Announced July 6, 2017, ConsenSys has formed an initiative focused on humanitarian efforts called The Blockchain for Social Impact Coalition (BSIC).
The coalition will take advantage of the Ethereum blockchain and “incubate, develop, and implement blockchain solutions that are investable scalable and replicable,” according to ConsenSys. BSIC will promulgate the efficacy of blockchain technology as it applies to humanitarian aid, providing organizations that work in the space a means of increased transparency while improving the lives of those in need.
On the BSIC website, the coalition identifies itself as a networking facilitator between diverse parties. “We aim to inspire, federate, and create bridges between NGOs [non-governmental organizations], and government agencies, foundations, impact investors, philanthropists and technologists.”
ConsenSys has reported involvement by over 30 representatives from 22 member organizations, which included eduDAO, Disberse, High Tech Humanitarian, Logos Global Advisors, MIT’s Solve, New America: Future Property Rights, Nordic Impact, slave free trade, Sustainability International, the World Wildlife Fund, ALICE, Tata Consultancy Services, and others. Among topics discussed were the challenges of collaboration across industry sectors, and how each sees blockchain use cases unfolding towards humanitarian efforts.
The initial launch of BSIC will be centered on four target areas: Identity & Vulnerable Peoples, Energy & Environment, Supply Chain, and Financial Inclusion. Members will form into “Working Groups” that reflect each of the four focal points, meeting monthly to provide feedback on existing projects and devise strategies to promote mass blockchain adoption. BSIC is also hosting a network of decentralized meetings which will be open for public participation, having already held events in New York, London, and Washington DC. Global expansion of these meetups is among BSIC's goals.
BSIC will hold a month-long virtual Hackathon later in the year where teams will be able to consult with experts through a variety of in-person and virtual events. The Work Groups’ combined experience will coalesce with community feedback to provide guidance for teams as they work on inventive solutions, ultimately giving rise to development projects.
Ben Siegel, Impact Policy Manager at ConsenSys, sums up the announcement.
“We now have a confederated group of organizations, from a broad range of impact sectors, dedicated to exploring the potential blockchain technology has to aid those in need, and to creating, testing, and implementing the necessary solutions.”