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TEDxAmsterdam 2013 Fairphone -- changing the way products are made by Mind Map: TEDxAmsterdam 2013
Fairphone -- changing the way
products are made
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TEDxAmsterdam 2013 Fairphone -- changing the way products are made


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...the author

Bas van Abel,,, @basvanabel

...this talk

Themes, World economy

Related talks, China's rise

Reactions, “It’s all about opening up the supply chain, creating transparency" @FairPhone the most ethical smart phone @TEDxAms, @PaulRispens proudly showing his #fairphone during our @tedxams team meeting, Van Abel: "if you unscrew something, you might find out that you can actually fix something!" #fairphone #tedxams, Challenge the system! Fairphone: changing the way products are made: Bas van Abel at TEDxAms #TEDx #fairphone, Fairphone's @basvanabel explains how ownership asks for involvement, and that means opening your phone. #tedxams, “@TEDxAms: Fairphone is the start of a movement for change. @basvanabel NOW AT #TEDxAms !” iets om over na te denken!, Bas van Abel: Fairphone: Changing the way products are made, starting with a single phone #TEDxAms @fundamujde

watch this talk on Youtube

example: Bas tried to repair my son's Nintendo DS

He tried to unscrew the screws

He screwed up the screws

...metal dust came out of the screwholes

You know: once you screw up the screws, you're screwed

led to two questions

How am I going to tell this to my 11-year old son?

Why doesn't Nintendo want me to open up their devices

Let's try this with a phone

have a look at your phone

how would you open up your phone?

Why don't they want you to open up your phone?

Is it the business model?

Do they want to make money on repairs?

Is it the warranty they don't want you to void?

It's not fair

If you can't open it, you don't own it

ownershops is about:, being able to take responsability, engagement

responsability comes with understanding things

opening up things is the first step to understanding things

Ask the right questions

for example, Where does it end up if we don't use it anymore?, Where is it made?, Where does it come from?, Who made it?, how much do we know about our phone?

Why?, because there's so much more to a phone than we can see

Having a closer look when opening up our phone

a phone has more than 20 minerals

for example, The electrolytical capacitor, makes it possible to have thin phones, contains mineral Coltan, being mined in Congo (amongst other places), there are conflicts related to the mining of this mineral, last 10-15 years, millions have died

being mined all over the world, a lot of people working in terrible conditions, see map

all these minerals go into subcomponents

all over the world

in factories where millions of people work

a lot of them working under terrible conditions

the companies putting the phones into the market

making us think we need a new phone every two years

currently: more people than phones on the planet

when we don't use our phones anymore

they end up in a dump somewhere in the world

they don't have places to recycle it

they have kids taking them apart to recycle them

getting the minerals back into the system

even the secret service is part of the ecosystem of the phone

how fair is that?

this is the full complexity of our economy

see map

that's invisible to to us

that connects us all

but lost its human values

How to change systems by making stuff

thought about setting up a campaign about conflict minerals

however: what the alternative?

let's make this alternative phone ourselves

stared project: Fairphone

by making this fairphone ourselves, opening up the systems, uderstand what's behind them, if you understand something you can change things, then: you can improve things

we thought it was impossible, a phone was too complex


went to Congo to find a fair mine, didn't exist

went to China to find a fair factory, didn't exist

found out that there were a lot of initiatives already, working on improvements in the supply chain, what if we put these initatives in a phone, to make it a best practice?

leared that if you ask the right questions, people give the right answers, then you can actually change things

questions started to be asked about the fairphone

where can I buy it

when is it on the market

we didn't think about that

We set a goal: sell 5000 phones;

however, we sold 10.000 phones in three weeks

was really scary, 10.000 people, bought a phone that didn't exist, from a company that never made a phone before

the fairphone

is like any other smartphone

looks the same

does the same things

costs about the same

But it's important to see what's behind the phone

conflict-free solder paste from Congo

conflict free Tantalum capacitors from Congo

working on getting fair trade gold

made the phone based on open source software


you can actually open up the phone, to change the battery

made people part of the process, so they will use their phone a bit longer, see products a bit diferent

We can't change everything overnight


solve the war in Congo

change the law in china

make a fully modular phone which you can put together as lego


if you start with making a phone

use the phone as something to understand the whole economy and the systems behind it

we can actually challenge the system from withing

because now: we're part of it

if you unscrew something, you'll might find out that you can actually fix something