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In the grand scheme of things: ethics of the internet of things in a circular economy

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Talk given at the ITP Symposium at Wintec in Hamilton, New Zealand on July 4th 2017.

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In the grand scheme of things: ethics of the internet of things in a circular economy

  1. 1. In the grand scheme of things: ethics of the internet of things in a circular economy.
  2. 2. About me First UK distributor of electronics education tool Arduino London Internet of Things meetup organiser since 2011 #iot strategy consultant Writing a book on smart homes for Apress Founder of Good Night Lamp
  3. 3. Clients
  4. 4. The styrofoam box problem
  5. 5. The styrofoam box problem Non-biodegradable, non-recyclable, hurts animals and leaks chemicals when in touch with heat. ‘Active life’ 20 minutes Phased out in european cities in favour of wax cardboard boxes Still sold in lots of places (like Sydney airport!) No regulation or international agreements
  6. 6. A connected consumer product Non-biodegradable, non-recyclable, hurts animals and leaks chemicals when in touch with heat data. ‘Active life’ 20 minutes depends on the application Phased out in european cities in favour of wax cardboard boxes something more ethical (possibly) Still sold in lots of places (like Sydney airport!) outside of Europe No regulation or international agreements (GDPR)
  7. 7. Some of the challenges Building products to cater to one person at a time. Fitbit
  8. 8. Some of the challenges Sometimes one place at a time. British Gas Hive
  9. 9. Some of the challenges Multi-use or alternative uses are discouraged. Drop connected scale.
  10. 10. Some of the challenges Without connectivity the product is often rendered defunct.
  11. 11. Some of the challenges With connectivity comes security risks.
  12. 12. Some of the challenges Without the use of a specific service provider the product doesn’t work as well. HP Instaprint
  13. 13. Some of the challenges No transferability when end of use comes along.
  14. 14. Some of the challenges Hiding behind data when the solution is obvious, but politically difficult. Air Quality Egg
  15. 15. What to do about it Build with as little new hardware at all, using ‘things’ in as agile a way possible. Hello Trackter
  16. 16. Field Ready What to do about it Build with a light footprint and while training others.
  17. 17. What to do about it Build with in a fragmented way, educating people along the way. Thingiverse
  18. 18. What to do about it Develop a triple bottom line of #iot : impact on environment, labour and society Uber
  19. 19. What to do about it Build with utility and use in mind, not user. Flood Network
  20. 20. What to do about it Be realistic about data and its ownership, sometimes its better used collectively and belongs to noone. Databrick
  21. 21. What to do about it Help businesses take ownership of the reuse of their products.
  22. 22. What to do about it Help open government funding to grow this space. These ideas are counter to traditional business models & IP-based innovation.
  23. 23. What does this have to do with the circular economy? Connected experiences shouldn’t mean exploitative, data-driven Single-use consumer-focused experiences only. We need to design our way out of bad development habits. We also need to face the fact that sometimes the solution is regulation. GDPR is worth looking at as an example of this.
  24. 24. Thank you. alex@designswarm.com

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