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In the lecture on conflict minerals, we learned how demand for electronic devices and batteries is putting pressure on places in Central Africa with abundant cobalt, tantalum, tungsten, and gold reserves. We looked at processes of commodification, externalization of costs, and the implementation of responsible supply chains. You watched a video that looked in detail at the issue of cobalt mining in southern DRC. In this discussion, reflect on the video and post your comments.
1. If you haven’t already, watch the video Blood, Sweat, and Batteries: Inside Congo’s Cobalt Mines (9:21). https://youtu.be/Y9jscWk2DMg ( This is the link of the video)
2. As you watch the video, here are some things to think about:
o How different actors at different scales are shaping the trade: end users in foreign countries, international companies, the Chinese government, the Congolese government, local workers and households;
o At the 7:20 mark, the conversation shifts toward what big corporations should do. The video, produced by Fortune magazine, offers one opinion. Do you agree? Why or why not?
3. In your discussion response, write your reflections on the video. You can respond to the above questions or make other observations on any part of the video or the thoughts it inspired. Be as free-form as you like.