Ep 3: Combatting human trafficking and modern slavery

Discussion of the episode here: Problemattic

My main takeaways from this interview:

  1. The issue is about 4x as big as I understood it to be in terms of people impacted. I thought it was about 10MM world-wide and Kyla mentioned it’s 40MM people affected. Wow.

  2. The solution ideas we discussed involve surfacing info about the lineage of a product’s supply chain and whether it has known instances of human trafficking involved so that the consumer can use this info to make an informed purchase decision at the point of sale. Kyla had a great idea to go beyond the “voting with your wallet step” and make a low-friction way to enable the consumer in that moment to tell the company why they were deciding against purchasing their product. It would be fairly trivial to add an additional feature at that point that would offer the option to route a similar communication to the appropriate governing agent to exert pressure there as well.

  3. This is a gnarly issue, the effects of which we ever won’t truly know because how do you quantify the psychological traumatization of 40MM people worldwide- as Kyla mentioned, the loss of trust, PTSD, xenophobia, etc?

  4. Aside from the app I proposed that would enable easy scanning of SKU barcode in a physical shopping experience, I believe there could be opportunity to either write an original browser extension that enables a similar frictionless vetting of products while shopping online or even reach out to developers of the Honey Chrome Extension and see about a partnership in which we offer an option to their users to reveal that same info at the point where they’re vetting prices of Amazon items.

Anyways, this was a truly eye-opening conversation and I hope we can rally some volunteers to execute against some of these ideas. If you happen to be in Lisbon and want to join our hackathon next week signup here.

Anyone else care to share their reactions to this interview?