Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLTs), the most well-known being Blockchain, are one of the emerging technologies foreseen to have a deep and broad impact over the next ten years. Looking in particular into public or third sectors and other civil society organisations, DLTs are expected to transform how such sectors and organisations operate or connect with citizens, businesses and other stakeholders. Scanning the horizon, DLT applications may include for instance: emission of national or local digital currencies; tax collection and tracking of financial flows; authentication of services, goods and other assets; digital identity management in public or civic record systems, voting platforms, or land and property registries; decision-making processes in complex or crisis contexts; distribution and management of commons or public benefits; registration of educational or professional certificates; etc. The potential of DLTs in this context could be observed in terms of transparency, security, compliance, cost-efficiency, accountability, decentralization, among other dimensions. But we are now in a crucial moment to understand how organisations in the public and third sectors can effectively extract the best benefits for all through the exploration of DLT-based applications designed to tackle specific needs and challenges.

What

Action-research and experimentation on new models of technology development. The project aims to stimulate research and experimentation in the development and use of DLTs for social and public good. This emerges from the need to survey and test new models for technology development able to proactively counteract solution-driven or one-dimensional strategies. Main focus is placed on the establishment of forward-looking approaches to stimulate the production, uptake and scaling up of DLT solutions suited to specific challenges of organisations in public or third sectors at local, regional, national or supranational levels. The goal is to promote and support the co-creation of a robust European ecosystem of experts, stakeholders, firms and other organisations already working on and/or interested in deploying DLT-based applications within these sectors. The project’s outputs will directly inform DLT initiatives supported or coordinated by the European Commission, as well as establish best practices and guidelines to better uphold experimentation within a broader field of emerging technologies.

How

Qualitative explorations via co-creation and stakeholder-centric frameworks. The knowledge for policy generated within this project will be based on a combination of primary and secondary research and development streams. This will range from desk research or expert workshops to ethnographic mappings and co-creation frameworks aimed at supporting stakeholder initiatives on the ground. Core activities will include:

  • mapping current, emerging and potential topics, sectors, applications, actors and / or use cases in DLTs and Blockchain for social and public good;
  • bringing together experts, advisers and stakeholders coming from a diversity of disciplines, sectors and organisations to guide and support the project throughout its duration;
  • co-designing and supporting an Accelerator to stimulate the creation and advancement of promising DLT applications for social and public good;
  • and development of policy frameworks and other guidelines for experimentation and broader investment on emerging technologies such as DLTs and Blockchain.

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