|Submission Date||June 3, 2019|
IN-24: Innovation A
|1.00 / 1.00||
PolyFab Normand Brais
Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:
A Repair Café is a community-based workshop event where people bring objects to have them repaired by volunteers. Repair Café’s are part of an international movement to fight against excessive consumerism, mass production and consumption of disposable goods, and planned obsolescence. At Polytechnique, Repair Café’s were initiated in 2017 by our fab-lab (PolyFab Normand Brais) and our Sustainability Office.
The main objective is to demonstrate how it can be simple and economical to repair a defective household or electronic appliance rather than throwing it away and buying a new one. A second objective is to strengthen Polytechnique’s community involvement, since the event brings together volunteers with technical skills and knowledge (students, staff and alumni) and members of the general public. More than just a repair service, it is an event where people can watch and learn, exchange with experts, and hopefully gain confidence and skills for future needs – all for free! In addition to helping to reduce the consumption of resources and generation of waste, and saving people money, it is an opportunity for Polytechnique to reach out to the community and spread our knowledge, hence touching all three spheres of sustainable development: environmental, economic, and social.
Four Repair Cafés have been held since 2017, and each time, between 70 and 80 objects are brought to the event. Volunteers are able to repair objects more than half the time, and can nearly always provide a diagnosis of the problem (for example, they can recommend the purchase of a spare part to replace a defective one). Polytechnique’s has broadened the concept of Repair Cafés by partnering with local social economy enterprises for certain types of repairs, as well as with an “apprenticeship” program where seasoned volunteers are matched with “beginners” who can then acquire new skills and knowledge.
Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):
A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :
The website URL where information about the innovation is available :
Additional documentation to support the submission: