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It’s not just about cryptocurrencies and tokens: It’s about Blockchain causing a social revolution

We’re in 2019 and if you’ve still not heard of Blockchain I would assume you’ve been out of this planet for a while. The disruptive, innovative technology that is essentially known for revolutionizing the financial world through cryptocurrencies has been a hot topic since 2017 when Bitcoin value reached a peak and all investors wanted to set foot in this promising market.

Yonathan Parienti, founder and CEO of Horyou, presents HoryouToken

Since then, a lot has happened: While pioneer cryptocurrency Bitcoin was jumping up and down, new cryptocurrencies were created whose outlook and fate look promising though not totally clear, let alone assured, subjects as they are to the vagaries of the volatility of speculative markets. It is in that context albeit with the aim of staying above the turmoil, that HoryouToken was launched last December to support and promote social and economic inclusion, as well as propose a fresh approach to the cryptocurrency industry which posits that Blockchain can and should come with a Purpose. Thanks to a traceable and intelligent philanthropic feature called Proof of Impact that enables each Blockchain transaction to support social good causes, it allocates resources to social entrepreneurship projects, non-profits and social good doers, and members of the social network for social good, Horyou.com.

The United Nation Sustainable Development Goals

The idea behind the creation of HoryouToken is that Blockchain can advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals, via social impact and economic redistribution. More specifically, it can impact SDG1 (No Poverty), SDG2 (Zero Hunger), SDG8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), SDG9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure) and SDG10 (Reduced Inequalities).


Yet, there are many other uses for Blockchain that are not solely connected to cryptocurrencies. Social entrepreneurs may find a world of possibilities within the technology, ranging from supply chain solutions, to management of unnecessary waste and pollution (SDG12), strengthening democracy, reinforcing government institutions and fostering transparency (SDG16).

 

Contracts, data sharing and copyright issues would be safer and broker-free, which would reduce costs and increase access to services. E-government is a fine example. Having long invested in technology and adopted Blockchain since 2012, Estonia is now considered as one of the most unbureaucratic, smart states in the world. It is attracting new tech businesses and investors, developing workforce and turning into a more sustainable community (SDG11).

Healthcare has also made interesting use of Blockchain, with digital records starting to be adopted all over the world and hospitals, cities and countries using them as a safe if smart way to handle health data.

So, what does the future hold for Blockchain technology? Experts point to a clear social impact, with improved security, as well as compliance and traceability of goods and people. This would translate into healthier food through Blockchain in the supply chain and transportation, fair wages and the end of forced labor through smart contracts. And, of course, more functionalities for social-oriented cryptocurrencies and tokens to promote a fairer and more inclusive world. All reasons why for us HoryouToken, which by nature is the embodiment of Blockchain and cryptocurrency for social good, is a subject of pride.

HoryouToken is listed at at LAToken and CoinTiger.


Migration, poverty and food chain were hot topics of the UN Climate Change Conference, which takes place in Poland.

The COP24 is taking place in Poland

Despite the “Act Now” motto of COP24, this year’s Conference of the Parties looked like a redacted version of the former editions, probably due to the obvious effects of global warming on our daily lives. And they indeed are being felt everywhere – from water scarcity in South Africa to floodings in the US, and from storms in South America to rising sea levels in the Atlantic. Nature is also transforming the way we live; everyone’s safety is being threatened and climate migration is becoming a serious issue.

“Changing weather, floods and droughts in many places increasingly threaten people’s livelihoods. That is leading a lot of families to have to consider whether they can stay where they are, or try to live somewhere else,” said Koko Warner in a statement during the COP24. The UN estimates that over 258 million people live outside their country of origin, and global warming is expected to increase this number as it makes some areas of the planet uninhabitable. Currently, four times more people in the world are displaced by extreme weather events than they are by conflict.

Climate change also affects food production. All over the world, farmers have seen their crops affected by heavy rains, droughts and extreme weather conditions for several years in a row, leaving most of them without predictable income and, ironically, with restrained access to food. As a result, they are bound to change their status from suppliers to requesters, and thus aggravate poverty and hunger.

A set of recommendations was presented to help define the 197 countries’ commitment to climate action. Cooperation among parties is key, as well as using technology and data analysis to tackle information and planning challenges. “The goal is really to help countries understand the scale of what is coming and really prepare for it”, said Ms. Warner. “It’s really about finding ways to reduce the suffering and ensure the safety, dignity of the people at risk of displacement in the face of climate change.”

Some of the recommendations included financial planning support for communities who are facing natural disasters, as well as the increase of investments in mapping and understanding human mobility due to climate change. “The real impact,” noted Ms. Warner, “will only be measured through the steps countries take to avoid and minimize unnecessary suffering, and address the risks involved in climate-related displacement.”

Let’s go beyond the discussion man vs. machine for a while and admit that AI really makes for a better society

It may look like a scenario of another scifi movie or book, but the fact is that AI can help us lead longer and better lives.

As I’m writing, artificial intelligence is tracing behaviors on social media everywhere. But there’s more to the matter than meets the eye. Rather than use the collected data for marketing and sales purposes, AI may indeed be detecting and acting on suicidal signs or attempted suicides, nowadays a most serious cause of death globally. Social entrepreneurs and academics have adopted AI to tackle the issue focusing on children and the youth. Platforms like AI Buddy and Bark monitor text messages, as well as e-mails or Youtube videos to detect any sign of potentially self-destructive behavior to warn families, friends and authorities about the likelihood of something going wrong. Some other platforms are concerned with preventing school shootings.

Meddling” is a word that otherwise may carry a bad connotation, but in this instance, AI is saving lives. It also may look like a scenario of another sci-fi movie or book, but the fact is that AI can help us lead longer and better lives.

Regarding the relationship between man and machine, many scientists and authors have been talking of cooperation more than substitution. In such areas as food chain in a challenging world of seven and a half billion people to feed, Sentient, a startup that has developed an AI which studies the effect of light (UV), salinity and water on crops, is seeking ways of perfecting conditions for a more sustainable agriculture. AI is also being used to prevent diseases, and helping farmers to produce more and better as ultimately, more efficiency can prevent hunger and save lives.

For one thing, ‘AI for good’ will provide better access to healthcare for all, one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. While helping doctors to detect diseases and discover new drugs, AI can indeed change completely the way we take care of our health.

To know more about artificial intelligence, social entrepreneurship, technology and the UN SDGs, join Horyou and follow our posts on Horyou blog. Be the change, be Horyou.

A holistic nutritionist and plant-based chef, Sarah Britton is the creative force behind the award-winning food blog My New Roots. Featuring original recipes that taste great, look beautiful and boast incredible health benefits, she has become an influencer to reckon with and gathered more than 370k followers on Instagram. Horyou blog is happy to interview Sarah and share her inspiration with its community!

Sarah Britton

How did My New Roots begin?

My New Roots began as a way for me to share what I had learned about wellness and healing through my Holistic Nutrition education, as I discovered so many things that I believed needed to be public information, not just for those who can go to school to study in this field. I wanted to set up a non-biased space for people to come and learn about how to take better care of themselves through diet and lifestyle, as I have seen immense changes in myself since making little, positive changes every day. Over the years my vegetarian, whole food recipes have inadvertently created a community of readers who are passionate about cooking. There are so many people out there who are hungering for direction and guidance in preparing nutritious food, and it is gratifying to know that I can play a small role in that. As emails from readers flow in every day praising the results of the raw cocoa brownies or sweet potato hummus they made at home, I am called to the cutting board to create yet another dish to satisfy those who want to take charge of their health and reclaim their kitchens. Their inspiration becomes mine, and the cycle continues.

What was the catalyst that turned you into a healthy foodie?

I lived in an experimental city in the high desert of Arizona for a year. There I worked on the organic farm, growing food for the community. That was the first time I experienced living in tune with the earth to such a degree and it was like I woke up for the first time. I ate what we grew, and gave up processed foods, which changed everything. I finally understood what it meant to feel healthy, alive, and vibrant.

Sarah cooks plant-based recipes

What is your food philosophy?
With every bite of food we take, we vote for the kind of body and the kind of world we want to inhabit. There is no doubt in my mind that eating a whole food, plant-based diet benefits both ourselves and the planet, more than any other way of eating.

Why are you so passionate about vegetarian plant-based food?
Eating a plant-based diet has changed the way I feel so dramatically for the better – I have more energy, clarity of mind, and most importantly, connection to the earth. There is also a noticeable peace and calm that comes with eating this way. The body is strong and mind is at ease.

What is the link between healthy and sustainably produced food?

Sustainable food production practices are in line with the earth’s best interests. And what’s good for the planet is also good for us. Chemicals pesticides, herbicides, fungicides harm the delicate balance of life, and are inevitably passed to us through what we eat, and everyone loses. I almost always check where food comes from, not necessarily how or who grew it, but I choose organic, biodynamic whenever possible, and will often pass on things that have traveled a long way to get me. Of course growing your own, or getting your food from someone local is the best, but we don’t all have that luxury!

Changemakers is an Horyou initiative which aims to highlight remarkable people & projects related to the Sustainable Development Goals. In this article, we shed a light over #SDG2 – Zero Hunger.

 

The UN Sustainable Development Goals are much more than a vision for the years to come. They’re part of a concerted strategy to improve our society and to build a better future.

There are 17 Sustainable Development Goals

I’m sure you’ve heard of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). If not, let me introduce you to one of the boldest set of objectives that are meant to be applied worldwide. The SDGs are a collection of 17 targets set by the United Nations in 2017. They are meant to guarantee equality, economic and social development, peace and wealth for all by 2030, and ensure that no one is left behind.

One of the most important aspects of the SDGs is, however, their complementarity. This implies that, without Gender Equality (Goal 5), Decent Work and Economic Growth (Goal 8) cannot be reached. Or, for instance, without Quality Education (Goal 4), Good Health and Well-Being (Goal 3) and Clean Water and Sanitation (Goal 6), it would be hard to envisage Reducing Inequalities (Goal 10). In short, there is no such thing as a goal more important than another, and no ranking that places most urgent and less critical ones. SDGs are like our world – interconnected and complex.

It also means that the SDGs are an intricate part of our daily lives. It might not be obvious to you, but the ordinary choices that you make can help to strengthen the SDGs and make our world a better place. Here are a few ideas about how you could introduce some of the SDGs into your routine:

– If you care about ending poverty and hunger, try to engage with bank foods or make donations to charity institutions. It’s important to avoid wasting food, as it’s one of the causes of hunger worldwide. And, when choosing your supermarket or a grocery store, make sure they have a good waste management.

– It doesn’t matter if you’re a woman or a man. Sexism is everywhere. Try to raise the subject with your friends and family and support the gender equality cause. The results will be beneficial to all.

– If you know of a brand using slave or irregular labor, don’t buy it. Tell your friends about it. The same applies to companies that pollute, engage in corruption and don’t provide decent conditions to their workers.

– How big is your carbon footprint? If we aim to have clean water, protect animal life and avoid climate change, we should opt for cleaner, more sustainable means of transportation, energy sources and habits. There’s a range of products and services available that are environmentally friendly and affordable.

A critical challenge, however, remains that of bringing up the topic at home, or the office, or again school and, why not, pubs and parks? You don’t need to mention the SDG acronym, but you could start asking people about their habits, and share your good ideas? The clock is ticking, we have little time left to change things… But one thing’s for sure: You can help build the kind of future you want!

Medical technology, or MedTech, brings solutions to improve lives using the latest advancements in technology. It is an evolving concept that combines innovative, high technologies such as artificial intelligence, Internet of things, nanorobotics, big data and even Blockchain to tackle the biggest challenges in medicine over the last decades. Overall, it has developed a more human, inclusive approach that aims to provide health for all.

Medical conditions and healthcare are being transformed by the disruptive and break ground technologies used by health professionals that are changing the lives after a rough diagnose or an accident. The main objective is to give back to the patient a certain level of the original quality of life by improving, replacing or simulating a physical characteristic close to the genuine one, in order to maintain the respective functionality and/or appearance. This aims to restore dignity and contribute to social inclusion. Therefore, here I will list the top 5 most impacting tools, methods and procedures that have been already implemented successfully in patients and have reached a satisfactory progress and rise in their quality of life.

3D printed body parts

The Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine prints ear, nose and bone scaffolds that can be coated with cells to grow body parts. (Laurie Rubin)

3D printing started to gain awareness in the past years, as engineers and designers started using this tool to create the unthinkable. This technology has been around for two decades; fortunately, the price has come down in recent years and more people have been able to make use of it. Consequently, we’ve started to be able to really tap into its vast potential.  

One really exciting application of 3D printing is the generation of body parts. The level of detail that this technology can produce often overcomes traditional methods results, offering patients a superior fit or design, and they can often be produced at an impressively low cost.

Virtual Reality for Medical experience and education

Dr. Shafi Ahmed wears a VR headset as he operates on a fictional patient as part of the Virtual Surgeon program his company designed.

On April 14, 2016, the British doctor Shafi Ahmed performed the world’s first operation broadcasted around the world via virtual reality.

The entire operation, which lasted approximately three hours, was live-streamed on Medical Realities website for people without a VR headset. For those who have one, they could download the “VR in OR” app to get immersed in the 360-degree surgery room, right beside Ahmed as he removed cancerous tissue from a male patient’s bowel.

The surgery began at 1 p.m. local time at the Royal London Hospital. Thanks to a partnership between Barts Health and the 360-degree video company Mativision, the broadcast will serve as a training tool for up-and-coming surgeons and other medical professionals. Rather than endure an expensive flight to a hospital for on-site education, students can tune into VR and still see firsthand how it’s done.

Food Scanners

Food scanners

A food scanner is designed to tell how many grams of sugar a fruit contains, or what the alcohol percentage of a drink is. Even though this is one of the most recent inventions that still needs adjustments in its different brands, it has been a powerful tool for people with gluten intolerance and diabetes to overcome fears at the time of eating and choosing food.

Food scanners will need to progress similarly to wearable health trackers – move from raw data to automated analysis and smart suggestions to the user.

Nanorobotics

Nanorobotics

Surgical nanorobots are introduced into the human body through vascular systems and other cavities. They act as semi-autonomous on-site surgeon inside the human body and are programmed or directed by a human surgeon. The programmed surgical nanorobot performs various functions like searching for pathogens, and then diagnose and correct lesions by nano-manipulation synchronized by an onboard computer while conserving and contacting the supervisory surgeon through coded ultrasound signals. Nowadays, the earlier forms of cellular nano-surgery are being explored.

 

Prosthetic parts

Printed skin made as face prosthesis

One of the bigger advancements in MedTech that have promoted social inclusion is all kinds of prosthesis either for humans or animals. Prosthesis comprehends a large diversity of technologies that contribute to the final result. 3D printing is used to recreate physical appearance as AI to recreate motion and dexterity.

The skin is technically the largest organ in the human body and thanks to 3D printing, it is possible to replicate it if needed. This can actually be done by taking a sample of DNA and growing stem cells to create a material to ‘print’ with. In the past, in order to perform a skin transplant, one would have to remove a patch from another part of the patient’s body. It might be a painful process and creates an additional unnecessary wound. It is officially possible to 3D-Print skin and transfer it onto patients but within a few years, will be even possible to have the capability to Scan and 3D-Print directly over the wound with just one machine.

With these MedTech solutions, healthcare is rapidly advancing not only to expand the variety of options to patients but to restore and improve the confidence and quality life conditions of them. A human being needs to feel useful in society to contribute and participate by its own means of them. That is why MedTech plays a fundamental role in integrating every individual as a needed and valuable member in the society.

Written by Sueyfer de la Torre

SIGEF 2018, the Social Innovation and Global Ethics Forum organized by Horyou, will include a special panel on MedTech. SIGEF2018 will take place in Singapore, on 12th and 13th September.

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