Part of the Fair Electronics campaign, the Mobile Social Congress is a space promoted by SETEM Catalunya to meet, reflect and raise public awareness about the model of consumption and production of electronic devices and information and communication technologies.
The electronics industry is one of the most dynamic and vital sectors of the world economy, and every year Barcelona serves as its main showcase with the Mobile World Congress. The sector’s leading transnational companies present annually the latest advances on their products.
The Mobile Social Congress was created as an alternative space to the Mobile World Congress. The aim is to encourage reflection and raise awareness about the impacts of electronics’ production and consumption, and to critically analyse them from an ecological, feminist, human rights and labour rights perspective; to denounce an unjust, extractive and consumerist model, and to come up with new ways of producing and consuming electronic devices, respecting the rights of people and the environment, while using resources responsibly so that we can provide for future generations without violating the fundamental rights of other peoples and regions.
Why do we need a Mobile Social Congress?
The electronics industry has an insatiable demand for non-renewable mineral resources, with an alarming environmental and social impact on the communities that suffer from the consequences of mining activities. Moreover, the lack of transparency in global supply chains allows the industry’s major brands to continuously violate labour rights, health regulations and safety protocols in the factories where they subcontract their manufacturing.
Furthermore, corporate irresponsibility also extends to the life cycle of these devices, which often has no regard for repair, reuse or recycling. Planned obsolescence and irresponsible consumption exacerbate the pollution generated by e-waste year after year, with unequal impacts in the Global North and South. The countries of the Global South have been the main recipients of this waste and, therefore, from the social and environmental problems that it creates.
Finally, as users, our data is frequently hosted on servers with unknown interests, which may provide unauthorized access to our communications and data. The very logic of privatization of capitalism promotes the privatization of knowledge, like software, and favours a technology sector controlled by a handful of multinational companies.
We are committed to technological sovereignty and fairer electronics.
Every year at the Mobile Social Congress, we present a range of current issues related to these questions, giving the public the opportunity to find out what lies behind the current electronic model and what can be done to change it, as well as presenting innovative initiatives and projects that are committed to technological sovereignty and fairer and more sustainable electronics.