This year, the Mobile Social Congress is celebrating its fifth edition. SETEM Catalunya is once again investing in a space where citizens can come together and reflect on the current model of production and consumption for information and communication technologies. This model generates serious human rights violations—especially regarding workers’ rights—and environmental consequences that are hidden at the Mobile World Congress.
The electronics industry is one of the most important and dynamic sectors in the global economy. Each February, Barcelona becomes its main showcase with the Mobile World Congress. There, the handful of international companies that dominate this business present their innovations and promote the constant, unsustainable consumption of new ICT products.
This industry has an insatiable need for non-renewable mineral resources that have an alarming environmental and social impact on the communities where mining takes place. Plus, the biggest brands in this industry are responsible for the violation of human rights and health and safety regulations in the factories where they subcontract manufacturers as part of the murky global supply chain.
The pollution generated by electronic waste as a result of the programmed obsolescence of these products is a global problem, but it has uneven effects on the Global North and South. Irresponsible practices by the electronics industry shorten the lives of these products, leaving no room for them to be repaired, reused or recycled.
Finally, our user data is often kept in private servers and used for unknown ends, with companies granting access to our communications and data without our consent. The same capitalist logic promotes the privatization of knowledge—programs, for example—promoting a worldwide tech sector controlled by a handful of corporations.
At the Mobile Social Congress, we invest in technological sovereignty and fair electronics.