I spent most of my second day in area 21. There were a bunch of exhibits there I wanted to see, But oddly none of those were the ones that had the most impact on me.
This exhibit was by a guy who had designed a land mine destroying drone, which is a cheaper, faster, more effective way to take care of them than other methods we have at present.
This was a display about the Fairphone 2, which apparently uses only conflict-free metals in its creation.
I’m not going to lie, I almost cried in the exhibit hall over these two projects. I don’t know a ton about land mines, but I know how deadly and overly prevalent they are in so much of the world.
But in particular, the Fairphone really got to me. I’d heard of it before, but that was back when the first one was still in development. I’ve been following the conflict in the Congo for a number of years now, the longest ongoing conflict in history, and I know that the reason no one is doing anything about it is because it keeps the price and availability of minerals like tungsten and cobalt (which we use in computers/cellphones/etc.) cheap. There are a number of companies that are working to use more and more conflict-free minerals, and it’s equally important to take note of the ones doing the least, but knowing there are people out there actively working to create a product of equal yet ethical quality is a really special thing.