Repair Connects welcomes new groups to version 2


One of the goals in Sharepair is to design, develop and test an ‘Interactive repair tool’: an online tool to be managed by repair organisations, for repair communities and repairers, enhancing the repair activities of repairers during repair events, and stimulating data collection.

In the first half of 2020, project partners Maakbaar Leuven and Statik had several discussions with organisations from the repair community, in order to define the actual user requirements for such an online tool for repair. Research was done on existing tools, and repairers were interviewed and asked for their ideas of what would work and what would not.

Several aspects came out very clearly: 

  • asking repairers to use online tools is not an evident thing: any tool made has to provide some clear benefits to repairers and help them in their own repair processes, otherwise they won't use it
  • the time and effort needed from repairers to use such a tool, should be al low as possible
  • the concrete jobs-to-be-done in a Repair Café are a good starting point to look for optimisation of existing workflows

COVID-19 changes plans, welcome Repair Connects!

Whereas the ideas for an online repair tool covering many aspects of the Repair Café workflows were in full progress, suddenly, our team could hardly gather any more feedback from repair groups in action. Repair events could no longer be organised, since all physical events were cancelled.

Maakbaar Leuven jumped on the occasion, slightly redirecting its focus. The goal: to develop at full-speed that part of the repair tool, that would allow the group to continue repairing during COVID-times. In less than 2 months, version 1 of Repair Connects was launched.

Matching devices with repairers

The way Repair Connects works is quite simple:

  1. Owners of a broken device register their device via the website
  2. Repairers get a weekly digest of all devices registered to their repair group
  3. Registered repairers can go through the list of devices, and 'claim' a device they want to help repairing
  4. The owner of the device gets a message, saying a repairer has picked his or her device, and wil contact him soon
  5. The repairer receives the contact details of the device owner, and gets in touch via mail or phone
  6. The repairer can either assist the device owner remotely, or the repairer and owner agree on how to exchange the device. All this with respect for the Corona measures of course!


130+ repairs done, thanks to online community building

From May to October, over 30 repairers from Maakbaar (including new ones!) have worked on more than 200 broken devices. The new online tool made this possible, but was in no way responsible for this huge success.

What was then, you're asking? Online community building, of course.
Just like the community aspect is key in physical repair cafés, this seemed to play an important role in online repair as well. 

Maakbaar Leuven experimented with collective intervision moments for problem diagnosis and with actual online repair parties. Other elements that proved important, were introduction sessions for new repairers and the creation of a common repair policy and approach.

Welcome Version 2, and let's make version 3 together!

Keeping this handy tool for ourselves would be silly. In the second half of 2020, lots of efforts were done to improve the platform in terms of usability and design, and especially in terms of opening the tool for new groups and new languages. With the help of Repair Together and Repair Café Züg from Switzerland, Repair Connects is now available in English, Dutch, French and German.

You find the result today on

We are welcoming all groups that want to continue their repairs in these crazy Corona-times, exploring an alternative way for community building with your repair group and with others...

Does this sound like an interesting initiative for your group?

Let us know by registering your group here, or by contacting us at and

Want to join us in Repair Connects?

We are looking for repair groups or other organisations that are willing to test and experiment with us, and contribute to the future of an online repair tool for the repair community.


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