cauri, thanks for this article. hope all is continually well at rhubarb! i have had this article on my computer to read for over a week, and glad i finally sat down to read it. really agree with you on the direction technology is going. some of the areas that are seldom focused on as well (in my opinion) is the need to find sustainable ways to dispose of, recycle, and upcycle all the new products that will be coming online (IoT devices, phones, wearables, etc). An inflection point that I could foresee is a day when the cost of electronic parts and overall manufacturing costs are lower than the “cost” of disposal or recycling (or even donating for that matter). when people in inner-cities or developing worlds are no longer the recipient of the worlds older version of [X]. (i.e, what happens when the cost of getting a used smartphone is higher than buying a new one? i’m clearly talking about not only financial cost, but labor, carbon footprint, freight, etc)
do you think there will be a rising need (if current statistics aren’t already alarming) for recycling and finding ways to either sustainably dispose of or recycle products, electronics, devices, etc? After watching the documentary True Cost, biodegradable materials for 3D printing, growing clothing, and recycled fabrics (Bionic Yard, etc). learning more about material science, smart fabrics, etc…its got me thinking in new ways.
as we’re creating products on one end, developing efficient ways to dispose, sort, and recycle could be a new innovation center in the next 10yrs. if you’ve seen cool trends or people pioneering this at scale, would love your thoughts!