This year, the Mobile Social Congress is in its third edition. SETEM Catalonia continues to invest in this gathering for citizen reflection on how we produce and consume information and communication technologies. These technologies can have serious social and environmental impacts that are largely hidden from those attending the Mobile World Congress.
The electronics industry is one of the most important sectors in the global economy. Its principal players come together each year at MWC in Barcelona, where they present their latest innovations to the world. These innovations are what mostly drives consumption of ICT products, and as a result they are directly linked to a rise in profits. This sector is dominated by a handful of companies that govern supply chains and that are, as a result, in charge of subcontracting production. They also control the mines where raw materials are obtained, which have a significant impact on local communities.
The electronics industry generates an increasingly large volume of waste as a result of programmed obsolescence, making innovations available gradually, and irresponsible behaviour by businesses in recycling and repair.
From the point of view of users, the increasing prevalence of technological services housed in others’ computers is concerning. We’re unaware of the interests of those housing these data, but nevertheless they have the ability to provide access to our information and communications without our control. The same capitalist logic promotes the privatization of knowledge, beginning with programming. It also favours a telecommunications sector controlled by just a few corporations, which doesn’t allow for truly open competition.
At the Mobile Social Congress, we continue to invest in technological sovereignty and fair electronics.