In Search of Fairness: Critical Design Alternatives for Sustainability
Does fairness as an ideal fit within the broader quest for sustainability? In this paper we consider alternative ways of framing the wicked problem of sustainability. One that moves away from the established preference within HCI, towards technological quick-fixes. We adopt a critical lens to challenge the belief that by merely changing practices at an individual level one can do away with unsustainability. This thinking, we argue, is flawed for many reasons, but mostly because of the wickedness of the sustainability problem. By analyzing the case of Fairphone, we illustrate how it is possible to imagine and design change at a broader level of community engagement, when it comes to concerns of fairness and sustainability. We contribute to a deeper understanding of how social value laden enterprises along with open technological design can shape sustainable relationships between our environment and us.
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