Join us for the World Ethical Electronics Forum (WEEF 2022) on November 15, 2022 — either in person at electronica 2022 or live online — to share your ideas about eco-friendly design practices, SDGs, ethical HR practices, sustainable resources, e-waste management, diversity in STEM, and much more.

WEEF 2022

Finally, the electronic industry has its own platform to discuss ethics and economy — the World Ethical Electronics Forum (WEEF). For far too long, only lobbyists, activists, NGOs, and politicians dominated the discussion, and they merely emphasized the bad influences that electronics companies have had on people and the planet. Consumers were typically portrayed as the willing victims of the electronics industry’s marketing campaigns which allegedly had them stuck in product buying bonanza that never ends. The picture was bleak: consumers were depicted racing to purchase products to satisfy needs that they never knew they had in the first place.

Check out the WEEF 2022 program and timetable. If you can't attend in person, please join us live online

A member of the Swedish parliament once suggested, with a smiley face: let’s make laws that stop the buying process for 12 months and the world will turn into a happy green place in a year! The smiley face was appropriate: even during the recent lockdowns and almost total stand still of cars and planes CO2 was reduced by only 4%. So, stopping the buyers’ economy might not be the perfect solution. But what is?

Fun fact: In Amsterdam, you can find poster cartoons in stores where a staff member says, "We have nothing to sell," and a client answers, “That is exactly what I’m looking for.”

Yes, there is truth in the slogan “less is more.” Why pollute the world with air conditioning systems when eco buildings create a cool climate thanks to clever use of (often traditional) materials and intelligent design?

No worries about revenue declines if innovators and startups would find non-electronic solutions. Electronic applications soon will be embedded in almost everything anyhow. Even in towels. “Ping!” says the IoT towel app on your mobile: “Please change me because I have been used seven times.”

More electronics in more products and more robots and AI-driven applications instead of old-fashioned human power — it is an unstoppable development. That’s good news for the industry. There will be plenty of capital to also invest in developing sustainable electronics, fair trade, sustainable distribution, and social human resource management — in short, doing ethical business. If entrepreneurs and CEOs put people and the planet on the same level as profit, companies will be better long-term changemakers than short-term politicians and their short-sighted voters.

This was not always the case though.

WEEF 2021

In 2014, when Elektor launched the first opinions, comments, and articles about ethics and electronics, a lot of CEOs and other industry leaders couldn’t suppress their laughs. They thought it was plain naïve. Elektor needed to convince them first about the why of making their company also “a force for good.”

In 2022, the question — and the questions of all employees, clients, and shareholders — is not anymore about the why. The world is flooded with consultants, associations, politicians, and NGOs telling companies to aim for value instead of profit. So, nowadays, there is more emphasis on the how and what and when to change — to start closing the gaps between industry and nature, between rich and poor, between NGOs and companies.

How can this movement be accelerated without killing profitable business? Would launching green/ethical/social trademarks be one of the accelerators? Food for thought.

The program committee of WEEF is not convinced that mere “green labels” will help. Take B Corp: answer 200 questions and when you get a green flag on 40% of them, bingo, the PR managers can proudly inform the press and public that “all is good (with us); sleep well!”

It has all the appearances of a slick marketing tool more than anything else. It’s no coincidence that the CEO of B Corp is under the attack of its own members since it allowed Nestlé in. “How can you approve Nestlé when their CEO states that access to water is not a human right?” That is a credible question.

Others embrace the birth of all these labels. “The more the merrier,” they argue, and debates about their validity creates rumor. Hey, why is your company (still) not labeled? Clients and buyers have a choice to move towards products and services from companies that are tested and labeled.

What do you think about labels? What is your opinion and comment in this YES/NO debate? Maybe you’d like to escape from the black and white options and aim at a more balanced position.

And now to the heart of the matter on a personal level: Do you have the personal courage to commit yourself openly to an individual e-PLEDGE that we are going to introduce in the next couple of months? A pledge that contains the basics of ethical business behavior on a personal level? Can you honestly talk about your dreams and doubts?

If you do, then maybe you want to inspire others? That is why we invite you to be part of our new WEEF community — people who are prepared to walk the walk and talk the ethical talk.

How about we interview you? Can we publish your statement? Can we show a cartoon you love? Can we stream a video of you talking about ethical electronics? Do you already have a video you want to share? Can our editors produce an “ethical passport” for you and for the company you work for? In short, let’s talk!

Send Shenja Panik an email, and we will get back to you within 24 hours. We hope to meet you on our forum (online or live) and in our printed ethical guide.

WEEF 2022

Get Involved with WEEF

Interested in ethics and electronics? The Program Committee invites ethical engineers and leaders who are seriously involved in the ethical policies of their companies, universities, action groups, NGOs, and associations to step forward. Visit for additional information and to register for the WEEF newsletter. Join us for WEEF 2022 on November 15, 2022 — either in person at electronica 2022 or live online — to share your ideas.