Harvesting the Power of the Crowd to Implement Reverse Logistics in a Circular Economy

Written by Epi Ludvik

How can used mobile phones be collected via reverse logistics, throughout the city of Amsterdam, to facilitate replacement, repair, remanufacturing and recycling?

You know your old mobile phone? Yea, that’s right, the one you have lying around in a drawer somewhere. Instead of forgetting about it, it could be repaired or taken apart. That battery that seems to always die at the worst time, could be replaced and the old one repurposed to make new ones. Even If your mobile phone just won’t even turn on, the valuable gold, copper, and silver inside of it can be reused to make jewelry or automotive parts. If we could recycle just 1 ton of used mobile phones – a mere 6,000 – we can recover up to 340 grams of gold and prevent environmental damage caused by mining, that’s more than 56 times the amount of gold you would get if you mined 1 ton of gold ore (Source). Getting these small goldmines back into the value chain represents economic opportunities and huge environmental savings!

However, finding the best solutions for setting up reverse logistics to recover mobile phones is not as easy as it may sound. It requires collaboration across industries, from telecom providers to logistics companies and recyclers.

How could the crowd help to get mobile phones back into the hands of the people that can make the reuse of mobile phone parts a success? How can logistics suppliers, repair shop owners, and even cities work with citizens to make this happen? And how can consumers be incentivised to return their devices in a safe and convenient way?

An Amsterdam based, social enterprise, Circle Economy, which focuses on the practical and scalable implementation of the circular economy, is trying to tackle this challenge by calling upon the power of the crowd. Through their upcoming, online hackathon they hope to engage the crowd, on a global level, to collaborate with cities and businesses to create an innovative and circular solution for a leading logistics provider throughout the city of Amsterdam.

Join the Hack!


On Monday the 27th of February, Circle Economy is kicking off their Mobile Mining Challenge! They are calling all systems thinkers, urbanists, innovative minds and all-around creative geniuses to discover unique ways of retaining the value of mobile phones.

Do you have a passion for engaging with difficult problems, like to think outside the box, and enjoy trying to connect the dots to unveil new opportunities?

Then join Circle Economy’s online hackathon, right from the comfort of your own home or with your own team, to create reverse logistics solutions for the circular economy!

Join the Hack at www.circle-economy.com/mobile-mining-challenge

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About Author

About Author

Epi Ludvik

Epi Ludvik is the Founder & CEO of Crowdsourcing Week and BOLD Awards. In 2008, he created Ludvik + Partners - one of New York’s hottest boutique virtual ad agencies built on a 100% crowdsourcing model. Epi is one of the pioneers in the crowdsourcing ad space, an industry expert and thought leader in entertainment advertising - including public relations, event production, experiential marketing, consumer advertising and digital marketing. Epi earned a BS in Advertising & Marketing from the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC and has been a serial entrepreneur since graduation. His varied and global experiences throughout his career have taken him across the US and Asia, where he honed his skills in advertising and media with high-profile clients and power brands.

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