Episode #24 - From ethics campaigner to viable smartphone business, meet the rather brilliant Fairphone

Show notes

This week, we're in the company of Bibi Bleekemolen, impact development manager at Fairphone, the smartphone business with a difference. How did this campaigning organisation go from banging the drum on supply chain ethics, to launching a smart smartphone with a super transparent supply chain – no mean feat of the often murky world of conflict minerals and widespread human rights abuse? We ask Bibi to reveal all.

Subjects explored include:
– Supply chain ethics – and big, fat problem with smartphones;
– The history of Fairphone as a campaigning movement;
– What does conflict-free mineral mining look like?
– How does Fairphone trace its components through the supply chain to ensure full traceability? And what does that mean, anyway?
– Why aren't big players – like Apple and Samsung – being more open in disclosing where their minerals and metals are coming from?
– The Dodd-Frank Act – and why it has been useful?
– Balancing the economic impact and the social impact of encouraging and supporting responsible mining in the developing world;
– How Fairphone's model might be replicated by others across the smartphone and electronics sector.

For more on Fairphone check out the website. And you can follow Bibi on Twitter here.

Bibi Bleekemolen, Fairphone's impact development manager

Bibi Bleekemolen, Fairphone's impact development manager

A semi-industrialised tungsten mine, Rwanda

A semi-industrialised tungsten mine, Rwanda

Mined, and washed, tungsten

Mined, and washed, tungsten

The Fairphone 2

The Fairphone 2

The Fairphone 2, exploded view of modular architecture

The Fairphone 2, exploded view of modular architecture


This week's news round-up features:

- 10 reasons why Glastonbury was greener than ever
Block-Hood, the videograme teaching kids how to design smart cities
– Ludovico Einaudi's solemn Arctic gig
- The GlobeScan/SustainAbility 'Sustainability Leaders Survey', which has Unilever on top, yet again

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See you next Monday.