Author Archives: mediadc

Blockchain and the future of the for-purpose sector – Live video

View the panel discussion from our recent Melbourne event – Blockchain and the future of the for-purpose sector, featuring:

  • Ellie Rennie – Associate Professor/ Principal Research Fellow, School of Media and Communication, RMIT (Facilitator)
  • Jason Potts – Professor of Economics, School of Economics, Finance and Marketing, RMIT
  • Amanda Robinson – Head of Social Innovation at the Australian Red Cross
  • Nick Byrne – CEO, TypeHuman

Blockchain basics – a visual guide

In the lead up to our event on Tuesday July 10th 2018 – Blockchain and the future of the for-purpose sector –  we have put together a visual guide of blockchain basics for attendees and those interested in learning more about the basics of blockchain. Follow the image links to find out more! 

So, what is it?

Blockchain is a technology that facilitates secure online transactions such as exchanging money or updating a digital record without the need of an intermediary body. It is an uneditable and therefore incorruptible digital audit trail. Blockchain is a type of ‘distributed ledger technology’ which is explained in a little more detail below.

Blockchain 101 (Hewlett Packard Enterprise)

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Red Cross Blockchain Case Study – enabling transparency of Islamic social financing

Islamic Finance Global (source: IFRC.org)

In the lead up to Blockchain and the future of the for-purpose sector (July 10,Melbourne), Melbourne Development Circle is talking to companies and organisations about what is going on in the blockchain space here in Melbourne.

Amanda Robinson shared an example from International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC).

Case study: Red Cross Blockchain

The value of global Islamic Social Finance is projected to grow from $1.9 trillion currently to $3.5 trillion by 2021. There is increasing awareness that through more effective management and distribution, Islamic Social Finance can play a major role in bridging the gap between available funding and growing humanitarian and development needs. For example, Zakat, an obligation for Muslims to give alms, is already one of the largest existing forms of wealth transfer whereby eligible Muslims are required to donate at least 2.5 per cent of their wealth to improve the welfare of those in need of assistance. But collection of zakat and other types of Islamic Social Finance is largely unregulated and disjointed, which presents a strategic opportunity to engage and direct funding to sustainable and impactful social and humanitarian initiatives.

In early 2018, a blockchain application developed by the International Federation of the Red Cross and AidTech won a global finance competition (FinTech Islamic Finance Challenge). The application promotes traceability and transparency of Islamic Social Finance, and offers individuals and organisations the ability to track their contributions in highly complex humanitarian settings.

Read more about it here: http://media.ifrc.org/ifrc/press-release/ifrc-blockchain-application-wins-global-islamic-finance-competition/.

 

dutyof.care Case Study – how blockchain tech can help protect the vulnerable

DoC logoIn the lead up to Blockchain and the future of the for-purpose sector (July 10,Melbourne), Melbourne Development Circle is talking to companies and organisations about what is going on in the blockchain space here in Melbourne.

Lexi Randall-L’Estrange spoke with Peter Baynard-Smith about dutyof.care.

What problem is dutyof.care trying to solve?

Organisations working with vulnerable people are required to undertake verification checks on their staff, volunteers, consultants, and contractors. 1 in 5 workers in Australia are now required to carry some form of accreditation. This applies across multiple sectors: aged care, education, health, disability services, humanitarian aid, sports, and many more. More than 5000 such accreditations have been revoked in the past few years.

In the event of an individual’s accreditation being revoked, the integrity of the verification data relies on regularity of checking. The current systems for organisations to ensure their compliance involves costly manual checking, inadequate frequency of checks, unreliable record keeping, and inability to detect errors/tampering or inconsistencies. Essentially, organisations are simply not checking that cards remain valid.

Public enquiries (eg Royal Commission) and catastrophic disclosures (eg Oxfam) have uncovered systemic failures. Vulnerable people have been the ones to suffer, and organisations have also borne huge cost in reputation, funding, and redress costs.

What’s your solution to the issue?

dutyof.care is a secure online platform for managing and continuously verifying staff certifications for safeguarding and compliance. The solution was designed in response to the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institution Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Australia as a secure one-stop-shop, allowing organisations to automatically verify individual staff certification requirements such as working with children checks, medical registrations, teachers’ accreditations and other professional licenses and registrations.

Over 10 organisations are already using the platform in the private beta stage, including companies from across disability services, sports clubs, churches and performing arts. A public beta will be announced shortly.

The potential for this technology in the humanitarian aid and development sector lies in its ability to transform the sector’s verification and safeguarding integrity, dramatically improve cost efficiency, provide CEO’s and boards with peace of mind that they are doing all they can to ensure the safety of vulnerable people, provide real-time response and data feedback, and operate across multiple jurisdictions globally.

How does blockchain technology help solve this problem?

dutyof.care uses blockchain technology to create a continuum of ‘verification events’ by storing encrypted data in a permanent, public and auditable ledger. Smart Contracts ensure the integrity of the data, forever. Alerts are sent out immediately when an issue is encountered and organisations can earn free platform credits (“VDOC Tokens”) for taking an active role in the dutyof.care ecosystem.

How would you summarise what’s unique about dutyof.care for the MDC community?

  • a permanent, auditable ledger: organisations will have an auditable record to prove their compliance and that they did everything they could and should have done to ensure the safety of vulnerable people in their care
  • care is distributed on a blockchain: the integrity of the verification data will be tamper-proof. No personal identifiers are made available. The blockchain holds a log of ‘verification events’ and metadata.
  • continuous screening: organisations can re-verify people as often as they need to, and when dutyof.care detects a compliance accreditation has been revoked, lapsed or expired an organisation will be immediately notified through multiple channels

Read more about dutyof.care on their website.

Sign up for the July event here: http://mdc-blockchain.eventbrite.com.au/.

If you have a case study you want to share, send an email to Lexi.

Free to Shine

Free To Shine was established to empower through education to prevent sex trafficking. We keep girls most at risk in school by helping them achieve their five essential human rights. These are; freedom from slavery; access to education; access to safe drinking water; enough food to not be hungry; and adequate shelter. Equipped with their human rights, our girls have the opportunity to become leaders who create communities and ultimately countries free from sex-trafficking.
Sex trafficking is a 32 billion dollar (US$) industry that relies on the degradation and torture of human beings to generate profit. The Asia-Pacific region accounts for 56% of the global total of trafficked persons. This is 3x higher than Africa (3.7 million persons) and 6x higher than Latin America (1.8 million persons).

With Free To Shine’s presence in Cambodia, Children are prevented from entering the sex trafficking industry. They are freed from the intergenerational cycle of poverty, and remain protected in school. With your help, Free To Shine can enrol more girls onto our sponsorship program. From as little as $35 a month you can ensure a girl remains in school, and not in the sex-trafficking industry.

FTS_TurbulenceMag_HR_v1

Pollinate Energy Young Professionals Program

Pollinate Energy has opened applications for the next Young Professionals Program in April 2016. The programs will be held in their second and third cities, Hyderabad and Kolkata. Pollinate Energy is a social business lighting up the lives of families living in India’s city slums by helping them access clean energy technology – like solar lanterns. They recently took out the ‘one to watch’ award at the Australian Social Enterprise Awards as they continue to scale their impact across India.

The Young Professionals Program is a chance for you to be part of that growth. You will spend two weeks in India with this dynamic socially driven startup. Together with your team of international and local professionals, you will use your knowledge to help Pollinate Energy overcome their most pressing business challenges, while learning about the problems faced by local entrepreneurs and families who are living in the slums of India’s major cities. You will also attend training sessions equipping you with the skills you need to visualise career progression and to succeed in senior roles.

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Are you the next agent for change? Applications close 31st October, for more information and to apply click here.

“The Pollinate Energy Young Professionals Program is a ‘must do’ for anyone even remotely curious about changing the world for the better. I learnt more about India, poverty, social business and myself during the 2 week program than I have in the last 2 years!”

– Holly Hyder, YPP 2013, Pollinate Energy Ambassador

Tumultuous Times: Aid Cuts & Partnership Impacts – Event Summary

Dave Husy (left) and Adam Valvasori (right)

Dave Husy (left) and Adam Valvasori (right) taking questions from the audience. Photo by Dan A’Vard – Opencage Photography

Tumultuous Times: Aid Cuts & Partnership Impacts

Tuesday May 5th, 6-8pm, Donkey Wheel House Melbourne

Event summary by Kelly Rae

Disproportionate cuts to the Australian aid budget announced last December mean that Australian NGO’s are already starting to axe international programs, with a devastating impact on their partner organisations and communities in which poverty alleviation programs have been operating. With further aid cuts expected to be announced this May, NGO’s are in limbo, many starting to alert partner organisations that programs may have to be scaled down or ceased all together. The impact on partnerships, long term programming, and the people that they work with, will be profound.

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