Over the past decade, smartphones, tablets, and laptops have taken the world by storm, presenting consumers with a ceaseless parade of communication improvements, on demand entertainment options, and non-stop information. By 2020, five billion people, over 70% of the world’s population, will own a smartphone. The rise of Silicon Valley’s technology industry has transformed business practices, democratized information dissemination, and changed the way we interact with friends and family. Even as it brings enormous benefits, the information revolution has come at a substantial environmental and health cost. Both the production and disposal of our gadgets create enormous waste, much of which is dumped in developing countries each year, and demanding production schedules strain the limits of worker capacity, often overriding health and safety concerns.

In her new film “Death by Design,” director and producer Sue Williams explores the tech global supply chain in a quest to assess the consequences of our digital dependence. On December 13, 2016, Ms. Williams joined the National Committee for a screening of her film, followed by a short reception and a panel discussion on the consumer electronics industry, the making of the film, and possible policy solutions to unsustainable consumption.

 

Bios:

Darrin Magee is Associate Professor of Environmental Studies at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York. A specialist on environmental issues in China, he has lived and worked in mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. His research and teaching address water, energy, and waste issues, including large-scale hydropower and other water infrastructure. He holds a PhD in Geography and an MA in China Studies from the University of Washington, along with a B.S. in mathematics and B.A. in French from Louisiana State University.
 

 

Sue Williams has produced and directed five critically acclaimed, feature documentaries about China for national PBS broadcast, including "Frontline." Contemporary China features prominently in her most recent film, "Death by Design." Sue also directed two highly praised biographies on Eleanor Roosevelt and Mary Pickford for the PBS series, “American Experience.” Her films have been broadcast in more than 25 countries and appeared in festivals around the world; they have won numerous awards, including the Cine Golden Eagle, two International Film & Video Festival Awards, Chris Awards and two Edgar Dale Awards for best screenwriting. 

 

 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016
6:00 PM to 9:00 PM EST
Speaker(s): 
Sue Williams
Darrin Magee
Venue: 
New York Institute of Technology
City: 
New York, NY

 

Event Video

  • Death by Design | Film Screening & Panel Discussion

    Sue Williams' new film examines the environmental and health impact of the consumer electronics industry. Recorded 12/13/16.

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