I'll be happy to expand on my ideas about this long view, but I think that would quickly take me off-topic of this introduction.
I'd counter that getting to know you and your ideas is perfectly on-topic, but can also be done IRL
I'll attempt to summarize, but I'll warn you, I can talk for hours on this subject.
There are many forks in this view so I'll take the most pragmatic one first. I have a professional motivation in seeing projects like Familab succeed: they attract more engineering talent to the Orlando area. While there may be some skeptical of the idea that a hackerspace could act as an anchor point for a technical community, I've seen enough commercial ventures born out of hackerspaces to recognize their potential. There are many ways that we network. Most of us form connections along social or professional lines. Being able to form connections based on what we do out of passion, and across such a broad spectrum of skills, opens new avenues that traditional networking can't. It's one thing to know that your neighbor is a welder. It's quite another to work with a welder to build something incorporating your own skills. This is why Paul Graham's Y-Combinator has led to so many interesting and successful companies. He mixes people of many different backgrounds together, and then lets them mingle. Companies break apart and reform. Ideas flow freely. Even if the intent is largely non-commercial in a hackerspace, this free flow of ideas and the openness of tapping experts in a particular area multiply what one can build or do on one's own.
As another fork, I consider my own past. I am largely self-taught. When I was young, perhaps as young or younger than some of the kids I encountered last night, my main means of gathering information was the public library. I taught myself to write software by pouring through outdated reference books, and hacking at pitifully underpowered computers. While the BBS scene was hopping, my parents did not let me dial out. Instead, I built up a sneaker-net of 3.5" floppies among my friends who had access to data. I would have given my eye teeth for access to a hackerspace, as I'm sure many of you would have. The potential here for not just kids starting out, but for the rest of us with a few more years under our belts, is great. College offers many of the same opportunities, for a price, but without the open-ended ability to just experiment. Combining knowledge from books with the experience of people who have worked in a particular field is a powerful thing. It can lead in directions one can't anticipate ahead of time.
To take a slightly different tack, there is a lot that Familab can do for the community at large. If a fraction of the time spent helping each other on hobby projects were spent coming up with novel solutions to the sorts of problems that Engineers Without Borders tackle, a lot could be accomplished. EWB spends a lot of time thinking up novel ways to give people access to clean water, something we take for granted here. Their solutions are, by no means, beyond what Familab could do. To frame things in a more first-world light, the potential for improving the local community is great. We all like to tinker and experiment, and many of us would enjoy the opportunity to learn new things while helping others. This need not be so direct as volunteer work; even something cool like putting together some quadrocopter drones to temporarily extend WiFi across a public space could not only make events more bearable, but provide people with a valuable way to communicate after an infrastructure-disrupting event such as a hurricane.
While I talked about networking, more from a practical standpoint, there is something to be said about social interaction. I like surrounding myself with smart people from a wide variety of different backgrounds. The only way to grow is to have one's assumptions challenged, and this is best done among a group of like-minded people who are also looking to grow. At Familab, as with many hackerspaces, I see a group of people gathered together in the common interest of building. But, more than that, I see people who wish to better themselves by learning new skills. I talked with people passionate about what they do, and keenly interested in learning more about what others do. This is a positive thing, and it has the potential to shape people.
Finally, I like being in an environment where people are open to learning new things, and open to teaching others what they know. I like the idea of holding classes to pass my knowledge and experience onto other. I enjoy taking classes to learn new things. I spent a lot of money taking college courses for a similar experience before MOOCs existed. Neither college nor a textbook is as hands-on as some of the potential projects that can be done at Familab. :-)