Vaibhav Chhabra is a mechanical engineer by education but a carpenter by passion. A graduate from Boston University, Vaibhav spent first 2 years of his career at EyeNetra, a startup from MIT Media Labs, building portable Virtual Reality based eye diagnostic devices. While working with the rural community in India for his eye diagnostic prototype, Vaibhav founded ‘Makers Asylum.’ Maker’s Asylum is a community space focussed on fostering innovation through hands on learning. It also provides access to an ecosystem of stakeholders which includes Governments, Businesses, Incubators/Accelerators, Investors and subject matter experts. The space houses various labs that are co-located in order to facilitate prototyping of ideas that are interdisciplinary in nature. Vaibhav essentially coupled his degree with his passion to create the first community Makerspace in India. The key focus of this space is to foster education in areas of sustainability and disability. The flagship program of Maker’s Asylum, STEAM school, running for the last 2 years in collaboration with the French embassy in India, brings together 150 global participants that solve and prototype for the UN Sustainable Development Goals. He also runs a similar program for the differently abled community. Both programs together have resulted in 29 high impact global projects that are in various phases of prototyping. The space has trained over 3000 people in the area of digital fabrication globally. The French President and the government has accredited him as a Young leader in this regard. In his leisure time Vaibhav enjoys making furniture, photography and winning at ping pong. He is also the Chair for innovation and entrepreneurship at Young Indians – Confederation of Indian Industries and a Global Shaper at the World Economic Forum.
Why did you start an SDG-focused program?
Its the best learning experience we could create around a maker space. Education with a purpose.
What are the highlight of STEAM School thus far?
2 companies registered, and over 300 alumni across 20 countries.
What is the program’s impact on your life?
Gave me a purpose beyond my passion.
How would you describe the program to a potential attendee?
It’s all about the learning culture, the passion for a positive impact and interdisciplinary solution design.
What is the impact of such a program on society?
It builds awareness and gives direction the society by offering people a way to learn and be part of the change that is required today.
How is such a program different from traditional schools?
It’s not school program (focused on a makerspace and local communities). It’s interdisciplinary
What is your current focus?
Building Maker’s Asylum