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Tech in Conversation: Critical Technology Ecologies and The Future of Repair

April 16, 2022
Moderator: Kenia Hale

Panelists: Grace Akese, Ph.D, Joycelyn Longdon, Emmanuel Alie Mansaray, Peter Mui


Electronic waste, or e-waste, is the fastest growing waste stream in the United States. But there is a way to curb the spread — allowing consumers to repair and repurpose used devices. This solution is the driver behind the Right to Repair — a movement of technologists and climate activists calling for a new tech circular economy that prioritizes the collection and recycling of consumer electronics to prevent environmental degradation.

The advocates face multiple obstacles. Among them, a lack of access to proprietary parts, shoddy manufacturing, and pushback from tech companies who argue that the repair of old cell phones, TVs and other tech creates security risks for consumers.

In this panel, we will hear from community leaders, scholars, and activists from the tech, environmental, and repair sectors, advocating for consumers to have the option to repair, not just buy. We’ll also hear from those on the front lines of e-waste and innovation, and those who study the colonial and historical ties to violence created by the use of technology. Together, these panelists will elucidate the current state of affairs around the right to repair and discuss what a collective reparative future might look like.

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