Block Chain Technology & The Future of Social Impact.

June 2018

In June, Valentine Barbacci spoke on Block Chain Technology & The Future of Social Impact.

Alongside her work as Social Impact Advisor at TRVST, Valentina is Executive Director of Media Matters for Women, a women’s empowerment charity that creates and disseminates broadcasts on women’s rights in Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Valentina’s background, in foreign policy, financial services, technology and philanthropy, helps to facilitate and incentivise projects that advance the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. She believes that Blockchain will have a fundamentally positive effect on the charity sector, making funding and related transactions much more transparent.

But what is ‘blockchain technology’?

“The blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.” Don & Alex Tapscott, authors Blockchain Revolution (2016)

Sounds exciting – incorruptible and transparent. One analogy is that of a spreadsheet duplicated thousands of times across a network of computers. This network then regularly updates the speadsheet.

Originally developed for Bitcoin mining, blockchain is in effect a shared and continually reconciled database stored across many locations. As there is no central version the records, which are public and verifiable, cannot be hacked or corrupted. So, as with the internet, there is built-in robustness as the information stored is identical and cannot be controlled by any single entity and has no point of failure.

“As revolutionary as it sounds, Blockchain truly is a mechanism to bring everyone to the highest degree of accountability. No more missed transactions, human or machine errors, or even an exchange that was not done with the consent of the parties involved. Above anything else, the most critical area where Blockchain helps is to guarantee the validity of a transaction by recording it not only on a main register but a connected distributed system of registers, all of which are connected through a secure validation mechanism.”

Ian Khan, TEDx Speaker | Author | Technology Futurist

Other applications include Google Docs: According to William Mougayar, Venture advisor, 4x entrepreneur, marketer, strategist and blockcain specialist Blockchain will make sharing, viewing and editing documents with a collaborator simpler as both parties have access to the same document at the same time, and the single version of that document is always visible to both of them.

I can imagine how useful this will be in the legal and financial worlds. All business documents could, in theory, be shared and stored using blockchain, making workflow more efficient.

Hang on a minute … it records everything of value? And this information is hosted by millions of computers simultaneously, its data accessible to anyone on the internet? Does that mean that every transaction, every internet activity of mine will be in the public domain and saved forever?

Sandi Goddard is a business and branding strategist working with SMEs whose boards/owners wish to reposition their businesses for dramatic growth.

The Room Upstairs – monthly events for business and professional women launched by Sandi Goddard 15 years ago. They are warm, inclusive and supportive; a place to network, build new relationships, seek and share requests, and build business. All with great speakers over a meal and glass of wine (or soft drink!)

#Sandi Goddard #blockchain technology #Valentina Barbacci #women in business

 

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