “Life is What You Make It.”
Attendees can enter their own work into Saturday’s gallery, which features the same theme. You can either make posters, or record stories or music videos, about topics including the organization’s history, sketches for projects across disciplines, fun and functional testing, samples of e-NABLE in the global media, and sacrifices made while participating in e-NABLE.
The second day of Enablecon 2019, on October 13th, will take place at the East Coast Rep Rap Festival (ERRF) 2019 in Bel Air. After orientation, there will be skills workshops, including one by Filabot staff about extrusion and using recycled filament, that are open to attendees, as well as others attending just the festival. In addition to a lunch, there will also be a review of the two-year plan for the e-NABLE Community building before Enablecon closes for another year.
Candidates, recipients, and anyone else who wants to attend the event but is having issues with travel, ticket, or lodging expenses can request funds through Loomio and is encouraged to contact the registrar at CampENABLE@gmail.com. On the other hand, if you are part of an e-NABLE chapter that would like to virtually participate in the event, please contact the registrar before October 5th.
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