Confluence 19 May 2021

Vinay GuptaHelen Burrows


The stories of stuff

The difference between the storyworlds of the production and consumption of stuff: exploring how we enable humankind to bear enough reality to make ethical purchasing decisions

Vinay Gupta Mattereum

Vinay Gupta is the author of The Future of Stuff (2020) and edited the crowdsourced and crowdfunded The Future We Deserve: 100 Essays About the Future (2011). He coordinated the release of the Ethereum blockchain, and is CEO of Mattereum, the company creating digital identities for the world of physical goods. He has a background working in worst-case scenario planning and disaster mitigation, and is the inventor of the patent-free Hexayurt, a sturdy, affordable, easy-to-build temporary shelter.

Helen Burrows

Helen is a lawyer with 20 years’ experience in justice reform. She has supported scores of emerging justice sectors to understand the socio and political economies of harm, and respond. Recognising the prevalence of human and environmental harm hidden by widespread supply chain opacity, Helen is developing a system to collect the stories about stuff - from the source materials, through the production process, to our doorsteps. With these stories we, as consumers, can finally make informed choices about the stuff we buy.