In the coming months, we will publish The 2023 WEEF Index, which will distributed to hundreds of thousands of engineers and executives. The index will feature profiles of ethical innovators who are inspiring others to consider the importance of ethical electronics.   

WEEF Index

Apples and pears. Surprising. Questionable. Inspiring. Favoritism. Offhand. Scandalous. Crooked. Daring. Unbalanced. Stimulating. Unreasonable. Arbitrary. Impossible. Mind-boggling. Laughable. Stupid. Encouraging. Attention-seeking. Nepotism. Admirable. Populism. Haphazardly. Ticking the right boxes. Provoking. A trick. Vanity. Wrong signal. Right signal. Triggering. Narrow-minded. Groundbreaking. Unjust. Eye-opener. Power politics. Finally!

WEEF GUIDE 2023 img.jpg
The WEEF Index will be published in the WEEF Guide and online.

These are all judgements that are heard when organizations or publishers introduce ranking lists, especially when it is about individuals in their industry. We have no doubt that the new 2023 WEEF Ethics Index will raise some eyebrows and provoke reactions of all sorts. And that is exactly why we introduce our pioneer index.

Would you like to nominate someone for the WEEF INDEX? Use the online nomination form! The final list of up to 100 nominees will be published during WEEF 2022 on November 15, 2022. The nominees will be listed in alphabetical order. The WEEF Program Committee will also select one stand-out influencer to receive the 2022 WEEF AWARD.

No Pressure, No Diamonds

The devil’s advocate has many questions: How on earth do you determine an individual’s influence when it comes to ethics in the electronics industry? And if, rather miraculously, you did succeed in establishing such a list of people, what, then, is the overall objective? The answer to the latter question is clear: mapping who exercises the most influence in the electronics domain, ethics-wise, is a statement in itself, and, as far as we are concerned, definitely more than a publicity stunt. (That wouldn’t be very ethical, right?) Besides pleasing the vanity of the elected and annoying the undoubtedly severely bruised egos of the unelected, indexes also express a general sense of appreciation and recognition. Always in the knowledge that the nominees often represent the best that an industry or profession has to offer, they then act as role models — or as crowbars to open a sector’s barriers to entry. What? Is he or she, of all people, part of this index? Oh, well, they’ve gone mad at WEEF!

You see, there are no diamonds when there’s no pressure. Just look at the Oscars or Emmys every year.

Would you like to contribute to the 2023 WEEF Index? Contact WEEF Project Manager Shenja Panik at For more information, visit

The Fruit Approach

The “apples and pears” argument is a classic. Different people, different companies, different responsibilities. Sure, but apples and pears are still fruits, right? It’s of course about the common denominator. The index is not rocket science; it’s predominantly common sense. Individuals sign a pledge and represent a vision, or a groundbreaking method or the sheer courage to move in opposite directions or outside the box. They stimulate our thinking and our discussions about ethics — a topic that still has considerable ground to cover in the electronic industry. There are some legitimate questions to be answered, such as:

  • Do electrical engineers, on a personal level, have an ethical responsibility to use their skills for more than making a profit?
  • Should ethics play a role in how the leaders of electronics-focused companies conduct business?
  • To what extent should they concern themselves with topics such as sustainable development, green manufacturing, and social responsibility?
  • How do their decisions affect local communities and the environment?
  • Should their associations offer assistance in geopolitical disputes?

It’s Not a Ranking … Yet

An index is one thing; a ranking is another. If you really aim for heated discussions or controversy, go straight to such an index, and soon that brownish stinky stuff will hit the fan. We have opted for a compromise in our pioneer edition of the WEEF list of influentials. A build-up, so to speak, for coming editions that will perhaps offer a ranking. For now, we follow the route of progressive insight.

The 2023 WEEF Index will, therefore, contain an alphabetical list of one hundred influentials, plus a “number one.” Rather than being a “winner,” the latter will be more of a flag-bearer, an inspirer — a first among his equals, so to speak. A wise and just jury will make the selection and determine the list of the remaining 99 individuals in the index. 

The Jury Is Out

The jury members, who will judge the online nominations, nominate candidates themselves, and coordinate all communication:

  • Don Akkermans (Managing Director, Lenthe Foundation; Chair, WEEF)
  • Johann Wiesbock (Editor-in-Chief, Elektronik Praxis)
  • Tessel Renzenbrink (Independent Journalist, specializing in ethics)
  • Priscilla Haring-Kuipers (Journalist, Elektor)
  • Shenja Panik (Project Manager, Elektor/WEEF)

The Jury’s Criteria

The jury will consider the following criteria:

  • Level of influence (in media, forums, socials and with peers)
  • Level of innovation (including for example integration of SDGs)
  • Willingness to share ideas/concepts with peers

The candidates on the index will have some things in common: they dare to go off the beaten track and are effective and visible in what they do.

The Rules

  • The online polls will be announced and opened (date TBD).
  • Online voting rules: provide a (brief) motivation when nominating your favorite candidates. Nominations will not be accepted without motivation; you may nominate an unlimited number of candidates, but you cannot nominate a candidate more than once: multiple invalid nominations for the same person will be detected and invalidated; you are permitted to nominate yourself 1×.
  • Ineligible to participate in the WEEF100 are: members of the jury and employees of Lenthe Foundation, the publisher of the index.
  • The argument for the nominee will be recorded in a jury report. He or she will receive a physical WEEF AWARD with an especially eco-friendly design.
  • The complete WEEF100 will be published on the website of WEEF and on the websites of Lenthe Foundation and its media partners, Elektronik Praxis, electronica Munich, and Elektor.

Visit for updates and additional details. WEEF 2023 is scheduled for November 15 in Munich, Germany.

About the Author

Edwin Venema has more than 30 years of experience in both journalism and content marketing. He has worked with Lenthe Foundation since 2003. As a copywriter (, Venema helps people and organizations create editorial communication and creative content that convinces.