Our long term vision remains very steady. But as we reach our second decade as an organisation, we’re still in the middle of public health and environmental crises. These very much shaped our second major strategy process. As have favourable changes in the external context: growth of the community repair movement and traction for Right to Repair, something that would’ve seemed impossible only years ago.
We decided to opt for a shorter internal strategy, allowing ourselves to reassess in 2024.
What follows is the guiding and organising logic behind our charitable work towards a time when
Our relationship with electronics is fixed – with communities and planet at the centre.
We are an organisation that advocates and campaigns, yes, but our work is solidly grounded in hands-on work embedded in our communities. Our strategy is tri-partite, recognising that the grassroots work needs the campaigning, policy and public awareness work, and vice-versa. Each strategic outcome is virtuously entangled with the others, and cannot stand alone.
A big thank you to the numerous allies who took time out to speak with us about our future, as a part of this strategy process, we hope you see some of your ideas and suggestions reflected here.
Outcome 1: Change in values and behaviours – people use stuff longer and appreciate it more
We play a small role here, with the resources we have, and we’re up against the Goliath of the marketing machine of Big Tech and retail. But we believe we can continue to nurture a growing movement that bucks the throw-away economy. Now more than ever, we recognise here that we need to invest in a strong theory of change for what activates change, especially among young people. We will continue to frame repair as a social activity, taking away the fear and potential downside of repair by making it about human connection. But for the first time, we will explicitly and systematically work against corporate greenwashing, promoting genuine change with global allies. Some of these will be new groups, like tech workers, designers and engineers.
A “stretch” strategy, assuming resources allow: to reach young people through out-of-school activities, in partnership with groups that already do this well.
Activities to look out for
- Strengthening of our own media hub and platform, via email, podcast and social media
- More op-eds and commissioned media that appeal to younger people, especially calling out greenwashing
- Engaging, shareable and educational content that makes the most of our data and expertise
- Talks and hands-on activities
Outcome 2: Everyone can participate in a local ecosystem that extends the lifetimes of products
With our Restart Parties, this is where we started. Our network in London has grown and matured, and we’ll continue to coordinate its activities. And we’ll continue to play the role of an “open innovation” team for the community repair movement. We’ll model key community building approaches and values of inclusion, and build tools and software to help super-charge community repair. But we’re looking for new ways of helping this ecosystem emerge, with a special focus on preventing waste of laptops needed for digital access. For the first time, we’re looking at a longer-lasting, place-based approach that can help people in need and intercept products from waste.
A “stretch” strategy will be to link with other partners nationally and internationally to exchange experiences and share knowledge in fostering these ecosystems.
Activities to look out for
- Piloting “Fixing Factories” on a London high street and at a household waste and recycling centre
- Continuing support for Community Repair Network and for computer reuse
- Improving and scaling repair data collection at community events and share insights
- Further developing software, tools and toolkits for groups and networks
- Hosting events online and offline, stewarding Fixfest
- Engaging repair SMEs by expanding our repair directory in London as a stand-alone site
Outcome 3: Better electronics and effective regulation – setting standards for electronics and compliance
We’ll continue to be the ambitious engine behind the European Right to Repair campaign, together with a strong steering committee. The focus won’t just be on Brussels, but what’s possible in European countries, and creating “FOMO” between them. We’ll also celebrate examples of great pro-repair policies from cities and regions. In the UK, we will highlight issues of cost and fairness in relation to repair, combining the voices of communities and professionals.
A “stretch” strategy will be to fully redevelop the Open Repair Alliance, as a more global initiative promoting repair as an avenue to better work and environmental justice. (The Open Repair Data Standard and the work to share data would carry on, but as a smaller technical working group of an expanded Repair Alliance.)
Activities to look out for
- Coordinating the European Right to Repair campaign
- Strengthening internal policy capacity
- Influencing at the regional and national level in the UK, together with the Community Repair Network
- Using our open data from repair events to influence policy processes
- Documenting good pro-repair policies in cities and regions and inspire others to learn from them