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Social Impact across

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Melissa Verastegui

on 13 September 2013

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Transcript of Social Impact across

Social Impact across
the product lifecycle

Social Impact
Design and Social impact
The pressure for creating awareness in the practice of socially responsible business and models has increased.
The engagement of organisations towards society is determined by the development of their principles, code of conduct and the way to conduct business. (voluntary basis)
The concept of "social impact" is still vague, with different interpretations and is a topic of discussion.
"...it gives no indication of any intention to give legal effect to the guiding principles requirements on companies..." The Guardian, Sept 4th, 2013.
UK Action Plan on Business and Human Rights
Guidance to UK business on how to respond to Human Rights issues.
Path to incorporate socially responsible design.
What is the role of product designers?
Social Impact across the product lifecycle
Child labour
Unfair salaries
Health risks
Safety risks
• Unfair salary
• Health and safety risks
• Corruption
• Excessive working hours
• Intellectual property abuse

• Unfair competition (monopoly)
• Health and safety risks
• Corruption
• Excessive working hours
• Block freedom of association and bargaining

• Healthy and safety risks
• Unethical use of the product
• Alteration of cultural heritage
• Discourage community engagement
• Violate consumer privacy
• Promotes corruption
• Promotes unfair competition
• End of life responsibility

• Health and safety risks
• Unsafe and unhealthy living conditions
• Discourage community engagement
• Child labour
• Forced labour

The impact on this stage has been strongly related to environmental issues. Disposal is present in the different stages of the product lifecycle as it is related to the waste generation. It is responsibility of users, organisations and governments to manage the waste in a responsible way.

Health and safety risks
Risky living conditions
Child labour
community engagement?
"working" conditions?
Research showed that designers have low influence on the decisions across the product lifecycle and supply chain.
How can we change this?
Read about the main social issues related to the industry.
Stay informed!
It's not just how it looks, but what is it made of.
Where will it be manufactured?
Design for disassemble. Who will do it? Where?
Where does the materials come from? Can I propose new options?
What knowledge do I need to help identify possible social improvements across the product lifecycle?
Create persuasive and integral design projects.
Some examples
An example of a product tackling this problem is the Fair Phone. A smartphone design that considers social and environmental issues.
Conflict-free minerals (Tin and Tantalum)
Ensure safe working conditions
Improved workers' wage in China.
An example of an organisation that consider the social impact in the manufacturing stage is Epona Clothing. A company working with fair-trade cotton.
Transparency across the supply chain
Improved wages
Fair working hours
Safe and clean working conditions
Non-toxic chemicals in the materials
Encourage community development
An example of a project that encourage the responsible waste management is Terracycle. It is a project focused on collecting difficult-to-recycle packaging and products and repurposes the material into affordable and innovative products.

Improves the engagement of organisations towards their products waste
Promotes local employment
Promotes technology developments
Respect intellectual property rights
Design for repair

A printer concept that is easy to disassemble, easy to open and replaceable spare parts.
The main objective is to extend the lifespan of the printer and avoid electronic waste.
Photograph: Gallo Images/Getty Images Europe

Photograph: Scott Braut
freedom of association
Full transcript