Founders Janet and Ugo began discussing this project at a meetup in London of people working in ICT for “D” (d meaning development). We have worked cumulatively for 15 years in places where communications technology can make a massive difference – where simple mobile phones can often literally save lives in everyday situations.
And we’ve seen that people relate with gadgets and technology in a completely different way in most of the places we worked – people have a greater sense of control and ownership over technology and a resilience in the face of problems. Everything is hackable and fixable.
What was troubling us more and more was not actually injustice and struggles of the “underdeveloped” places we worked in, but instead the attitudes and behaviours of people here back in our northern homes. Watching people discarding devices because they ran “slow”. Watching people upgrade by simply buying new phones every nine months.
We started asking ourselves: have we become passive, flabby consumers of technology? Have we lost our “repair muscle mass”?