Open space: Fair Trade 2.0

Fair Trade 2.0 #ftf09

Fair Trade 2.0 conversation starts with a focus on RFID tagging and data:

- On the consumer end you run the risk that through electronic tagging consumption habits ever more closely monitored

- people talk about the internet of things - the moment something is produced it is RFID tagged. The question is whose data is it? When the product is no longer just physical – but physical product + data – should commercial data be public? knowing behaviour impacting your world is critical

- Data asked for by companies is out of touch with current lives – In USA in order to buy online you often have to put in your landline number – I have 4 children and none of them have ever had a landline

great comment about data control – ‘if you want marketing data from me YOU can pay ME’

Q – how much do data chips cost and how would a producer get them??

A 3-5pence each – if wallmart wants to do deals with you they will provide you with chips and feed the cost into their agreement with you

- Now that its possible to have digital data on things – and in things – there must be a legal aspect (data protection) – tracking products could be great for being aware of the whole life cycle – but do you want someone to impinge that much on your life? Issues around privacy – the transparent consumer

- If this technology is spreading – is there any way this could be subverted for the balance of power between corporations and consumers -so it’s not the corp gaining the information but actually the consumers gaining more information about those corporations and how we  can change the terms of that relationship

- My assumption is that in Fair Trade 2.0 the corporation doesn’t exist -you should be able to buy your products direct from the producers -ie- buying your olive oil direct from Gaililee

- It would be great if I could use the technology to subvert the supply chain and enable a disintermediated transaction - I haven’t found any Fair Trade producers on Twitter yet but it would be great if there were – I could tweet an  idea for a product up, someone could reply and offer to make it for their chosen price and I could do the transaction directly through social media.

Q – but would you put your unique idea on Twitter? (fear of copyright / intellectual property)

A – the key is about disintermediation so on the issue of would I share this – yes- I’ve got many of ideas that i can’t / don’t want to exploit – creating mini-marketplaces for ideas – looking at the examples of Etsy and Folksy – handcraft sold online – which is a marketplace with very little intermediation – lots of producers can sell whatever handcrafted goods they want. Many of them are Fair Trade.

(my comment – issues of standardization being raised – is the issue about more Fair Trade certification or better products?)

Robin: I am working with a new org called Serk(sp?) in US which is taking the concept of an online workshop where artisans collaborate with designers to create new products – because fair trade is fundamentally about participation. Conscious consumers are investors, they are people who know where they want their money to go - so the idea of investing time, values and money to create a more sustainable economy is where we’re heading.

Tim:  looking at networked invidualism - it follows the same thing as mentioned earlier about how we’re moving from stories about groups of producers to stories about  individual producers -  how do we help people engage in that story?

Robin: Marketing is driven by one word – aspiration, that is now being replaced by inspiration. These are fundamental shifts we’re seeing. the I is absolutely critical – if you haven’t got the balls to go online and talk about yourself you won’t engage with the WE or the US – the world won’t change without that

Laura: social media isn’t all about ME it’s about sharing – it’s social history, sharing information, forging relationships online

- Individuality and uniqueness is important needs to be celebrated for consumers- especially in fashion – story is important – more individuals are trend setting now than ever before

- We need to do more knowledge and skill sharing without worrying too much about somebody nicking our idea

Q – What is the next step in capturing the market - what should people who are active in the FT community be looking for?

Tim: there are two things that FT organisations need to do – one is take FT as a concept into people’s online lives – it’s about content – is there a way I can easily display my affiliation with your brand / cause on my social media? Using content more people can take their FT identity into their online lives (looking at Amplified as an example!) -  the other thing is looking at the Long Tail – the reach outside of the mainstream

Q – how do u move from a consciousness of duty to a consciousness of fun – and difference? And how can you use people’s sense of play and competitiveness in this direction?

- Actually there’s lots of fun in FT it’s just not in the newspapers or in the advertising – it’s not in commercial spaces so the problem is the connection

Tim: young people ask what’s in it for me? how can you make this fun and there be something in it for me as well to take to my community. The challenge is how can we take this idea of competition and imagine an online scenario where you are competing with other people to get a share of the profit from marketing FT to your community - the key with online is we can try these things, be playful and scale up of they work rather than the economics of traditional advertising

- concept of value – we need to turn concept of value on it’s head – the only way that can happen is through social media, networks, and community initiatives

with social media it’s the way of communicating that’s changing, not the ideas themselves

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