When talking about how fast the world around me is changing, I’m often scared of never being fully aware of how these changes will impact my life. As a journalist, I have a relatively good understanding of how newsrooms and content strategy are being impacted by digital marketing, and as a consumer, I can see how simple tasks like purchasing a product, communicating with my friends and even booking a visit at the doctor have been revolutionized in the past few years. However, I’ve always had the feeling that I’m missing something.

The bad news is I AM missing something. The good news is most people are in the same situation. In the past few months, especially during the Bitcoin frenzy that caught everybody at the end of 2017, I saw friends and family investing in a completely unknown technology that frightened me so much I couldn’t even think about it. I started asking questions about it and I realized no one was fully aware of what they were doing. Even some financial journalists and other friends from the financial market didn’t sound very convincing about their level of knowledge about it.

Bitcoin is a brand. It is an open source system created by a mysterious person – or it might be a group of people – who use the nickname Satoshi Nakamoto. Bitcoin is based on this new technology we call Blockchain, which is now used by many governments and industries for many purposes: logistics, contract management, real estate transactions, etc.

But what is blockchain? One source once told me that this task is as difficult to explain as it was the internet in 1995. ‘You have to experience it’, he said. But after this, he went through a complicated explanation that I will try to simplify here.

Blockchain is a group of people – let’s say that each person is called block – that control and validate transactions. So, if I transfer money to you, this information is not only registered in the bank data center but is distributed among all the blocks. In the case a data center is hacked, for example, the transaction still exists because there are more agents aware of it.

It works because the longer and diverse the chain is, the harder it is to fraud. Every block needs to validate the chain of blocks that came before it, which makes it even more secure (it’s virtually impossible to ‘bribe’ someone since the identity of the block is safeguarded).

But what about my data? It will circulate among all those people and they will all know my personal banking information and who am I transferring money to? It depends. If the data is encripted, it’s protected. If not, well, you mustn’t trust people holding your data. It’s 2018 and we’ve seen what is happening.

The Blockchain potential is still being discovered by many industries, and I dare to include the financial world among them. New currencies are being launched, new services, products and solutions are being announced, but even the experts are not unanimous about how deep this new technology is going to impact our lives. If it’s really comparable to the internet in 1995, we will see another revolution coming.

The revolution I want to see, though, is how Blockchain will go beyond profit and greed. All this connectivity, safety and collaboration features could be amazing were it to solve some of humanity’s challenges, including migration, climate change and inequality. Some initiatives are already set; one of them is HoryouToken, a new Blockchain-based decentralized system that will enhance traceability and security of philanthropy. Since Horyou has developed a new concept for social media and the Internet, HoryouToken makes me hopeful that Blockchain can have a purpose.

I will witness the revolution.

The Sustainable Development Agenda of the United Nations for 2030 has been staging since 2015 a series of goals to guide the world on the path of sustainability with the aim of eradicating poverty, improving living conditions and take immediate action in the conservation of the environment. Thus, each of the 17 SDGs support and promote a specific field that private, public and civil sectors are committed to empower and represent.

SDGs


The scope of these objectives reflects not only an advance in the development of each country or region of the world, but also demonstrates the synergies and international cooperation willing to act for the social good. But how can you contribute individually to these initiatives?

Here are a few tips:

1. Support them in social networks
Social networks like Horyou allow you to share projects and actions related to the scope of some sustainable development objective and allow other international organizations to help you achieve your goals, either through funding or promoting visibility.

2. Improve your visibility
Always use #SDG (as well as #ODD, #ODS, or other hashtag, depending on your language of choice) in any publication on social media, so that the support you give to a certain cause or project is visible. Thus, it will be easier to find people supporting the same objective and the probability of achieving future connections will be greater.

3. Join new challenges
Lose the fear and support new initiatives like the #HoryouLightChallenge whereby you can share your positive actions in favor of sustainable development as well as in your daily routine.


4. Turn your passion into help

Inspire your friends


Identify which of the sustainable development objectives is aligned more with your routines, habits and work and share innovative ways to contribute to solutions aimed at the proposed goals.

5. Be an ambassador for your goal of preference
Share with your community and inspire your circle of friends to support Sustainable Development Goals through their daily routines.

In this way, every one of us can contribute a bit to the global agenda of sustainable development and have by 2030 a healthier planet and better living conditions for us and future generations.

 

 

Written by Sueyfer de la Torre

 

English version here

La agenda de desarrollo sostenible de la naciones unidas para el 2030 ha puesto en escena desde el 2015 una serie de metas para orientar el mundo por la senda de la sostenibilidad con el objetivo de erradicar la pobreza, mejorar las condiciones de vida y tomar acción inmediata en conservación del medio ambiente. Es así, que los 17 objetivos de desarrollo sostenible apoyan y promueven un campo especifico que tanto sector privado, público y civil tienen el compromiso de empoderar y representar.

Objetivos de desarrollo sostenible

 

El alcance de cada uno de estos objetivos refleja no solo un avance en el desarrollo de cada país o región del mundo, sino que también evidencia las sinergias y cooperación internacional dispuesta a actuar por el bien social de cada uno. Pero, ¿cómo se puede contribuir de manera individual a estas iniciativas?

Si aún no tienes claro cómo puedes aportar tu granito de arena para lograr los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible de las Naciones Unidas estos consejos te pueden ser útiles:

1. Apóyalos en redes sociales

Las redes sociales como Horyou te permiten compartir proyectos y acciones relacionadas con el alcance de algún Objetivo de Desarrollo Sostenible y permite que otras organizaciones internacionales te ayuden a lograr tus metas, ya sea por medio de financiación o visibilidad.

2. Mejora tu visibilidad

Usa siempre los #SDG , #ODS en cualquier publicación en la red para que sea visible el apoyo que estas brindado a cierta causa o proyecto. Así, será más fácil encontrar personas apoyando el mismo objetivo y será mayor la probabilidad de lograr conexiones futuras.

 

3. Únete a nuevos retos

Pierde el miedo y apoya nuevas iniciativas como el #HoryouLightChallenge en donde puedes compartir tus actos positivos en pro del desarrollo sostenible así sea en tu rutina diaria.

4. Convierte tu pasión en ayuda

Identifica cuál de los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible se alinea más a tus rutinas, hábitos y trabajo y comparte maneras novedosas de contribuir a soluciones dirigidas a las metas propuestas.

 

Inspira a tus amigos!

5. Sé un embajador de tu objetivo de preferencia

Comparte con tu comunidad e inspira a tu círculo de amigos a apoyar los objetivos de desarrollo sostenible por medio de sus rutinas diarias. De esta manera, podemos lograr que cada uno aporte su granito de arena a la agenda mundial de desarrollo sostenible y tener para el 2030 un planeta y condiciones de vida mejores para nosotros y generaciones futuras.

 

Por Sueyfer de la Torre

 

 

 

 

A new member of Horyou platform, the Haiti Cholera Research Funding Foundation (HCRFF) invests in education and awareness to prevent health issues in developing countries

Pierrette Cazeau

Despite being born in Haiti, Pierrette Cazeau grew up in New York and Florida, in the US, and thus was never aware of the country’s challenges until she first visited it as a grown up-woman. She was struck by the challenges faced by its population on a daily basis – lack of health infrastructure, corruption, abuse, poverty and hunger. That changed her life as she decided to devote her time and efforts to build a Foundation and use education to prevent such disasters as the 2010 cholera outbreak.

«You can’t predict natural disasters or climate change effects, but you can educate people to prevent and reduce poverty. Without education, you just open the door to the negative effects of the unpredictable», says Pierrette, founder of HCRFF. The NGO was created in 2013 and has since developed many projects to support and empower communities facing health and social problems. «We’ve seen so many victimized people sitting quietly, and that escalates anger and hate». Economic and social problems, she believes, are part of a cycle that comprises disruption, refugee crisis and racism.

Syphilis Project

Focusing on education, the foundation organizes workshops for students coming from challenging backgrounds. In addition to preparing them for work via professional education, and providing them with food, HCRFF also raises awareness of topics like HIV prevention (PrEP and PEP), sexual abuse and other sensitive topics that are critical for the new generations. The NGO also helps Haitians to get access to health care in the US by providing them with transportation, shelter, advocacy and even translation services whenever needed. It also supports pregnant Haitian women left behind by UN peacekeeping soldiers.

The next step is to expand the Foundation services to other countries including Ghana, in Africa, where it intends to start an education campaign on HIV and other STDs. «We need more sponsors as we never charge anything for the services we provide to the communities», says Pierrette. For the last three years, the NGO has been funded by partners, but new sources of financial support are needed. One of the plans is to organize a Marathon for People Living with HIV and raise funds for the cause of education for prevention. «One thing I’ve learned from my father is that education can’t be taken from you. It stays with you forever. I’m grateful for all the educational opportunities I’ve had and I wish more people keep benefitting from it as well».

Kenneth Bok is a former Goldman Sachs trader and the founder and CEO of Blocks, a Blockchain research platform based in Singapore. A passionate believer in sustainability, ecology and technology, he is Horyou’s Partner and Ambassador to Singapore and the organizer of De/Centralize 2018, the country’s premier conference on Blockchain and decentralization mechanisms for building a better world. One of the questions the event raises is: “Can these technologies help to create a better world?’. Horyou blog has talked with Mr. Bok.

De/centralize takes place in Singapore

– What does decentralization mean for technology, economics and law?

The Blockchain has enabled for distributed computing platforms which store and process information in radically different ways from normal server-client architecture. This has profound consequences in the way digital tokens can be integrated with the internet, how data is stored, and even how contracts are written and executed between parties. Decentralization is still a mysterious word really, but the gist of it is that there are more resilient and alternative structures to the ones we have one. Think about the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica issue. Even if Facebook are doing their best, they are still under the purview of various governments who can shut Facebook down if they choose to do so. This is not so easy with decentralized systems.

– Blockchain is a technology that lies heavily on decentralization. What can we expect from the conference in terms of content and debates about both subjects?

We are hosting some projects that could really change the world. Cosmos and Blockstack for example. I think there is a lot of hype with blockchain, and our goal is to separate the signal from the noise. We have some really world-class VCs such as Tim Draper who is going to give us a keynote, as well as Zooko Wilcox from ZCash giving us a presentation on the latest developments with digital money. We definitely want people to form their own opinions, to question everything and to decide for themselves if Blockchain is more than speculation and hype.

– How can Blockchain help to reach the sustainable development goals, reduce poverty and help to build a better world?

Michael Casey and Paul Vigna’s new book ‘The Truth Machine’ opens wonderfully with a story about the World Food Program’s (WFP) initiatives in Syria. Many of us take for granted that we have a passport, social identities, bank accounts, but this is not the case for refugees and stateless persons. The WFP is using a Blockchain solution to coordinate and track food distribution. Blockchains have tremendous potential to enable people who are unbanked and unidentified to be part of the system and have access to loans, make contracts, have a proper job, and so on.

Kenneth Bok

– How do you see the future of Blockchain technology in 10 years?

AI, Blockchain and IoT will become more integrated and will be truly mind-boggling in their capabilities. We will be able to do science better, make decisions better, become more efficient and effective in whatever we do.

– Could you name some of your top speakers and their business/areas of expertise?

Lasse Clausen from 1kx is one of the smartest token fund managers that I know of.

Adrian Brink from Cosmos: they are building the next generation Blockchain systems that are pushing the boundaries.

Meltem Demirors is a great speaker, thinker, and has worked with the World Economic Forum, MIT Media Lab and Digital Currency Group.

– Singapore is our next Social Innovation and Global Ethics Forum – SIGEF 2018 – host city. For years, it has been a technology, Blockchain and sustainability hub. Why, in your opinion, does the city have such a vocation? Should it be a role model for Asia and beyond?

Singapore has had many things in its favor, geography for one, but we have been particularly blessed with good leadership. Mr Lee Kuan Yew was the architect of our country and built a meritocratic system with good law and order, an emphasis on education and racial harmony. We have one of the best healthcare systems in the world and it is extremely safe here. Clearly Singapore’s methods will not work in countries much larger than us, but our methods have been studied and implemented in many places outside of Singapore.

De/Centralize takes place from 5-6 April at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Singapore. The event is an Horyou Media Partner.

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