Electronic and electrical equipment waste
By Gabriela Amidei, Gloria Stoyanova and Renee Bosch.
The Final Value Product
Together we form the Team E-Resolution and aim to add value to the electronic and electrical equipment waste stream during Value Creators semester 2020, by developing and piloting a Solution Jam workshop in collaboration with influential stakeholders such as WEEE NL, ROVA and WeCycle. Our workshop is an interactive method designed to build bridges between important networks and foster innovation in a structural manner.
The creation process was guided by several underlying concepts, such as the 4E-Model and Theory U, in order to bring value to societal issues and focus on a cause or consequence central to the network’s needs. Our final value product can be directly linked to Sustainable Development Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production.
6 workshops offered to us by professors within the university equipped us with additional theory and information that helped us dealing with the uncertainty we encountered. The 4E-Model helped us structuring the work in different stages, while the 5 minds of the future and Theory U gave us a framework in which to approach the self-learning journey and the attitude towards stakeholders. Hereby we also created prototypes to imagine our final product and mapped out the network of interest visually, to create an overview of who should be included and not. Finally, the Theory of Change workshop refined the specifics of our goal in society, and the steps to get there.
In the first phase ‘Explore’, derived from the 4E-Model, we dived into the depths of the electronic waste problem by doing thorough research in order to set a knowledge foundation for ourselves. We discovered the intricacies that this rapidly growing waste stream encompasses on both a global and national levels. However, in order to further grasp the complexity of this wicked problem, we got in contact with companies and organisations that are actively working or contributing to this issue. Due to the COVID-19 crisis that emerged just at the beginning of our project, we had to adapt our medium of communication with the stakeholders to a virtual environment and managed to keep the engagement of the most valuable ones.
In the second ‘Engage’ phase, we started expanding the spectrum of the diversity of stakeholders by including different perspectives on the problem. We included perspectives of waste collectors, recycling organisations, municipalities, a green energy advisor, an innovative researcher and entrepreneurs. Through interviews with those stakeholders, we managed to validate our core issue. Next to that, we collected all the current pressing problems which they mentioned in the interviews and defined two central ones - a lack of value attribution throughout the electronic products’ lifecycle, especially in the disposal management, and a lack of interaction within the sector chain.
The ‘Elaborate’ phase got us closer to the final product. We saw the need of bringing together stakeholders to facilitate mutual understanding on issues, information exchange and eventual collaborations towards solutions. This would address the central problems defined previously. We designed a pilot workshop on the online platform Miro with the name ‘Virtual Solution Jam’, as the workshop was held online and inspired by the Lightning Decision Jam by AJ&Smart. New ideas and potential collaborations emerged from the workshop that are now currently discussed among the stakeholders to take actions upon them. In addition, to accurately measure the desired outcomes and impact, we created a Theory of Change to support the higher value we wanted to achieve in society. Our activities are connected to specific outputs and lead towards short- & long-term outcomes. These indicators will serve as evaluation measurements of the pilot and future workshops.
In the final ‘Evaluate’ phase, we collected feedback from our stakeholders about the whole process of the workshop. Overall, the participants’ feedback on the workshop was positive. There was a high sense of consensus regarding the specific problem and follow-up experiments have been initiated to combat the identified challenge. The main challenge of the pilot was “How might we prevent E-waste from ending up in the residual waste bin”. The participants exchanged ideas and perspectives on potential solutions such as the WEEE Electric bike collection system. ROVA and WEEE NL are still exchanging information and considering to collaborate to scale up the project. Stakeholders encountered troubles using the online tool we chose for the pilot, though they agreed on the value of such initiatives and the willingness to participate in the future. Therefore, advise to hold the workshop in a physical space in the future.
The continuation of the workshop is currently in the process of finding new ownership. The preferred option for the highest objectivity would be another team of WHC, maybe another Value Creators team that would be interested in the subject. We requested the Circulaire Lectoraat of Windesheim, WaardeRing and CirkelWaarde to take ownership of the workshop to ensure the continuation. Marjolein Mann will request this in the next meeting with CirkelWaarde.