This year, Mobile Social Congress is in its fourth edition. SETEM Catalonia continues to invest in a space where citizens can come together and reflect on the production and consumption of information and communications technologies. The current model results in serious human rights violations—especially in the workplace—and has a serious impact on the environment, but all of this is made invisible at the Mobile World Congress.
The electronics industry is one of the most significant and dynamic sectors in the world economy. Each February Barcelona becomes its main showcase, hosting the Mobile World Congress. The handful of transnational companies that control this business present their innovations each year, promoting a never-ending cycle of consumption of new ICTs.
On the one hand, this industry has an insatiable need for non-renewable mineral resources. This has serious environmental and social consequences for the communities that suffer from mining extractivism. On the other, the biggest brands in the industry are responsible for serious workers’ rights violations, as well as violations of health and safety regulations in the subcontracted factories in their shadowy word supply chain.
The pollution generated by electronic scrap as a result of the programmed obsolescence of products is a global problem, but it has an uneven impact on the global North and South. Business irresponsibility even has an impact on the life cycle of these devices, where repair, reuse and recycling are not even considered.
Finally, as users we often store our data on servers with unknown interests that can provide third parties with access to our communications and data whether we want them to or not. The same exclusive logic of capitalism promotes the privatization of knowledge, as is the case with programs, and it promotes a technological sector controlled by a handful of corporations.
At Mobile Social Congress, we invest in technological sovereignty and fair electronics.