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Fas Labbie

Ph. D Candidate, MS, BA | Root Studios

Fas Lebbie is a designer, entrepreneur, and technologist. He is currently a Teaching Fellow and Ph.D. candidate in Transition Design at Carnegie Mellon. Fas also manages a team of product designers at Meta. Furthermore, he collaborates with MIT as a Government Innovation Mentor, working with design researchers in West African governance to develop policy and innovative programs.

As a PhD candidate, Fas’ research begins by investigating African extraction sites and implications of these minerals in green technologies. His works builds on theories of post extractive imaginaries to offer new interventions for sustainable development & the diversification of natural resources through investing in downstream linkages.

Fas works with artisanal diamond mining communities in Kono District, Sierra Leone, through his up-and-coming social enterprises. Root Diamonds, as highlighted by Parsons School of Design, connects consumers of diamonds to artisanal miners. Revenues from this diamond company will fund Root Studios: an incubator, maker space, and boot camp that contributes to economic diversification by creating job-ready programs for Sierra Leonean youths.

Diamond Mining Panel

My contribution to the panel offers answers to contemporary challenges in mineral resource extraction. It will propose Root Diamonds as a case study that breaks down the asymmetrical control of information within the diamond supply chain by forging connections between consumers and miners. We produce “Storied Diamonds” that allow couples to understand the origin of their engagement rings. I will connect this revolutionary enterprise to the ongoing evolution of my start-up, Root Studios. Leveraging Root Diamond’s revenues to train young Sierra Leoneans for Fourth Industrial Revolution opportunities will offer them an alternative to social and economic entrapment in the diamond industry.

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