Fight to Repair is at FixFest 2022!

Fight to Repair Newsletter is attending FixFest, an annual event that is now in its fifth year (with a break for the COVID pandemic in 2021). This year’s event is being held in Brussels, Belgium from Friday through Sunday and is hosted by The Restart Project.

There’s also an excellent online conference happening on Sunday that you should definitely check out. (Get your free ticket here.)

Check out FixFest Online

There’s nothing quite like FixFest in the U.S., where there are plenty of conferences that might tackle right to repair as an issue. (For example, we just hosted a panel discussion at the DEF CON hacking conference in Las Vegas in August.) In November, the Electronics Reuse Conference in Denver will bring together folks from the recycling, repair and reuse industries with a healthy contingent from Silicon Valley (Samsung, CTIA) and Washington DC (DOT, EPA). But FixFest is a community-focused event. This is, truly, the grass roots of the right to repair movement. Very cool stuff.

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Botnets of Bulls**t – Debunking OEM Anti-Repair Cyber Talk

My talk, “Botnets of Bulls**t” will happen in person on Sunday at 10 AM. (I hope to livestream it as well, if the broadband will allow it.) I will explore the current state of device insecurity on the Internet – especially the proliferation of massive “botnets” made up of Internet of Things devices. It will talk about how hacks of connected and “smart” devices like home routers, web cams and smart home appliances happen – and how the kinds of things demanded by right to repair laws – schematic diagrams, diagnostic software, replacement parts – play no role in attacks against connected devices. It will be fun and (hopefully?) educational. Stay tuned here for more!

Friday: Updates from Europe on Right to Repair

FixFest official begins on Friday September 30 with talks from professional and community repairers, innovative tech start-ups and environmental NGOs about shaping EU policies to remove barriers to repair. There will be speakers from the European Right to Repair Campaign, The Restart Project, iFixit and more.

The agenda is here. You can sign up for the livestream here.

Saturday: promoting a culture of repair

Saturday is a full agenda of talks and presentations and panels. Frankly, there’s way too much good stuff to list all the talks I would _like_ to attend. The talks that caught my eye are those that address the issue of how to foster a culture of repair. So, for example, this talk on teaching children science through repair and this one by the Repair cafe Bengaluru Foundation on the challenges of scaling a community repair program. On the nerdy side, there are talks on setting up Libraries of Things, the scourge of parts pairing and Nathan Proctor (of US PIRG)’s talk on lobbying corporations to embrace repair.

Sunday: Networks of repairers, cyber and more

On Sunday there are both in-person and virtual events as part of FixFest. In Brussels, in addition to my talk in the morning, there is an interesting talk from the folks at the Vienna Repair Cafe about creating online resources (maps, review sites, etc.) for the community to find repair professionals. The online event Sunday has some intriguing talks as well including talks by Mend It Australia and a discussion of the prospects for right to repair in India.

Check it all out and stay tuned for more reports from the event!

Fight to Repair is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.