World Wide Waste with Gerry McGovern

Thea Kleinmagd 'Designing a smartphone that lasts'

John Carter
October 6, 2022
Listen to this episode on your favorite platform!
Join our CIRCLE Community to discuss this episode

Connect with other ethically driven change makers from all over the world.

Learn more

Thea Kleinmagd 'Designing a smartphone that lasts'

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Pretium est ipsum dictum lectus mauris netus. Diam sed sit quisque facilisi luctus feugiat.

Episode shownotes

Thea Kleinmagd is a Circular Material Chains Innovator at Fairphone. When you are buying your next smartphone, please consider Fairphone. They make excellent, modular and repairable products that are built to last. I started our chat by asking Thea to describe the potential toxic impacts of some of the over 50 different materials found in a typical smartphone.

Episode Transcript

This transcript was created using the awesome, Descript. It may contain minor errors.
Note: This is an affiliate link, where This is HCD make a small commission if you sign up a Descript account.

This transcript was generated using Descript and uses voice algorithms.

[00:00:00] And yeah, so it is very dependent on, on which route a phone takes, what, what the toxic, um, emissions and impacts is that are related to it. Some great points you've brought up there, but you know, the illegal exporting as well and, and that, um, the life. I started our chat by asking TE to describe the potential toxic impacts of some of the over 50 materials found in a typical smartphone.

[00:00:30] Yeah. So maybe first good to understand is that, um, for each of our phones, we conduct the so-called life cycle assessment, which analyzes the environmental impacts of a product. And mostly you hear about such LCAs when the conversation is about greenhouse gas emissions. But, uh, and LCA also looks at other impact categories.

[00:00:53] And in our case, we also choose. To look among others at human [00:01:00] toxicity and toxicity. And from our lca, we know that more than percent of human and ecological toxicity is caused in of a, a. And to determine these toxic impacts relating to a specific material, you need to dig very deeply into the analysis.

[00:01:21] However, the materials in the phone are not necessarily the toxic substances themselves. So it can be that substances used in production, they are the ones also causing health impacts. Um, and also, for example, related to the energy generation of the product and also, um, Through the use of toxic materials, for example, at mining sites.

[00:01:43] So the goal, for example, in the phone, um, that is often washed out from the or using Mercury, and that's of course, I assume everyone knows a very toxic and unhealthy substance to work with, and this is also a reason [00:02:00]why their phone focuses on prolonging the lifespan of smartphones because the longer we use one phone, the less phones we need to produce over time.

[00:02:10] Thus, we avoid the toxic substances from being emitted into our environment. Even more than if we would produce more phones and use, move more phones over time and. Um, yeah. Then it's also that the European Union restricts the use of certain hazardous substances, um, yeah. To prevent or limit the amount of toxic materials in products.

[00:02:33] But there are many countries which don't have such legislation in place, so that means that products can contain very toxic materials. And one material, for example, is let. Which is still used in phones and, but in low limits also according to this legislation, which is in place here, uh, for example, in the printed circuit sports or also in the LCD screens.

[00:02:58] And that's [00:03:00] a heavy metal that accumulates in the human body over time and can have irreversible damage to the nervous system. Um, yeah. Or another. Problematic, uh, substance are also flame retardants. Um, yeah. And these are, these are also like very hazardous materials and also hard to recycle if a phone is recycled because we basically spread through, um, the different plastics that if you want to recycle them, And this plastic is laid on, for example, used for, for food application that would not be , that would really not be desirable because you don't wanna, you don't wanna have these, uh, flame in your food.

[00:03:44] I suppose connected with that is that, that there's so many materials packed in such a small area that it, it does cause recycling challenges doesn't, and they're so intermixed and bonded. Yeah, exactly. . [00:04:00] So in the dumping, let's say we're, cuz the, the overall estimates I I see is that, um, electronics, less than 20% are recycled.

[00:04:10] So a lot of them ends up in, in a, in dumps environment. And somebody said to me that, uh, an electronics, a piece of electronics is almost like a, a mini. Uh, nuclear power plant, you know, at a much smaller scale, but that if it's, if it's not carefully looked after at the end of its life, that a lot of the, its toxicity or its damage, uh, will continue on for tens of thousands of years, potentially with some of the, uh, materials in it.

[00:04:41] If it's just, you know, thrown into the soil or thrown into the, to the water. Any, you know, area, have you looked into that, or, or, or the areas of, you know, that, that, um, is most damaging, so to speak? If, if the phone is not recycled and it's just [00:05:00] thrown into a dump or thrown into the, you know, or ends up in a, in a, in a river or someplace like that, Yeah, it's indeed the question what happens at the end of a phone's life to it?

[00:05:14] So what are then the impacts that this has? And yeah, as you already said, that electronic waste is the fastest growing waste stream and there's only 20% properly recycled. So, um, Yeah, some even say that it's just 15% for smartphones specifically. And um, yeah, if it is environmentally sound disposed, then there is not such a big issue.

[00:05:41] But, uh, there are quite a few which end up, for example, in household waste, so they are just dumped into the wrong bin. But that also means that the phone directly takes a different route to recycle, so rather goes into base metal recycling. And these processes are not focused on [00:06:00] taking care of hazardous materials and preventing them from escaping into the environment.

[00:06:05] And that means that if a phone. End up in the household waste, then often such hazardous substances can escape from the processes and uh, yeah. Then also if they are, for example, disposed of or illegally exported to country with a lack of environmentally sound recycling system. So for example, many countries in Africa, Um, then often phones end up in the landfill first, or they are treated in the informal sector, so then they are recycled.

[00:06:40] But the conditions are very polluting and very unhealthy for the people that work in this sector. And for example, then it is that, um, often the plastics of the phone is just burned. So this releases toxic emissions into the air and that also comes down again on the [00:07:00] soil and the water. And, um, yeah, also there mercurys of used to wash the gold out or to, to get the gold out of the electronics in there.

[00:07:12] And yeah, so it is very dependent on, on which route a phone takes, what, what the toxic, um, emissions and impacts is that are related to it. Some great points you've brought up there, but you know, the illegal exporting as well and, and that, um, the life. Uh, of the phone, you know, goes on and on if it's not properly, uh, uh, cared for.

[00:07:42] Um, I recently did, um, a podcast with, um, professor, uh, Josh Leki in, uh, Canadian University, and he does a lot of, he, um, research on materials manufacturing of electronics. And he's, [00:08:00] uh, he was saying that there's. There's too much material complexity in modern electronics, which makes it very problematic to, to recycle or, or reuse, or repurpose in, in, in positive ways.

[00:08:15] Um, has fair phone. Tried to say, reduce the materials in its phones, um, to, to be a leader in that sense that we can, we don't need as many materials as we are often using in the design of, of our phones and other electronics. Yeah. Rather than on the number of materials we are focused on which materials are being used and how they are being sourced.

[00:08:45] So meaning for us that we have, uh, determined 14 focus materials, uh, where we look at the, of course, functional aspect, but also social and environmental aspects of how they are, [00:09:00] how they are produced, and focusing on those where we can. The most impact in the supply chain where we can proactively work with people on the ground to decrease the impact that both materials have.

[00:09:13] And we also published this, our so-called fair material sourcing roadmap where you can see on which materials we focus. And um, yeah, aside from that, we are of course also always trying to face out materials that are potentially hazardous but not vital to the functionality of the phone. Um, rather than necessarily reducing the number of materials, which can, that can also mean, uh, swapping them out for an alternative for similar functionality, but then lower social and or environmentally impacts.

[00:09:49] Would you have any example or recent example of that, of how you manage to swap out a, a material? Uh, it's, it depends also on the techn on [00:10:00] technology you use. So for example, if, um, you have in some technologies you use rather silicon and if you switch to a different technology and ion becomes the important element.

[00:10:15] But it is always, it is, let's say when you look at the product as a whole, it is. To just pinpoint it to this is why we replace this, um, this material. So it is because it is more environmentally unfriendly because it all plays together then also with a functionality and sometimes you cannot combine the one with the other.

[00:10:38] So I wouldn't say that there is an example where you can just pinpoint it. We exchanged this material because of the environmental impact, because it is the whole box. It is very complex how these decisions are made. To make a, a foam vibrate requires tree, um, rare art [00:11:00] materials, tree distinct and, and, and probably more, uh, I'm just wondering, is there, I think I could live without a vibrating foam if I, if I knew that impact, you know?

[00:11:10] Um, is there an awareness or that you think in the future that you could say, well, You know, we could go for a simpler phone and it would've these positive impact and we need these three less materials. Is there any conversations, I know the public wants, you know, but maybe if we got educated that, hey, to get your vibrating phone requires tree, distinctive rear art materials, is there any sort of conversations.

[00:11:37] Mm. Yeah, this of course depends on the type and design of the phone. So, and also, let's say what, what target group you have. Some might be completely fine with a non vibrating phone, but others might not. And so you would, I think, really need to be in the right market segment to, uh, just leave away your vibration mode or in a phone.

[00:11:59] [00:12:00] Um, Yeah, but for most mind metals, it does not really look like we will be able to easily replace most material anytime soon. And yeah, as mentioned before, decreasing the need for materials through using the phones. We have would decrease the toxicity impact also, and also just the impact in general on the environment of smartphones.

[00:12:25] Uh, the most effective, since 70% of these impacts are caused in the production phase. So also second secondary materials might have a lower impact, but. Urban mining cannot meet the growing demand for these materials. So therefore, only looking also at, yeah, let's say at replacing materials will not solve the problem because sometimes this will just lead to shifting the problems.

[00:12:53] But, uh, we really need to look also at the lifetime of the phone that you just need to produce less of them and not [00:13:00] just trying to remove certain materials and continuing to produce as. As many phones as we do right. Yeah, that seems to be a, a key and crucial message that we use the materials for as long as, as possible.

[00:13:15] I, I'm not sure this is true, but I, I, I read, uh, somewhere that there were up to a thousand substances in a phone that separate from materials or that are, that were involved either in the manufacturing or in the, the phone itself. So aside from the materials, I know you mention. Uh, the flame retardants and as, um, and one example, is there a lot more in the phone world, either the manufacturing than just the materials?

[00:13:48] Uh, yeah, for sure. There are a lot of substances used around the phone, so during the production method, um, but it's also, [00:14:00] um, So what I'm right now not sure about is if you mean the different substances in terms of a combination of the elements in the phone or just let's say taking a higher level view on all the materials which are moved to produce a phone.

[00:14:18] Yeah, I, I, I wasn't a hundred percent sure from reading the article, I found a thousand substances to be an extraordinary number. I suppose what was meant was everything involved in, in making the chemicals and the, the whole, you know, um, Everything that went into getting that phone ready. Uh, so to speak, to, to ship to market.

[00:14:41] Uh, you mentioned earlier in introduction that even though you know you don't, uh, it may be to get one of the materials, there was many other materials used in the mining process of whatever. It can be, can be a very complex picture. But I think, I think we're [00:15:00] generally, we're not aware. How complex these phones are, how, how big an impact they have on the earth and, and demanding of so much stuff, uh, whether chemicals, materials are in the process.

[00:15:14] And it's just to kinda make people a, a bit aware that there's an awful lot that goes into this phone we hold in our hands. Yeah, yeah, yeah. No, there for sure. Um, Thousand substances is very realistic or more, I cannot pinpoint it to a certain number, but, uh, already for just producing one phone, you move 75 kilograms of material.

[00:15:43] So meaning, for example, the or that you have to dig from the ground to get the actual. Elements or materials from it, but then also the fewer used or additional cleaning, uh, detergents [00:16:00] and, um, just substances which are needed throughout the production. And if you think of that, we produce 1.4 billions of phones every year and multiply that by 75 kilograms.

[00:16:14] It is, it is, it is a huge amount of material that we, that we. That we move for one phone and also a lot of very different materials that we would. Usually not connect to a smartphone, but better part of the supply chain of a phone and getting the materials that are inside the phone. You, you mentioned, uh, earlier that um, the recycling rate for phones could be as low as 15% and certainly probably not more than 20%.

[00:16:49] And then, Another interesting thing I think was, it was on your website that you wrote about it, or, uh, somebody in Fairphone wrote about it that, that even what is [00:17:00] recycled, we only get back 30 to 40% of use on materials. Could you just explain that a little bit in why we only get it back even if we recycle it, we still lose 70%.

[00:17:15] Of, you know, what's there, so to speak. Smartphones are very complex devices and they. Often only contain tiny amounts of a certain material per device and therefore it is very difficult to separate the materials in there. Um, our design, so fair phone is a modular phone can help with that to make the separation easier.

[00:17:41] But in general, it is still that the recycling system is not really. Made for that. So what happens currently usually is that, uh, phones without the batteries are thrown into a shredder. And then afterwards you have [00:18:00]several separation technologies that will sort. The, the parts, the shredded parts according to, um, yeah, to, to the different materials.

[00:18:10] So for example, you have theorist materials, which will stick to a magnet, and if you have a part still attached to it, which contains gold, Then this will probably not be recycled because this part will end up in the in, in, in the material processing line. And like this, you lose a lot of materials. And also because the system is not really made for all the different materials that we have in products nowadays.

[00:18:39] In the last decades, there have so many. More materials being used than when our recycling system was planned. So back then, some materials just simply didn't play a role in our product so that they were not discussed for being recycled. And it takes [00:19:00] long to, let's say, adjust such a big system to it. And also generally the processes are targeted to recover certain materials, which means that others, which were not separated, are lost in the process.

[00:19:14] And um, yeah, you will also never pro process or recover a hundred percent of a material because there's always something which gets lost. And in general, also, just more or less a handful of material, mostly precious materials because those sort. Pay for their own processing when you sell them afterwards and other materials, which are rather.

[00:19:39] Scarce, but they are not, they don't have a high price on the market. They are not rare from a financial perspective. Not really worth recovering. And this is also why then the recycling doesn't focus on, I read that, um, Somewhere that, um, someone was saying that some of the materials are in [00:20:00] such small quantities and the phones that in essence they disappear from use.

[00:20:08] Uh, they remain in the environment, but they're at such small quantities that they're essentially no longer reusable again. Uh, and so we're losing. You know, cause when, as you say, we were making 1.4 billion a year, that we're, we're losing certain materials that we will not be able to, you know, find our reuse again.

[00:20:36] Yeah. Yeah. And 1.4 times, uh, 1.4 billion times a tiny bit is then already really a lot . Yeah. And that we have like 15 billion, I think, phones, uh, since 2007. So it's, yeah, it, it, it does add up and, and, you know, so that could cause scarcity [00:21:00] in the future of certain materials, um, that, you know, essentially become invisible or unrecoverable.

[00:21:09] Yeah, indeed. Or, uh, just the environmental impacts related to certain materials. For example, rare earths are currently not really recovered in our current system. Um, and they sound rare from their name, but they actually are not that. They are, they are very abundant in our Earth's crust, but it is hard to find the right concentrations for them.

[00:21:34] And it, they are also associated with radioactive material that you have to also, uh, Extract. So the also the pollution related to those material is materials is very high. So it is also not desirable. But even if we have them to extract them, that we extract all of it. So we should just be more, more frugal with the resources that we have even.

[00:21:59] And [00:22:00] also if that means that we just leave some of them underground and use our products just way longer so that we need. I'm just quoting you here. I didn't get quoting you any, you say we must make smart and you've been saying it anyway. You know, in, in this talk, we must make smartphones that last longer, more durable and are able to be repaired without sending it to the shop.

[00:22:23] Can you, and you have talked a little bit, but the design approach or the philosophy that. You know, you take, cuz you know, I think it's, in a way, it's certainly the opposite of planned obs, obsolescence, that sort of philosophy. Could you talk to us a little bit the design approach or the, the philosophy that allows you to think about that throughout the entire design and repair process?

[00:22:52] Yeah, so for us it's really important that the longer our product is used, the fewer new products we need to [00:23:00] manufacture. And so that the less resources we use and also the less greenhouse gas as we cause. And this is why, um, the fair phone is repairable and that's achieved by modularity. Meaning that, for example, now the Fairphone four can be opened without tools, and then because of the module I design, you can remove and exchange eight different parts easily at home.

[00:23:27] This means that you will not. Be without a phone since you don't need to leave it at a shop. And that might sound like a small issue, but we are nowadays so used to having our phone at at hand all the time that it can prevent a phone from being repaired if you first need to send it to the shop or leave it there for two days until repair from the time to replace the part.

[00:23:50] And of course that also increases the cost of repair if you have to hand it in somewhere, and if you can easily do it on your own in a few minutes, [00:24:00] and when you pay a reasonable price, when watering at our homepage, it is very fast and cost effective. And yeah, and then it's not just about the hardware, but especially for smartphones, also, software plays a really important role.

[00:24:19] And for Fairphone four, the software support is guaranteed until the end of 2026. So, um, that includes then also upgrades to route 12 and 13, and we also still aim to extend it further until the end of 2028. And yeah, also, even when the support from our chipset supplier will expire. And we already proved that we are serious about that because our Fairphone tool, which has been launched in 2015, just received an Android update after almost seven years.

[00:24:58] And this is really a [00:25:00] first in the industry. Um, Because nobody has ever done this before because it is, it is quite challenging to keep the software supported when the chip sets provider doesn't support you in that anymore. That's wonderful, uh, to hear in, in the perfect world to you or a better world, uh, how long should a phone last?

[00:25:23] So we're seeing you're pushing it out to about seven years. I read somewhere, you know, it, phones really should last 10 years. Is that, is that a target or like, if we get our act together in, you know, in 2030 you buy a phone. You know, and, and we really, you know, we're, we're treating the world in a better way.

[00:25:46] Will we be expecting that phone that we buy in 2030 to last until 2040 ? I would really hope so. So, because currently the average is somewhere between two to three [00:26:00] years of. Smartphone news, and we at Fairphone have at least the goal for five year, but maybe even seven years right now. But this is also, let's say, Related to a lock in in the system because some components are just not made to last longer.

[00:26:19] This is why we have this repairability approach. So if you have, for example, a U SBC connector that which you always need for charging, then this is just made to break in a certain moment. But if you can replace the whole part with a little spare part, Then you can just reuse your phone for longer. And the same for the battery.

[00:26:41] So if you, for example, just, um, replace your battery, um, you just need to use your phone two months longer, and then you are already break even with your environmental impact again, because it might be counterintuitive because battery is a relative big [00:27:00] part, but. But the, these carbon footprint related to a battery is relatively small compared to if you would just directly exchange the whole phone.

[00:27:12] And so with using your phone for longer, so if you extended lifetime from, well, the current market average around three years to five years, then you already can save 31%. Of your carbon emissions or greenhouse gas emission impact per year, and that can even get up to 42% if you would even keep it for seven years.

[00:27:38] And this is really why we support this so much and we want to go of course further and further with that and hopefully we'll get to 10 years of support and spare part avail availability. That would be fantastic. So you mentioned, um, the battery and the usb uh, [00:28:00] connector. I presume that's two of the eight things that are now replaceable.

[00:28:05] Do, do you remember any of the other six or Cuz I think it would be interesting for people to know about the things that can potentially be replace. Yeah, of course. Um, the screen is a very important part, which needs often replacement because the battery and the screen are two parts, which usually let's say, uh, break the deal and using the smart form for longer because many people don't wanna use a correct screen, or it doesn't work anymore after a short while, and the battery is just.

[00:28:41] Consumable. So after two to four years, depending on how often a phone is charged, the capacity of the BA better really will just increase strongly. And if you cannot replace it, it becomes very inconvenient if you have to carry around a power bank all the time with you because your [00:29:00] phone doesn't last long enough anymore.

[00:29:02] But then also if you have, for example, problems with your camera or your speakers, it can also be replaced. And, um, that also allows at least from, for, for a fair phone for a model upgrade. So for example, for a fair phone free, you could also replace your old camera with a better camera model so that it is not that you stop using your phone because the camera technology has developed on, but it can just you in that you can just plug in.

[00:29:35] Uh, better camera model with the newer technology so that you still keep using the phone. That's, uh, fantastic. I don't know if you saw the story there about a month ago about Apple's repair kit for its battery and I, I, they sent out like 120 kg to two massive suitcases and you kinda, you needed to be a [00:30:00] nuclear scientist to actually use all the equipment in them, ju just to change the battery.

[00:30:05] Uh, it's, it's, uh, it's a massive, massive improvement, uh, what, what you're doing. Uh, so it's that. That's really wonderful to. Um, so you said you talked about, uh, um, legislation in general, I suppose in the context of Europe, but globally, uh, as, as well, you know, uh, about loopholes in legislation which allow manufacturers to focus on profit rather than the environment could.

[00:30:36] Are there any of those loopholes that you could explain a little bit or, or, or throw some light on? I think there's one, let's say general, very big loophole in legislation that we have, and I would claim without knowing all the legislation globally, that this probably accounts for. Every country that's currently the [00:31:00] pricing of product just does not account for the full price of the product in environmental and in social terms because it is, for example, allowed to buy materials which are extracted under very polluting and socially unfair conditions, and then leave the countries and communities alone with dealing with these burden.

[00:31:20] Of extracting the material and yeah, according to legislation, it is also okay to pay people in your supply chain less than a living wage. And like this, manufacturers can very easily make profit because the pollution and social injustice happens somewhere else. And also usually only risks are managed.

[00:31:38] For example, reputational and financial risks. Uh, if someone would find out what happened in the manufacturer supply chain and that the manufacturer knew, and we at Fairphone are really open about the issues in the electronic supply chain and. Instead of looking away and trying to get around it, we, uh, [00:32:00] follow an approach to engage with the people on the ground and to work on continuous improvements together in the practices that they have.

[00:32:09] Since we also need to acknowledge that this is the livelihood of so many people on the planet that just switching to a less risky supply. Doesn't really change, and that this material also will still enter your supply chain. And in my opinion, legislation should ensure that manufacturers have to account for the full social and environmental costs.

[00:32:33] So meaning that these costs recognize the direct and indirect, um, impacts, so on economics, the environment, health, and also the social costs of producing their product. Yeah, it's, it's, um, a great and essential point essentially that we, we don't account for the true and total cost to the art or, uh, of, of the [00:33:00] materials or, or the societies from which they are, they are drawn and, and that we need to start doing that because of the long term impacts.

[00:33:10] This, this lack of proper accounting is, is, uh, resulting. Um, so then this new, you, you mentioned one of your articles about, uh, the new, uh, or the changes or modifications or review of the EU eco design, uh, directive. Um, would, if there was one thing that you wanted to make sure was in the next eu uh, eco design directive, what would that.

[00:33:44] In general, the goals of, uh, directive are very close to Fair Fund's mission, and we think that this is a really great opportunity for the European legislators to bring about change in the industry. [00:34:00] And we at Fairphone already proof that even for a small company, it is possible to design a modular device that is easy to repair and to provide spare parts at a reason price to provide repair information to everyone and to provide software support for many years.

[00:34:18] And we also gave our input to the respective working group in a position. Paper where we outlined, uh, where we still see room for improvement on this directive draft. And summarizing all the points would maybe go a bit too far. But for instance, we remark that manufacturers should explicitly be obliged to provide repair information and spare parts to everyone in an easily accessible manner.

[00:34:50] And well for the information free of charge. Um, yeah, because this is, this is currently not the case, as you were already mentioning an [00:35:00] example. Yeah, why shouldn't it be as easy to order a spare part, uh, as just ordering a new product? But the impact would just be so much less on the environment and on people.

[00:35:16] If you could just order spare parts, like on our homepage from every manufacturer brand. That would be, that would be a great idea. Yeah. And, um, really, really important. So finishing after you, there's, there's been, uh, great, uh, really, uh, insightful. Um, If you are giving, somebody's listening to this and they're thinking, you know, personally, um, what could they do in relation to their phone in habits?

[00:35:46] We know, hold on to it, you know, as long as possible. Get it repaired. But is there any, you know, if you were giving advice to people in looking after their phone, or is it better to change the battery earlier? Is there any, you know, [00:36:00] final tips or tricks that will pro likely prolong the. Of, of, uh, a phone.

[00:36:07] Yeah. Well, I would not recommend to, uh, change the battery yearly . Uh, yeah, we of course don't wanna use more spare parts than, than necessary. But yeah, in general, I think it is very much related to choices that we make. For example, when we purchase a product so that we really also include in our decision to buy a product or not, if it can be repaired and if the manufacturer will support the software and the hardware for a long time.

[00:36:42] And um, yeah. Then also the decision if something breaks on a phone, that we really take the effort to see if it can be repaired. And that we don't think, Oh, this costs 40% of a new phone. [00:37:00] Why shouldn't I just already buy the next phone, which is out there? And because right now, of course, it is sometimes reality that repairing a product is not that easy, but, We should support all initiatives and possibilities that it can be repaired to show that consumers are really interested in keeping their phone for longer for the environment, and I mean in the end also for themselves because we all live in this environment.

[00:37:31] So I think it is a lot about decisions that make and maybe sometimes taking the additional effort of doing things which are currently not. Very easy in the current system, like repairing a product but still deciding to do. Yeah, that's a great, um, summary. I think we all need to try and make that effort and, you know, get together in our workplaces as well.

[00:37:56] That, that I, I'd, um, fascinating talk with [00:38:00] this. Um, uh, I, I talked about a Meri or just Lisky, and I asked him, What do you think can change these things, you know, make for, you know, better digital design or electronics or, you know, uh, in, in, and he said, In his opinion, it's it's citizen action. He says, Individuals on our own don't have a lot of, we should be trying to do the right thing, but to get citizen movements together.

[00:38:29] Because he said he's a, from reading history, he's read a lot of history as well. Most of the. The good changes, either in seat belts or in healthcare. Pharmaceuticals did not come from, Governments initially did not certainly come from the big companies. They came from citizen action and that, you know, there is a movement of right to repair.

[00:38:50] But if we could get even more citizen action around Right to repair. You know that that would really drive a positive [00:39:00] agenda. Yeah, I completely agree. And we as Fairphone are even also part of Right to Repair as the only smartphone manufacturer, which is out there and we follow support this campaign.

[00:39:17] If you're interested in these sorts of ideas, please check out my book, Worldwide Waste at Jerry McGovern dot. To hear other interesting podcasts, please visit. This is

John Carter
Tech Vlogger & YouTuber

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ipsum blandit at sed a, vulputate eget. Integer in egestas rutrum risus tortor. Augue sed ac magna semper vitae, orci morbi auctor. Diam dui ut ut purus aenean volutpat.

The human centered design CIRCLE

Join. Connect. Learn.

Join the private community for the Human Centered Design Network

Basic Membership


Join the online community and stay up to date with everything inside the community. Connect and message other designers just like you.

Access Members Area
Access Podcast discussions
Quarterly Campfires
Premium Podcast Subscription
Exclusive community discounts
Exclusive giveaways and discounts for international Design partner events
Sign up now

VIP - Journey Management


Led by Richard McMurray, this community launches on April 1 2024. This community is perfect for anyone looking to learn more about Journey Management, and also connect with other people who are implementing this in their organisations.

Everything on Basic Membership
Monthly Journey Management meetups
Dedicated community chat
Invited guest speakers
Maximum of 40 community members
Sign up now

Basic Membership


Save €8 by paying annually.

Join the online community and stay up to date with everything inside the community. Connect and message other designers just like you.

Access Members Area
Access Podcast discussions
Quarterly Campfires
Premium Podcast Subscription
Exclusive community discounts
Exclusive giveaways and discounts for international Design partner events
Get started

VIP - Journey Management


Save €20 by paying annually.

Led by Richard McMurray, this community launches on April 1 2024. This community is perfect for anyone looking to learn more about Journey Management, and also connect with other people who are implementing this in their organisations.

Everything on Basic Mambership
Monthly Journey Management meetups
Dedicated community chat
Invited guest speakers
Maximum of 40 community members
Get started