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REPAIR = CARE
Systems stories from Norway and Ghana
Maja van der Velden | Dept. of Informatics | University of Oslo | majava@ifi.uio.no
Overview
• Circular economy
• Re-use, Refurbish, Repair, Recycle
• Systems stories of informal repair in Norway
and Ghana
• Community repair in Oslo, Norway
• Informal repair in Accra, Ghana
• Repairing broken smartphone screens
• Repair = Care
• A systemic design intervention
• Mending broken worlds?
• A doings of care
Sustainability: Securing the social
foundation for people everywhere
now and in the future, while staying
within planetary boundaries
Mobile phone life cycle: Life threatening
impacts, especially in the resource
extraction, manufacturing, and end-of-life
phases (hotspots)
Thinking with
care
Broken world
thinking
Systems
thinking
Epistemological and
methodological
positioning
Main influences:
Ray Ison (2017): Systems Practice:
How to Act - In Situations of
Uncertainty and Complexity in a
Climate-Change World (2nd ed.)
Steve Jackson (2014): Rethinking
Repair (Broken world thinking)
Maria Puig de la Bellacasa (2011):
Matters of care in technoscience:
Assembling neglected things
Mobile phone life
cycle in a circular
economy perspective:
• Prolong the lifespan
through maintenance and
repair
• Prolong the lifespan
through re-use (second-
hand market)
• Prolong the lifespan of
materials through
refurbishment and
remanufacturing
• Recycle
Norway
Re-use:
Second hand
market
Refurbishers
of mobile
phones
Repair:
The Circle
(Accra)
Recycle: Informal
Agbogbloshie (Accra)
Recycle: ReCell Ghana |
collector of discarded
mobile phones
Recycle: E-
waste
collectors
‘Dusty drawer’
collection
Recycle:
Industrial
Recycle: Precious
metals collector
(China, India, Italy)
Repair: community
and commercial
Ghana
International
Mobile phone
services
providers
Re-use:
Second hand
market
‘Dusty drawer’
collection
Norway
Re-use:
Second hand
market
Refurbishers
of mobile
phones
Repair:
The Circle
(Accra)
Recycle: Informal
Agbogbloshie (Accra)
Recycle: ReCell Ghana |
collector of discarded
mobile phones
Recycle: E-
waste
collectors
‘Dusty drawer’
collection
Recycle:
Industrial
Recycle: Precious
metals collector
(China, India, Italy)
Repair: community
and commercial
Ghana
International
Mobile phone
services
providers
Re-use:
Second hand
market
‘Dusty drawer’
collection
Norway
Re-use:
Second hand
market
Refurbishers
of mobile
phones
Repair:
The Circle
(Accra)
Recycle: Informal
Agbogbloshie (Accra)
Recycle: ReCell Ghana |
collector of discarded
mobile phones
Recycle: E-
waste
collectors
‘Dusty drawer’
collection
Recycle:
Industrial
Precious metals
collector (China,
India, Italy)
Repair: community
and commercail
Ghana
International
Mobile phone
services
providers
Re-use:
Second hand
market
‘Dusty drawer’
collection
Recycling in Agbogbloshie
use of simple and cheap tools | cherry-picking the most valuable components
Recycling at Umicore | 17 metals recovered | plastic and other materials are used as fuel | slag used in building materials
Photo credit: Fairphone
Mobile phone recycling challenges
• Location
• Many mobile phones end up in countries without e-waste management system
(via second-hand market)
• Not designed for disassembling
• Increasing use of glue
• Special tools needed
• Informal recycling
• Cherry picking - only valuable parts are recycled
• Loss of energy and materials
• Industrial recycling
• Loss of energy and materials
Norway
Re-use:
Second hand
market
Refurbishers
of mobile
phones
Repair:
The Circle
(Accra)
Recycle: Informal
Agbogbloshie (Accra)
Recycle: ReCell Ghana |
collector of discarded
mobile phones
Recycle: E-
waste
collectors
‘Dusty drawer’
collection
Recycle:
Industrial
Recycle: Precious
metals collector
(China, India, Italy)
Repair: community
and commercial
Ghana
International
Mobile phone
services
providers
Re-use:
Second hand
market
‘Dusty drawer’
collection
Repair stories as systems stories
• “Telling stories is a powerful way to make sense of our own experience
and of the world around us. Stories shape our identity, communicate who
we are and what is important to us, and move others to act” (Peter Stroh,
2015)
• “It matters what stories tell stories ” (Donna Haraway, 2017)
• Stories from the “ruins of capitalism” (Anna Tsing, 2017)
Community repair in Norway
Mobile phone repair at the Circle in Accra, Ghana
highly-skilled repairers | parts from broken phones often used as spare parts
Mobile phone repair challenges
• Costs
• Often too expensive
• Expensive spare parts
• Not designed for repair
• Increasing use of glue
• Special tools needed
• Problematic access to spare parts & manuals
• Court cases against mobile phone repairers
• Right to repair under attack
• Warranty lost when using unauthorised repairer or DIY repair
Repair = Care: Community repair
iPhone 6s: € 380
Broken screen repair:
• Apple: € 240
• Community repair: € 95
for original screen
(logos blacked out)
or € 45 for a copy
• Whole display unit
replaced
Repair = Care: The Circle
• Only broken
part replaced
separating the broken glass from the display unit
Adding the right amount of glue to fasten the new glass
testing if the display unit works | hardening the glue
Repair = Care: Fairphone
06.02.2017 Proske
Department Environmental and Reliability Engineering
© Fraunhofer IZM
8
Results per year of use - baseline and repair scenario
" Increasing the use-time by two years (5 instead of 3) decreases the yearly
GHG emissions by ~ 30 %
Repair = Care:
Fairphone
• Extending the
life span of
mobile phones
to 5 years
• Slowing down
the circular
economy
• Diminishing the
environmental
and social risks
in the mobile
phone life cycle
• Lower global
warming
potential (GWP)
Fairphone
Re-use: Second hand
mobile phone market
Repair: The Circle
(Accra)
Recycle: Fairphone/Recell
Ghana collection of
discarded mobile phones
Recycle: E-
waste
collectors
‘Dusty drawer’
collection
Recycle:
Umicore e-
waste
Do-it-
yourself
repair
Ghana
International
Mobile phone
services
providers
Re-use:
Second hand
market
Europe
Refurbishers of
mobile phones
Design for repair
Fair supply chain
Recycled materials
Repair:
community &
commercial
existing
future
Warranty
allows opening
and repair
‘Dusty drawer’
collection
Repair = Care
• Systemic design intervention through the use of deep leverage points
(Abson et al., 2016; based on Meadows, 1999)
• Design of the system
• The structure of information flows
• The rules of the system
• Intent of the system:
• The goal of the system
• The mindset/paradigm out of which the system arises
• Mending broken worlds?
• (More) work for repairers, but what about the scavengers and recyclers at Agbogbloshie? Train them to
become disassemblers for the collectors (Bo2W approach) and/or repairers?
• Doings of care
• «... more than the responsible maintenance of technology» (de la Bellacasa, 2011)
• Paying attention/giving voice to marginalised issues, such as informal work
• Care can be transitional and potentially transformative
Thank
you
Photo caption:
Fairphone
designer
Miquel
Ballester
discusses the
repairability of
Fairphone
modules with
repairers in
Ghana

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Repair = Care: Systems stories from Norway and Ghana

  • 1. REPAIR = CARE Systems stories from Norway and Ghana Maja van der Velden | Dept. of Informatics | University of Oslo | majava@ifi.uio.no
  • 2. Overview • Circular economy • Re-use, Refurbish, Repair, Recycle • Systems stories of informal repair in Norway and Ghana • Community repair in Oslo, Norway • Informal repair in Accra, Ghana • Repairing broken smartphone screens • Repair = Care • A systemic design intervention • Mending broken worlds? • A doings of care Sustainability: Securing the social foundation for people everywhere now and in the future, while staying within planetary boundaries Mobile phone life cycle: Life threatening impacts, especially in the resource extraction, manufacturing, and end-of-life phases (hotspots)
  • 3. Thinking with care Broken world thinking Systems thinking Epistemological and methodological positioning Main influences: Ray Ison (2017): Systems Practice: How to Act - In Situations of Uncertainty and Complexity in a Climate-Change World (2nd ed.) Steve Jackson (2014): Rethinking Repair (Broken world thinking) Maria Puig de la Bellacasa (2011): Matters of care in technoscience: Assembling neglected things
  • 4. Mobile phone life cycle in a circular economy perspective: • Prolong the lifespan through maintenance and repair • Prolong the lifespan through re-use (second- hand market) • Prolong the lifespan of materials through refurbishment and remanufacturing • Recycle
  • 5. Norway Re-use: Second hand market Refurbishers of mobile phones Repair: The Circle (Accra) Recycle: Informal Agbogbloshie (Accra) Recycle: ReCell Ghana | collector of discarded mobile phones Recycle: E- waste collectors ‘Dusty drawer’ collection Recycle: Industrial Recycle: Precious metals collector (China, India, Italy) Repair: community and commercial Ghana International Mobile phone services providers Re-use: Second hand market ‘Dusty drawer’ collection
  • 6. Norway Re-use: Second hand market Refurbishers of mobile phones Repair: The Circle (Accra) Recycle: Informal Agbogbloshie (Accra) Recycle: ReCell Ghana | collector of discarded mobile phones Recycle: E- waste collectors ‘Dusty drawer’ collection Recycle: Industrial Recycle: Precious metals collector (China, India, Italy) Repair: community and commercial Ghana International Mobile phone services providers Re-use: Second hand market ‘Dusty drawer’ collection
  • 7. Norway Re-use: Second hand market Refurbishers of mobile phones Repair: The Circle (Accra) Recycle: Informal Agbogbloshie (Accra) Recycle: ReCell Ghana | collector of discarded mobile phones Recycle: E- waste collectors ‘Dusty drawer’ collection Recycle: Industrial Precious metals collector (China, India, Italy) Repair: community and commercail Ghana International Mobile phone services providers Re-use: Second hand market ‘Dusty drawer’ collection
  • 9. use of simple and cheap tools | cherry-picking the most valuable components
  • 10. Recycling at Umicore | 17 metals recovered | plastic and other materials are used as fuel | slag used in building materials Photo credit: Fairphone
  • 11. Mobile phone recycling challenges • Location • Many mobile phones end up in countries without e-waste management system (via second-hand market) • Not designed for disassembling • Increasing use of glue • Special tools needed • Informal recycling • Cherry picking - only valuable parts are recycled • Loss of energy and materials • Industrial recycling • Loss of energy and materials
  • 12. Norway Re-use: Second hand market Refurbishers of mobile phones Repair: The Circle (Accra) Recycle: Informal Agbogbloshie (Accra) Recycle: ReCell Ghana | collector of discarded mobile phones Recycle: E- waste collectors ‘Dusty drawer’ collection Recycle: Industrial Recycle: Precious metals collector (China, India, Italy) Repair: community and commercial Ghana International Mobile phone services providers Re-use: Second hand market ‘Dusty drawer’ collection
  • 13. Repair stories as systems stories • “Telling stories is a powerful way to make sense of our own experience and of the world around us. Stories shape our identity, communicate who we are and what is important to us, and move others to act” (Peter Stroh, 2015) • “It matters what stories tell stories ” (Donna Haraway, 2017) • Stories from the “ruins of capitalism” (Anna Tsing, 2017)
  • 15. Mobile phone repair at the Circle in Accra, Ghana
  • 16. highly-skilled repairers | parts from broken phones often used as spare parts
  • 17. Mobile phone repair challenges • Costs • Often too expensive • Expensive spare parts • Not designed for repair • Increasing use of glue • Special tools needed • Problematic access to spare parts & manuals • Court cases against mobile phone repairers • Right to repair under attack • Warranty lost when using unauthorised repairer or DIY repair
  • 18. Repair = Care: Community repair iPhone 6s: € 380 Broken screen repair: • Apple: € 240 • Community repair: € 95 for original screen (logos blacked out) or € 45 for a copy • Whole display unit replaced
  • 19. Repair = Care: The Circle • Only broken part replaced
  • 20. separating the broken glass from the display unit
  • 21. Adding the right amount of glue to fasten the new glass
  • 22. testing if the display unit works | hardening the glue
  • 23. Repair = Care: Fairphone
  • 24. 06.02.2017 Proske Department Environmental and Reliability Engineering © Fraunhofer IZM 8 Results per year of use - baseline and repair scenario " Increasing the use-time by two years (5 instead of 3) decreases the yearly GHG emissions by ~ 30 % Repair = Care: Fairphone • Extending the life span of mobile phones to 5 years • Slowing down the circular economy • Diminishing the environmental and social risks in the mobile phone life cycle • Lower global warming potential (GWP)
  • 25. Fairphone Re-use: Second hand mobile phone market Repair: The Circle (Accra) Recycle: Fairphone/Recell Ghana collection of discarded mobile phones Recycle: E- waste collectors ‘Dusty drawer’ collection Recycle: Umicore e- waste Do-it- yourself repair Ghana International Mobile phone services providers Re-use: Second hand market Europe Refurbishers of mobile phones Design for repair Fair supply chain Recycled materials Repair: community & commercial existing future Warranty allows opening and repair ‘Dusty drawer’ collection
  • 26. Repair = Care • Systemic design intervention through the use of deep leverage points (Abson et al., 2016; based on Meadows, 1999) • Design of the system • The structure of information flows • The rules of the system • Intent of the system: • The goal of the system • The mindset/paradigm out of which the system arises • Mending broken worlds? • (More) work for repairers, but what about the scavengers and recyclers at Agbogbloshie? Train them to become disassemblers for the collectors (Bo2W approach) and/or repairers? • Doings of care • «... more than the responsible maintenance of technology» (de la Bellacasa, 2011) • Paying attention/giving voice to marginalised issues, such as informal work • Care can be transitional and potentially transformative