Global blockchain venture studio ConsenSys is supporting Sustainability International, an NGO that implements innovative technologies to alleviate poverty in Africa, to research the potential of blockchain technology to provide an efficient and transparent platform for financing international development projects.
Solving 20th century problems with 21st century solutions, Sustainability International is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing innovative solutions to complex sustainability and conservation issues in the developing world. We work directly with governments, communities, and private sector stakeholders to bring about real impact and change.
Sustainability International’s most prominent initiative is the economic development of the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. The Niger Delta, identified by the United Nations as one of the eight disaster and conflict areas of the world, has been devastated by five decades of the worst oil pollution crisis in modern history. The NGO aims to revitalizing this region by raising awareness about the environmental crisis, meeting with stakeholders to promote dialogue, catalysing oil cleanups, and the delivery of emergency healthcare and clean water to the region.
The collaboration follows a dialogue driven through the Blockchain for Social Impact Coalition, the Social Impact team at ConsenSys will provide research support the non-profit organization Sustainability International in its mission to provide innovative solutions and technology to alleviate poverty in Africa.
The research support will focus on utilizing blockchain technology to inform the design of Sela, a platform that enables direct payments and distributed accountability to all stakeholders involved in a development project – local community members, the government, NGOs, and companies. Sela creates a trust economy that brings visibility to credible local community members. These community members earn trust by completing and monitoring projects within their community. The trust becomes a track record that they can use to leverage additional investment or philanthropic funds for their village. Sustainability International launched an alpha test of Sela in the Niger Delta’s K-Dere region as part of a pilot oil cleanup in November.
The Social Impact team at ConsenSys aims to research, incubate, develop, and implement blockchain products and solutions that can address social and environmental challenges across the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The team are the founders and organizers of the Blockchain for Social Impact Coalition (BSIC), which confederates a large group of humanitarians, impact investors, and technologists to explore and collaborate on blockchain
for social impact use cases.
Most recently, the Coalition ran a month long accelerator program, the Blockchain for Social Impact Hackathon, that activated more than 600 participants, and 60 teams from around the world.
“As we seek to leverage, and activate the potential of blockchain technology for social impact, it is incredibly important that we have a full understanding of how these systems will interact with the beneficiaries on the ground. This collaboration with Sustainability International is a great opportunity for us to gain a deeper understanding of how blockchain can aid international development projects,” said Ben Siegel, Impact Policy Manager at ConsenSys, Blockchain for Social Impact.
“If we seek to help communities such as the Niger Delta overcome decades of transparency and accountability issues, we must build for what these communities need. Instead of forcing the perception of what we believe the solution is, let’s learn from the local women, for example, and identify what she needs, and build for that. Sustainability International’s partnership with ConsenSys is crucial to our human-centered design approach in building the Sela platform,” said Chinyere Nnadi, CEO of Sustainability International.
ConsenSys is a venture production studio and custom software development consultancy building decentralized applications (DApps), enterprise solutions and developer tools for blockchain ecosystems, focused primarily on Ethereum. Powered by smart contracts and secured through encryption, our applications provide the benefits of transparency, auditability, and immutability that are unique to blockchain-based solutions. The organization is the one responsible for Blockchain for Social Impact Coalition (BSIC), an initiative of ConsenSys, incubates, develops, and implements confederated blockchain products and solutions that can address social and environmental challenges across the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.
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