The next new wave of technology is upon us. One that will build the foundation for Web 3.0 — a more decentralized and peer-to-peer network of businesses, brands, resources, and online education.
But which communities feel the impact of this huge change in technology? Of course, we are all becoming aware of the projects that the UN is hosting abroad vis the World Food Program; quickly affecting change in countries like Jordan and Pakistan by more efficiently allocating refugee resources to people in need.
The same problem that Silicon Valley has with diversity, the current global Blockchain market has with diversity.
In fact, the NGO community in general has generally opened their arms to adopting Blockchain technology to help with the following:
- Donor Transparency and More Effective Financial Reporting
- Cheaper Resource Tracking (Food, etc.)
- Cryptocurrency Donations from New Markets
- Localized token vouchers to use in exchange for donated goods (Lower Socioeconomic Micro-economies)
- Intelligent Solar Grid Systems for Disadvantaged neighborhoods, and so on
However, we don’t really see the opportunity of creating these systems, both in the Non-Profit and Private sectors, being distributed amongst a diverse set of engineers and entrepreneurs globally. To be frank — the same problem that Silicon Valley has with diversity, the current global Blockchain market has with diversity.
But why does this matter? Two words — Social Mobility.
When disadvantaged communities gain access to the education around emerging technologies, a completely different subset of problems are solved. Problems that focus on the needs of impoverished communities that high tech analysts simply won’t discover on their own.
In addition, youth that are exposed to how to create smart contracts, decentralized applications, and their own Blockchain networks can further empower and enlarge the existing developer communities supporting networks like Ethereum and Bitcoin, amongst many, many others.
The fact of the matter is that the next generation of tech billionaires is going to come from the construction of Web 3.0 — there’s a reason beyond an ideal, scalable Blockchain system that developer communities are working feverishly to scale their decentralized networks. The wealth generated from oncoming innovation must be distributed to communities that need it most, especially when it comes to sustaining equity in capitalistic economies that are already struggling with widespread stratification.
The Talent Has to Come From Somewhere
The majority of the world lives in poverty, and as our collective population increases, resources will continue to diminish. This means we need every brilliant mind that we can find — not just the minds of those who start with resources.
Time and time again, many of the world’s greatest success stories come not from people who had a Trust Fund growing up, but from those who came from nothing — later becoming a first-generation college graduate, multi-millionaire icon, or brilliant engineer.
This is especially true in a growing system of decentralized networks where the world’s population is growing — in order to create inoperable Blockchain systems in impoverished areas in developing countries, those communities will need to know how to leverage their own networks to be a part of the new Internet of Things, People, and Ideas.
Social Impact around Blockchain Technology
So where do we start? How can we systematically uplift in-need communities and expose them to how technology is changing? Education, NGO collaboration, and yes, Hackathons.
- Education — Instill knowledge within in-need communities so that they can develop their own solutions and wealth. StreetCode Academy has already debuted the first Blockchain curriculum ever for students of color residing in East Palo Alto — and Facebook has been generous enough to offer them a whole building to operate in.
- NGO Collaboration — NGOs should network between each other and make the technology they use more open source to expedite the standardization of Blockchain tech usage. This increases exposure, builds an international proof-of-concept story and persuades other markets to adopt the technology
- Hackathons — Not just hackathons but hackathons focused on enrolling people for lower socioeconomic backgrounds to illuminate and cultivate their genius
Some of these developments are already occurring. ConsenSys is leading the Blockchain for Social Impact effort to focus on how the use of decentralized applications can generate larger impact within developing countries and poverty-stricken communities on an international scale. In fact, they’re hosting a Hackathon October 2017 to challenge the developer community to think outside the for-profit scope.
What are your thoughts? How do you think we should approach the problem of getting disadvantaged communities more exposed to technologies like Blockchain?