Start a Clinic

(Let me know how this information can be improved; feedback is heartily encouraged)

Starting Fixit Clinics in Your Community

Fixit Clinics are community-based educational workshops that build resilient communities through transferring critical thinking, disassembly and troubleshooting skills; we use people's broken items as the subject matter to transfer these skills, repair is a just a side effect.

At Fixit Clinic we expect "participants" to participate: i.e. participate in their own disassembly and troubleshooting. At an ideal Fixit Clinic everybody's helping everybody else out.

Ideally you want to hold ongoing Fixit Clinics at various locations around your community, not a single Fixit Clinic event. Groundwork is key: you need to 1) be constantly recruiting and sustaining a healthy complement of "Fixit Coaches" and 2) to identify and get buy-in from sponsors and patrons with a broad regional perspective.

Steps to Starting a Fixit Clinic:

Step 1-Fixit Clinics are really gatherings of Fixit Coaches where the general public's invited to attend: the hope is that those members of the general public who attend will be assimilated into being Fixit Coaches at future Fixit Clinics and in their community in general. (At an ideal Fixit Clinic the roles of coach and participant blur together: many of our best Fixit Coaches initially attended as participants.)

So don't gauge success by a large turnout of participants or the number of items fixed: gauge it by the number of Fixit Coaches (or potential Fixit Coach recruits) you attract. These people are critical as they'll be the influencers for broader change in the society at large around our relationship to consumption. (Think of your events as "Parties for Fixit Coaches that the general public's invited to try to crash.")

Step 2- Recruit local Fixit Coaches: people who are 1) enthusiastic about helping others repair their stuff and 2) have some tools they're willing to share. For example: local fraternal service organizations with a tradition of community service like Church organizations, the Lions Club and Rotary Club. Recruit local sewers as Fixit Coaches so you can repair fabric / textile items as well. Spread the word that you want to start holding Fixit Clinics through local libraries, schools, community centers, senior centers, city government, chamber of commerce, hardware stores, computer / electronics stores, bicycle stores, churches, etc. (Some communities have adopted Nextdoor strongly, I'd be curious to know if that works.)

We have a persistent web form expressly to recruit Fixit Coaches at you can use this URL in your recruiting efforts (also see the QR code for the form in the graphics folder

See this sample recruiting flyer, feel free to change the wording as you see fit (please share back with us): (And have us add your location to this local Fixit Coaches' recruiting form the flyer points to: )

Here's an example on Reddit:,

Here's another example of a Fixit Coaches' Recruiting Flyer:

And another example of a Fixit Coaches' Recruiting Flyer:

Step 3-   A critical mass of coaches is hard to maintain from a single community or venue: you need to share the resource across multiple communities and locations. To help, recruit sponsors and patrons with a broader regional perspective (rather than a single library or town.)  For example: a library system rather than a single branch.

Step 4- Secure the venue(s): some sort of community space where you can hold the Fixit Clinic. We're preferential to libraries but we've held Fixit Clinics at community centers, maker spaces, museums, etc. (Also see the examples above of universities, high schools, middle schools.)

Schedule the Fixit Clinic for a block of time no longer than 3 or 4 hours. and have the room reserved for at least and hour before and an hour after the event is scheduled so you have time to set up and break down the Fixit Clinic. Try to get sponsorship from the venue to (at least) provide refreshments for the Fixit Coaches. See the Fixit Clinic Venue Selection document here:

Step 5- Once you have 1) sufficient Fixit Coaches and 2) a venue: then think about a day and time; we've settled in to weekend dates (Saturday or Sunday) in a three-hour window between 11AM and 5PM, but you're welcome to experiment with other days and hours. BONUS: contact us at before finalizing the date: maybe we can send veteran Fixit Coaches or other resources.

Step 6- Once you have 1) Fixit Coaches 2) a venue and 3) a date/time, contact us to add your event to the list of scheduled Fixit Clinics, and let us know if you want us add your event to the sign-in form and our social media outreach, etc.

Step 7 - Local promotion: keep recruiting Fixit Coaches up to the actual date and beyond (think about positioning your initial events as a combination Fixit Clinic and Fixit Coaches' recruiting social. See the wording on this flyer as an example:

Other helpful documents/resources:

- Recommended tool and supplies list (note that you don't need to buy everything on this list to get started, the Fixit Coaches often have these tools already):

- Fixit Clinic logos, badge templates, and other graphics are downloadable from
Just make your own small signs with a color printer:

Eventually you may want to move up to large signage and banners:

- You're welcome to use any photos from previous events:
- Fixit Clinic's Album Archive:
- Photo Album Catalog (Google Doc): )

Watch this video on starting a Fixit Clinic in your community (11 minutes):

So In Summary:

- Start Recruiting Fixit Coaches ASAP. Here’s a sample Fixit Coach recruiting flyer: Feel free to modify and localize as you see fit. (The link and QR code point to the Google Form (same as immediately below))
- When you’re ready to start actively recruiting Fixit Coaches let me know and I’ll add your location to the the pull down menu of specific locations actively recruiting Fixit Coaches on the form: (same as immediately above) and post liberally or share via email or NextDoor, etc.
- Once we’ve identified a healthy complement of Fixit Coaches (5-15?) we should coordinate on setting a date and I’ll add that event to the:
-Fixit Coach sign-in page at:
-participant registration page at
-post-participation exit form at
-(and our Facebook and Google+ pages if you want)
- When promoting: feel free to use any of our graphics downloadable from

Immediately below is an example of my promotional text, I’m always tweaking the wording so feel free to modify it as you see fit and share any changes back with me:

Fixit Clinic CCCLX (360) 2019-02-02 East Palo Alto Library

Building resilient communities through conveying basic troubleshooting skills and celebrating repair, Fixit Clinics are do-it-together hands-on fix-n-learn community-based exploration and discovery workshops staffed by volunteer Fixit Coaches who generously share their time, tools and expertise to consult with you on the disassembly, troubleshooting, and repair of items.

So bring your broken, non-functioning things -- electronic gadgets, appliances, computers, toys, sewing machines, bicycles, fabric items, etc.-- for assessment, disassembly, and possible repair. Fixit Coaches (and helpful neighbors) will be available for consultation on broken items: we'll provide workspace, specialty tools, and guidance to help you disassemble and troubleshoot your item. Whether you fix it or not, you'll learn more about how it was manufactured and how it worked, ready to share your new-found confidence and insight with your friends, neighbors, and the community at large. (Hopefully you’ll be inspired to become a Fixit Coach yourself.)

- First-time Fixit Coaches and fixing families are always welcome; sign up at
- Even if you can’t make it: report your broken item at
WHAT: Fixit Clinic CCCLX (360) 2019-02-02 East Palo Alto Library
WHEN: Saturday, Feb 2, 1PM-4PM
WHERE: East Palo Alto Library, 2415 University Avenue, Suite 1, East Palo Alto, CA 94303
HOW: Register at then
- Bring your broken item with all parts necessary to recreate the symptoms (carry-in only: no oversize items)
- Bring any parts and tools you already own that might be helpful (e.g. hand tools, sewing supplies)
- Come ready to describe what’s wrong and what you’ve tried
- Come ready to learn and to share your knowledge with others
WHO: All ages welcome: a family-friendly event: accompanied children are heartily invited!
COST: Free!
WHY: To make friends, learn and teach how to fix things, and have fun!

More into on Fixit Clinic at,,


Questions? Email

Partnership / Big Tent Examples:

Example 1
: In Alameda County, California, the county-wide waste authority StopWaste sponsors regular Fixit Clinics rotating through the branch libraries of the county-wide Alameda County Library System
At the individual branch libraries additional support is provided by more locally-oriented entities: for example: at the Castro Valley branch the Castro Valley Sanitary District is an additional sponsor. The Fixit Coaches come from all over Alameda County and beyond and do not just attend the events a their local library (Not every Fixit Coach attends every event, but there are sufficient numbers that we can get good coverage at any given event across the county.)

Example 2: More and more colleges and universities are teaching leading with "design thinking", hence our Fixit Clinics at MIT, USF, and University of Colorado with more schools coming; they want to teach designing in durability (serviceability, maintainability, repairability) from the start. Maybe your local college or university is interested in sponsoring Fixit Clinics as part of their design program or engineering program?

Example 3: Does your High School or Middle School have a student environmental or recycling organization? We'd like to hold more Fixit Clinics rotating through school systems.