Fairphone – Changes The Way Products Are Made

Fairphone – Changes The Way Products Are Made

This project has more to do with triggering change, rather than trying to solve all the problems in the world at once.Bas van Abel

 

Fairphone

„35 year-old Bas van Abel collaborated with 10 others to put together the first “fair” smartphone. A smartphone that doesn’t use any resources from conflict-zones, or the workforce of Chinese laborers in horrible conditions, nor does it involve filling up the bank accounts of the greedy rich. Sound naive? Bas van Abel, who launched the project 2 years ago, certainly is not. He knows that he’s not going to save the world with his Fairphone: ‚This project has more to do with triggering change, rather than trying to solve all the problems in the world at once.’This Dutch guy wants to demonstrate what we can achieve when we give it a go.“[1]The goal was to create a “fair” smartphone for consumers that had the technology and a competitive price on par with established providers, but one that was not created with the use of conflicted resources and unfair labor conditions. The team managed to produce the first batch of 20,000 phones through crowd funding. Since December 2013, the phone is available for sale online, unseen and untested, at a cost of 325 Euro a pop, and sent out via mail, I bought one too.

 

Fairphone’s mission

Roos van de Weerd, Fairphone’s public engagement manager, explains: „Our project can only exert influence on other, larger companies such as Apple or Samsung if consumers show that they want transparency, fair deals and decent wages. We try to raise awareness. So far this has worked quite well.People are happy that there is finally a player in the industry making an effort to push these changes. Our goal is not to be a manufacturer who sells the highest quantity of objects, but to have an effect so that the “big” fish among us can learn and will be either inspired or compelled to follow us.“[2]

 

What is a Fairphone?

Conflict-free, quality material

A smartphone contains around 30 different types of metals. Two of these, tin and tantalum, come from regions that are considered conflict-free, and should therefore help hinder any money from ending up in the pockets of warlords. Fairphone also supports the “Conflict-Free Tin Initiative”, a developmental aid project for the Congo, in which other companies such as Blackberry, HP, Motorola and Nokia are involved. There is a similar project for Tantalum called “Solutions for Hope“, founded by Motorola and supported by Fairphone and a great number of other electronic manufacturers.

 

Bas_van_AbelFair production

Fairphone is interested in long-term relationships with manufacturers in China, because it requires perseverance and higher numbers to change the Chinese attitude. But even China knows that every development should be taken seriously, because the market for smartphones is so fast-paced. Who would have thought ten years ago that Samsung and Apple would dominate the market, and Nokia would be nearly dead and gone? Fairphone tries to spearhead a set of standards for a new collaborative direction with Chinese manufacturers. Fair production means fair working conditions, consideration of social and environmental aspects, and acquiring raw materials in a sustainable way.

 

 

Smarter design and an end to “disposable” phones

Roos van de Weerd also had this to say: „In order to ensure that people don’t just throw away their cell phones after two years, we will offer replacement parts online on our web shop, so that people can easily replace parts that no longer work.“ (Okur 2013) „In addition, not only will the glass screen be more robust, it will be much easier to replace as well. Instead of using the thinnest glass possible, in which the touch panel and screen are integrated as one, it was decided to make them separate pieces. Because of this, the phone will be 5 grams heavier, and 0.2 millimeters thicker as planned, but the risk of breakage is thus significantly reduced. In addition, according to the manufacturer, the Fairphone will still function even if the toughened and scratch-resistant Dragontrail glass breaks.“[3]

 

[1] Bernau, V. (2013): Fairphone statt iPhone: Wie gerechte Smartphones produziert werden sollen, in sueddeutsche.de from 2/27/2013, download on 8/25/2013 at http://www.sueddeutsche.de/digital/fairphone-statt-iphone-wie-gerechte-smartphones-produziert-werden-sollen-1.1610920
[2] Okur, M. (2013): Wie fair ist das Fairphone?, in Wirtschaftswoche Green from 6/18/2013, download on 8/25/2013 at http://green.wiwo.de/interview-wie-fair-ist-das-fairphone/
[3] Labs, L. (2013): Auch das Fairphone wird in China gebaut, in heiseonline from 5/13/2013, download on 8/10/2013 at http://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/Auch-das-Fairphone-wird-in-China-gebaut-1861908.html

Photo Fairphone
Photo Bas van Abel from Fairphone

 

weekly excerpt from the book THE NEXT WAVE IN BUSINESS
wishing you a circular week
cheers, Stefan Götz+

 

1,500 years of leadership – Dr. Notker Wolf (Benedictine Abbot Primate)

1,500 years of leadership – Dr. Notker Wolf (Benedictine Abbot Primate)

My job as a leader is actually to be an eternal listener, to myself, and to othersNotker Wolf

 

Some time ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Abbot Primate Notker Wolf in Rome. He is the highest-ranking of 25,000 Benedictine monks and nuns worldwide. I was especially curious and inspired by the question of how it can be possible to run a global organization the size of Porsche, maintain it for over 1,500 years, and still have growth on a global scale?
Read more

What can Awareness Actually Look Like in Everyday Life

What can Awareness Actually Look Like in Everyday Life

 

Awareness in communication means listening and speaking without judgment. There are constantly thousands of impressions running through our heads in each and every moment, even as you are reading this sentence. Is this right or wrong? Is it helpful, or not? Intelligent or stupid stuff? It’s not so bad to be flooded by these impressions, as long as we keep in mind that they determine our perspective in situations, practices and challenges. For possible potential and solutions, it can be more or less helpful. This actually reminds me of a saying from the Dalai Lama: “ When you talk you are only repeating what you already know; But when you listen you may learn something new”.
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The Next Wave in Business “Change Leaders Consciousness Make a Difference” now at amazon

The_next_wave_in_Business_5_www.stefan-goetz.com„Thank you Mr. Götz for writing such a pioneering book.“ Baerbel Roepke-Stieghorst, Head Trainer and Coach

Elon Musk, Ricardo Semler, Götz Werner, Ellen MacArthur, Christian Felber, Brian Chesky, all Change Leaders of their kind who share a level of consciousness that reveals a new window of potential, which carries a blueprint, filled with impulses, inspiration, and ideas from the future. Acting out of this consciousness, organizations have the power to enrich our lives and transform the status quo of our world:

eBook now at amazon

 

 

Key Issues

  • The Essence of Change Leaders
  • Competition and Cooperation–Huberbuam (Extreme climbers)
  • 1,500 years of Leadership–Dr. Notker Wolf (Benedictine Abbot Primate)
  • Drugstore chain dm – Götz Werner (Anthroposophist)
  • Tesla – Elon Musk (Multi-visionary, doer, rule-breaker)
  • Eye to Eye in Brazil – Manager-Free Semco
  • Circular Economy & Fairphone – Inspiration from Nature
  • Economy for the Common Good – Our Future?

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