Current News and Press Review
Find all current news about our project on our facebook page. There we regularly publisch latest news on the development of our fair computer mouse. There’s no need to login to facebook, just click on the link.
If you have any questions about the project or would like to keep up to date on the latest developments, feel free to drop us a line at info [at] nager-it [dot] de. Your e-mail address and personal data will of course not be transferred to third parties.
If you want some information on recent development of the mouse, you may also subscribe to our newsletter (only in German) which appears roughly 4 times a year. Just send an email to: "media [at] nager-it [dot] de", subject: "Newsletter on". Latest newsletter: Christmas 2019
2020: Join-in-campaign for human rights
On the occasion of the worldwide human rights day in Dezember, we started a small campain to remind others producers on their responsibilities:
At events people oftentimes ask us why we don‘t offer a verticale mouse, a mouse with a bigger housing or different models. That‘s why we started a postcard campaign. While we are asked for many different mouse models, we think that big producers should be asked why they don‘t pay attention to humany rights in their supply chain!
Here you find a few text templates for a postcard. Of course, you can become creative as well:
- "Actually, I would like to buy one of your computer mouses. As I presume serious human rights violation in your production, I won‘t buy it. Please, stop this and make fair mouses! It is the only way to consider your products."
- "Looking for a PC mouse without human rights violation, I have found a single one. But this mouse doesn‘t fulfill my technical requirements. I prefer your models. But if you don‘t produce „fair“, I can‘t buy them."
- "I want a fair computer mouse, like the one Nager IT produces, but without a cable (or with five keys, ergonomic housing,...). Get started!"
December 2019: A toolbox for multipliers
We want to enable other supporters of the fair IT idea to run workshops about fair electronic. Therefore, we developed a suitable toolbox as part of our education project. Over the last 1,5 years, our consultants developed it, successfully tested it and refined it at several multiplier workshops.
The established guideline offers comrehensive background information on the subject, as well as detailed explanations about individual methods and suggestions how these can be combined in a workshop. In addition, the toolbox contains materials needed, like a mouse, screw-on type, ores, materials for editorial work etc.
In future, the toolbox can be borrowed, for example, at the Nord Süd Forum München. We also have a few toolboxes that may be obtained from our head base (please feel free to contact us, if you are interested). On our website you can also find all documents and templates needed in case you want to compile the box yourself at home.
November 2019: Nice report on Bavarian TV
The BR (Bavarian Broadcast) gave us some transmission time in „Mehr/Wert“. Together we visited both our printed circuit board producer and the workshop in Regensburg where our mice are assembled, as well as the trade fair productronica in Munich. BR (mehr/wert)
2020: Are fair cable coming true?
After years of giving efforts, the time has (hopefully) come in 2020: Our cable will make a big step towards more fairness. Our new partner GSN offers really good working conditions to its workers in China. As for raw materials, we are still dependent on convential (unfair) resources. It will take more convincing and new ideas to change that. Still, GSN is willing to use Fair-Tin for its business. This is the first step in the right direction.
Oktober 2019: 2 workshop highlights
As a result of a good funding amount (UBA) we could run a particularly large number of great workshops this year.
One of the highlights was the workshop at the University of Ulm. We gave some theoretical input into social challenges in the IT production and soldered 110 fair mouses with the same number of freshmen (Electrical Engineering) who are now using these mouses. Furthermore, the University will give away another 100 fair mouses to visitors and lecturers in the period to come. In so doing, the message of a fair IT will be spread out to other cities and countries.
At the Carl Orff School in Munich we could „enlighten“ a whole grade: in several workshops, more than 150 seventh grader immersed into the electronic industry. All the other pupils of this fairtrade school are now using our Nager IT mouse in their new „fair computer room“ and can get more information in the exhibition in the hall. This is what we call a comprehensive education which can be an example for others.
September 2019: Supply chain transparency
Earlier this year, we sent out a questionnaire to our component suppliers about their social and ecological sustainability. Seven out of eleven suppliers answered to it and provided further insides into the everyday production:
For our suppliers it goes without saying to comply with the ILO Core Labour Standards in their own business. Furthermore, many of them demand their sub-suppliers to comply these standards. But controls in the raw materials segment in particular remain difficult.
Besonders erfreulich ist, dass ein weiterer Bauteil-Lieferant We are glad to see that another component supplier is using mainly recycled soldering tin. The tin of our capacitor is „free of conflicts“ at least. In 2020, you will find the complete evaluation on our website.
Juli 2019: Retex is working fairer and fairer ...
... and not only our mouses. We told you before that our partner workshop Retex which manufactures our mouses does not only use the fair recycling solder wire by Fairlötet for our order. Retex also uses it for other works in its business whenever this wire is technically suited.
Retex took a further step recently: Also, when working with soldering paste, the company uses a more sustainable option: the Fair-Tin products by Stannol. While the tin is not recycled but it comes from a mine which is considered progressive in terms of sustainable tin extraction: the mine San Rafael in Peru, run by Minsur.
As this tin does not appear in our own supply chain, we have not formed a final opinion on how FAIR this mine actually is. But we are glad so see Retex having taken this step, as this mine attaches more importance to human rights and environmental issues.
May 2019: Television report on German TV ZDF
The ZDF reported about our mouse in its programme „plan b“. It was part of a report about sustainable public procurement in municipilities. ZDF "Plan B: Kommune mit Köpfchen" (in German. The section about the mouse begins at minute 19:38, but it is worth it to watch the whole programme).
December 2018: Contribution to 35c3
This year, we were honoured to contribute with a lightening talk to 35c3. Read more. Watch video
June/July 2018: Presentation and discussion with Chinese Activist
In order to catch up with the recent situation in Chinese IT-factories, we invited our partner Len Abe (Chinese activist for labor rights) to tour Germany with us, presenting some insight in his work. Len Abe has a masters degree in political science and works as a labor rights activist in Shenzhen, the fourth largest city in China and the workbench of the global IT industry. In the network for migrant workers, he offered workshops on Labor Law, Teamwork and Civil Rights. Since 2014, the work of the network has become more difficult, some activists have even been detained. Len gave us an insight on how working conditions have developed in the IT industry and what forms of protest and empowerment are possible in an increasingly restrictive system.
November 2017: Milestone: Police authorities of Lower Saxony order 20.000 mice
Starting in September 2017, 20.000 office desks at police authorities in Lower Saxony (Germany) will be provided with fair computer mice by Nager IT.
What does that mean?
1. Concerning public procurement: This the first time, a truly fairer IT-device is being utilised in the frame of a regular refurbishment of office-desks at workplaces of an administration in Germany. By this, fair IT leaves the field of symbolic good-will – bravo, public authorities in Lower Saxony!
2. Concerning society and fair IT: By this, the existence of fair computer mice reaches users, supposedly not interested in topics such as (un)fair production of electronics. This marks a milestone in awareness-building and gives hope for the protection of human rights in the IT sector.
3. Concerning Nager IT Having started with direct-sales via Internet in 2012, gradually expanding the distribution channels through fairtrade-shops, this order is a leap to the next level for Nager IT, bringing about new challenges regarding sucha large order without direct user contact. For Nager IT, this is also the opportunity to show that even larger quantities of IT equipment can be produced more fair and that they can, at the same time, be delivered reliably.
How come that Nager IT doesn't disclose the detailed cost breakdown of its production chain on the web as other projects do? This was one of the questions that came up during our workshops. Thus we have created a sub-tem on our homepage which is supposed to offer a comprehensive explanation on that question. For more details, click here
Update Fair Cable
We are constantly striving to turn any production stages of our mouse that are still marked as unfair into a fairer process. Take our cables for example: after two of our team members had spent a week with our supplier Lindy in the summer of 2013 to get a picture of the process cycle and come up with a collaborative plan for further steps, we went to visit the participating factories in China together in the fall. It was a very successful visit, for it enabled us to get a much better idea of the existing problems and, more importantly, to establish some crucial contacts with the management and interested local human rights organisations. Leng Spark from Shenzhen (China) has since become a supporter of our team.
Temporarily, the team from the Netherlands that has launched a partly fair smartphone on the market had expressed interest in fair cables as well. Unfortunately, however, they bailed out again. Maybe they will jump back on the bandwagon once the fair cables are available.
Together with the involved parties (Chinese facilitators, other Chinese human rights organisations, Lindy, Hentek), we are currently working on a suitable concept for the implementation of our joint idea of fair working conditions. This process takes a lot of time and patience, for we are required to consider not only organisational and financial aspects but also political and cultural ones. To our partner, Mr. Gao of Hentek, for example, a cooperation with a human rights organisation didn't exactly seem to be top of his wish list, especially since his concern of possibly getting in trouble politically as a result wasn't entirely unfounded. Which is why it is all the more gratifying that he eventually has decided to give it a try nonetheless. For more details, click here
August 2014: Changes within the production chain
Academic shells: up to this point, we were facing serious difficulties to process the employed material of tecnaro in a way that ensured the shells could be easily built in. From now on, the Institute for Bioplastics and Biocomposites of the Hochschule Hannover will support us in choosing a more appropriate raw material as well as in optimising the further processing. So the next shells will be made in Hannover. Which material will be used in the future will be decided depending on which turns out to be the most sustainable. That factors in both the origin and type of the raw materials as well as the production method and the possibility to process the material in a made-to-last type of way. Our personal favourite remains to be recycled plastic material. However, it does entail some particular challenges (mostly regarding pollutants) that are yet to be solved. Therefore, we are also open to sustainable biological options.
At the same time, we are currently testing some alternatives to our current feet.
Another minor change emerged with our circuit boards. After the Greule company - and with it one of the suppliers of our production chain that was the most transparent regarding its really sustainable and rather fair supply chain - had regrettably withdrawn from the market, we were fortunate to find a new supplier, the Hofmann LP company. As of winter 2014, our circuit boards will thus no longer be manufactured in Pforzheim but in Regensburg. All relevant pre-suppliers will stay the same.
Our workshops for "copycats" in June/July 2014, which were designed to pass on our experiences in the production of fair IT to others who wanted to get actively involved with similar projects turned out a little different than originally planned, mainly because the participants were mostly people who showed general interest, but didn't have any particular projects of their own in mind yet. So we extended the range of topics and additionally discussed various issues in the realm of fair electronic production.
After all, we got at least one tangible, hands-on result: a group of dedicated do-it-yourselfers has congregated to launch a solder wire that is completely non-exploitative. This solder wire is supposed to be available for amateur craftsmen and professional corporations alike. First tasks have already been assigned. If you happen to have any further ideas regarding this project or would like to be a part of it, or if you know some potential clients for the final product (fair solder wire), please feel free to contact us
February 2014: News from the team
After Andi unfortunately has temporarily said good-bye to pursue a regular office job, we are happy to welcome two new team members: Antje, who has been actively involved in global justice projects for a long time, will support NagerIT from her Berlin base. Spark Leng, who is already consulting female workers with his NGO in Shenzen (China), will provide us with his experience and support us in the negotiations with our Chinese suppliers. Welcome to our team!
Heise pollutant test: Our mouse is clean!
The computer magazine c't has tested various mice, including ours, for toxic pollutants (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), Short Chain Chlorinated Paraffins (SCCPs), Diethylhexyl Phthalate (DEHP)) in shells and cables. The result: our mouse does not pose any measurable health hazard. Thanks for the test! You can find further details on Heise
Transparency: Factory visits with our suppliers in 2013 and 2014
January 2014: new year, new factory visit. Last week we went to visit one of our suppliers for chip resistors, microtech electronic in Teltow, Brandenburg. NagerIT is only a very, very small-sized customer of microtech; with five resistors per mouse, it takes the company less than five minutes to work on our 4.000 mice per year - and that's despite the fact that this mini component already contains 20 work stages at microtech alone. So it came as no surprise that the company initially wasn't too keen on 'wasting their time' on us. Luckily, it was just during that time that the media broadcaster Deutsche Welle link contacted us to say they wanted to shoot a film on the Fair Mouse. Without further ado, we called microtech again to ask if they might reconsider their decision and actually could spare some time for us, now that we had the TV in tow. And lo and behold, the doors were opened and we could take a look at the production for two full hours. Now we have an idea of the production process and know the required raw materials. Moreover, we were assured the company's support when visiting one of their suppliers on our next trip to China. There we go!
A few months before, we had already visited the production of our circuit boards at the Greule company. At the end of 2013, we also visited some suppliers and sub-suppliers in China. (You can find an extensive report on facebook).
We consider these visits as very important; on one hand to present our idea to the suppliers face-to-face once more in order to further raise their awareness for the issue (there is more to it than just price and quality). On the other hand, during these visits we are able to gain new insights regarding the production method, the used materials (raw materials and other components), the sub-suppliers etc. On one of our visits, for example, we learned that our circuit boards are coated with copper from a recycling plant in Southern Germany. That enabled us to now declare this raw material as "fair". Our resistors, however, are being produced with tin that, while being extracted in a conflict-free mine, by no means deserves the label fair: it derives from an area in Indonesia that is known for its disastrous mines. We will try and change that. Maybe with our own fair tin solder.
We will keep posting the insights gained during our factory tours on facebook, and you can also find the quintessence under our frequently updated supply chain wieder. Fortunately, our depiction of the supply chain was applied as 'best practise' model at various events of other NGOs and corporations. So our plan to set a good example has already been successful to some extent.
July 2013: Discount Donation
Invented to rise to the typical challenge that comes with the 'sustainability dilemma' of all new fair products: we don't want to encourage people to buy things they don't actually need. On the other hand, we have to produce (and sell) mice to further develop the fair features of the mouse. Our solution: anyone who would like to support the production and further development of fairer NagerIT mice, but don't necessarily wants to buy a new mouse now has the chance to make a "discount donation". From this pool of money, we are able to grant a discount to social services or committed municipalities if they would like to buy our mice (instead of a common one) for their offices. Especially for public bodies, the price always is a crucial issue, and so far we haven't been able to grant any real discount since the mouse hardly obtains any profit margin. Discount Donation
Anyone who likes this project and would like to spread the word about the Fair Mouse can download the current flyer of the project here and is welcome to copy and further distribute it.
For those who would like to be up to date about the current status of the project, just send a brief e-mail to info [at] nager-it [dot] de. Your e-mail address and personal data will of course not be transferred to third parties. Find all our past newsletters as PDF downloads here .