At the annual Blockchain Dinner in Davos, Switzerland, New America’s Blockchain Trust Accelerator (BTA) is releasing a ground-breaking Blueprint for Blockchain and Social Innovation. The project, supported by the Tata Trusts — India’s oldest philanthropy — is being released to the public online and attendees at the 2019 World Economic Forum. The Blueprint is a guide to leveraging blockchain technology for the public sector and social impact leaders, with research conducted by the BTA at New America. In developing the Blueprint, researchers conducted extensive interviews with over 50 senior leaders in the fields of innovation, governance, and non-profit management.
The Blueprint provides a technical overview of blockchain technology and explores applications that increase security, accountability, and efficiency at every level of social infrastructure. The guide covers a broad range of structural, procedural, and technical questions that simplify the process for organizations considering whether and how to apply blockchain in their work.
“Blockchain technology has the potential to recontour our civic landscape,” said Tomicah Tillemann, the founder of the BTA. “Blockchain can safeguard data, simplify service delivery, provide greater accountability in assessing outcomes for society. Block chains help build and sustain citizens’ trust in institutions. Harnessed strategically, blockchain technology can do much more than widen profit margins — it can also improve lives and communities.”
Throughout the process of conceptualizing, researching and crafting the Blueprint, the BTA partnered with the Tata Trusts. Since its inception, the Tata Trusts have applied innovative thinking for social development. The Blueprint for Blockchain and Social Innovation is designed to help ensure that the benefits of blockchain technology transcend high finance and reach individuals with the greatest needs.
“Technology is least accessible to those who need it the most. The Tata Trusts are committed to open source solutions when it comes to technology. With this blueprint, in partnership with BTA, we hope to be able to democratize blockchain for everyone, and leverage it for the most vulnerable sections of society,” said R Pavithra Kumar, Director – Program Design, Tata Trusts.
To date, blockchain has been deployed most often in for-profit sectors such as finance. However, many of the technology’s most promising applications lie in the fields of social and civic innovation. Realizing this potential will only be possible as organizations push forward the frontiers of trust. As blockchain solutions are more widely applied to address global inefficiencies, their potential to fortify institutions and improve lives will become more powerful and could usher in the next chapter in the story of human cooperation.
Key blockchain projects and initiatives in the Case Studies section of the guide include: AgUnity, Brooklyn Microgrid, Cognition Foundry, democracynotary.org, Design 4 Democracy Coalition, Emercoin, IBM, LO3 Energy, Neighborly, Plastic Bank, Republic of Georgia’s National Agency of Public Registry (NAPR), UN World Food Programme (WFP), Voatz, Walmart, and the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office.