The summer school duration was from 6-11 September 2006 in Eindhoven, Netherlands and continued further with a direct interlinkage with the R’09 Twin World Congress from 12-16 September in Davos, Switzerland.
The summer school started with a welcome reception and dinner hosted by Philips at the High Tech Campus on Sunday 6th September, 2009.
The program was constituted of a mix of expert faculty lectures, student presentations, discussions, study tours and group work for which the Open Space methodology was used.
Such a format allowed the students to gain and share knowledge as well as see first hand e-waste recycling in action, in a real rather than in a merely academic context. The schedule was structured in a way that reflected a product lifecycle – starting with the producer in the pre-consumer phase, and in the post-consumer phase, going through dismantling, recycling and material recovery.
Open Space Technology
Open Space Technology enables groups of any size to address complex, important issues and achieve meaningful results quickly. Given the diversity of students’ research interests and geographical references, it provided a methodology to get the group to work together on a project they could jointly decide upon as interesting and thereafter self-organise themselves to deliver it.
Open Space is based on the premise that organizations and systems that have a clear purpose and a willingness to engage the new will automatically self-organize to achieve their goals. There is little preparation required on behalf of the participants, as the technology is based on one simple law – “the Law of Two Feet”, and four elements, namely the circle, the breath, the bulletin board and the marketplace. Together, these elements create an environment conducive to multi-disciplinary activity .
The two deliverables set for the participants from their Open Space group work were:
1) to deliver a workshop on e-waste at the R’09 in Davos and
2) to come up with concepts and proposals for projects resulting in sustained and interdisciplinary co-operation.
Davos R’09 Interlinkage
EMPA, in cooperation Nagoya University Japan was the organizer of the R’09 Twin World Congress, a biannual event scheduled from 14th-16th September 2009 (Complete R’09 program available online at http://www.r2009.org/Program.php).
Given the close link between scarce materials and e-waste management, the Congress provided a synergistic opportunity to afford the summer school participants with a wider platform and also bring higher visibility and outreach of the NVMP-StEP E-waste Summer School initiative.
At the R’09 Congress, the students jointly delivered a 3 hour workshop, split over two 1.5 hour sessions, with the overall topic “E-waste in developing countries”. In the first session, they presented briefly on the following topics:
• Formalisation of e-waste informal sectors in developing countries
• Scarce resources used in electronics
• Design for Recycling (DfR): An effective solution?
• Implications of WEEE across the world
In the second session, the audience was split into 4 groups, each coordinated by the participants to discuss questions posed during the presentations. These discussions were then summarized and presented to the audience.