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Restart Podcast Ep. 46: Stories from our repair data

Studying and working on repair data at Fixfest

Download: MP3 (38 MB)

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Our Restart Parties — community repair events — are amazing citizen laboratories to examine the downstream impacts of our throw-away economy. Events generate rich repair data which can have impacts beyond the immediate fixes.

Over the years with volunteers and members of the public, we’ve seen and recorded thousands of repair attempts of a vast array of consumer products.

In this episode, Dave interviews Monique Szpak, Community Coordinator for Data for The Restart Project.

She takes us on a tour of the data collected at community repair events across the world by The Open Repair Alliance. Through an open data standard, Monique has helped to unify and compare the Alliance’s nearly 30,000 repair attempts. She shares some of the most poetic and amusing entries in the database.

Monique waxes philosophical with Dave about the meaning and ultimately the significance of this data. She also outlines some of the work ahead. It turns out it’s not easy to collect and work with “messy” data coming from adhoc community events, and Monique hints that the work is only just really starting.

In the near future, the Restart Project and partner organisations would like to use this data to influence regulation. Currently only manufacturer data contributes to policy processes.

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