Reflections: Kudos to Intel – #ConflictFree Toward #TrueCost?

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Robert Steele
Robert Steele

Intel is doing something new and useful. They have introduced a Conflict-Free Smelter Program (CFSP) to migrate toward assuring Intel consumers that its offerings are free of minerals from conflict environments — tantalum, tin, tungsten, and gold are the ones they are focusing on.

What Intel is doing impresses me for two reasons.

First, they are re-introducing strategic ethics into their business model. As a professional intelligence officer and the #1 Amazon reviewer for non-fiction I will assert with confidence that Will and Ariel Durant nail it in their capstone work, Lessons of History, when they write to the priceless value of morality. Morality — ethics — is “root” for human consciousness and the transmission of core cultural, economic, and social lessons from one generation to the next. I am certain that Ethics, which embodies the intangible value of being right with one another and right with Nature, is going to be a 21st Century stand-out.

Click on Image to Enlarge
Click on Image to Enlarge

Second, their rather interesting web site What’s in your technology may shock you… and their use of the Twitter hashtag #ConflictFree make it clear that their focus could impact on $201 billion a year in consumer spending on electronics, and inspire me to look toward the day when the same approach —  the combination of Ethics, Information Technology, and Consumer Awareness, could impact on trillions in consumer spending and buycotts — I am a fan of although they are not yet fully mature. #TrueCost is coming.

The graphic above shows my visualization of what a hand-held screen will look like as the #TrueCost distributed database begins to emerge. The specific facts on the true cost of a single cotton T-Shirt took JZ Liszkiewicz a year of research — including telephone calls to factories in China and elsewhere — to aggregate and validate. We need to inspire at least millions of students and consumers to begin the process of documenting the true cost in water, fuel, toxins, child labor, and of course tax avoidance and regulatory disdain. The app is easy to create. The database is the challenge.

Hats off to Intel for a good idea well-executed. Now if I could just get Robin Li to pay attention and come together with Intel and others to convert Baidu into everything that Microsoft, Google, IBM, HP, Dell, and Oracle are not — a world brain enabling every citizen and every government and every business to integrate holistic analytics, true cost economics, and open source everything engineering — we just might be able to create a prosperous world at peace, a world that works for all.

My UN Background Paper remains online at My latest book, The Open Source Everything Manifesto, is being translated into Chinese, French, and Spanish, all three versions to be free online. I have high hopes for the future — and I am not giving up on America the Beautiful.  BRAVO ZULU, Intel!

Intel Conflict Free Web Page

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