Bas van Abel

Co-founder, Fairphone

Bas van Abel is an entrepreneur, designer and technician with more than 20 years of experience with social innovation. He has a passion for changing the economic system through a design approach. He believes that companies play an essential role in the transition that is needed to achieve a more sustainable economic system. As a designer, Bas delves into the invisible world behind our production systems, brings the problems to the surface and uses his companies as a means to show that things can be done differently.'

Bas is founder of the successful sustainable smartphone manufacturer Fairphone ( and co-founder of circular startup De Clique ( Bas gives guest lectures in sustainability, innovation and entrepreneurship at renowned institutes such as Nyenrode, ESADE and Cambridge. He also advises companies in their sustainability transition. He is a co-author of the book 'Open Design Now' and is an Ashoka fellow, a network of the world's most prominent social entrepreneurs. His work has been featured in various media, including VPRO Tegenlicht (the honest company), CNN, The New York Times and Der Spiegel.