Pop Up Companies (PUC´s)
More and more people get uncomfortable with rigid corporate structures (1) but at the same time want to make a fair living. What can we do to help these people to work outside the boundaries of organizations while increasing the incentive for them to help reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)? Bee Collective – Swarm Solutions contributes to solving parts of complex problems by helping people to effectively work in flexible teams, described as Pop Up Companies (PUC´s). Bee Collective is organized as a Decentralized Collective Organization (DCO), an approach that is fast and efficient as not everything has to be reported to a central lead (2). Linux (3) and assembly are famous examples that also make use of a decentralized model. For flexible work as well as for solving complex problems like the SDG´s, collaboration is of key importance. The multidisciplinary knowledge capital that is needed can be crowd sourced from the swarm through networking technologies like platform Part-Up, which facilitates working in networks (4). The PUC´s, temporary for profit companies, clearly define specific milestones that contribute in one way or another to achieving the SDGs. But what does all of this have to do with the block chain?
During the Partos Innovation Event that took place at the NEMO Science Museum on the 6th of October, Perry Smit, advisor at the Dutch Chamber of Commerce, described different uses of the blockchain. Examples are the use of smart contracts and registering land titles (Bitland, Africa; Bitnation, NL) as well as votes through the blockchain. The blockchain-technology, known mainly from digital currency Bitcoin provides opportunities to reward contributions in a fair manner (5). At the event, Bee Collective pitched the idea of using the Blockchain to increase the incentive of people and companies to contribute to reaching the SDG’s by doing just this. But how?
The blockchain is the revolutionary technology behind cryptocurrency Bitcoin and is an ever-lengthening chain of blocks of data. Each block contains a compact record of things that have happened. This means that transactions and contributions in the blockchain are registered and will forever be visible. The blockchain technology enables decentralized organizing, it is distributed and not centralized and therefore everyone can be a participant. Peer to peer transactions from phone to phone, can be made without any middleman, a central authority or entity, interfering. The main reason that central authorities or entities exist in foundations and organizations, is to control and guarantee trust. This bureaucratic and time consuming process brings prices up as the middle man also needs to be paid. A transaction with digital currency Bitcoin can be done without any bank (account) or credit card company, as transactions done in the blockchain are not changeable and will always be visible. In this way the open-source distributed database of the blockchain, facilitates tracking of collaborations, interactions and transactions (5). The idea is therefore that the Blockchain can make international collaborations between people possible, without having to establish trust through bureaucratic measures.
Rewarding contributions to reach the SDG´s
Tapscott, coauthor of the new book Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin is Changing Money, Business, and the World described how this technology has the ability to, through a true peer-to-peer exchange of value´ craft a much more egalitarian, prosperous society where everyone gets to share in the wealth that they create´ (6). An example could be sharing social capital (like your connections or other valuable information). This can be very valuable economically, however this is often not rewarded financially. Airbnb and Uber are examples of companies that harness social capital in the form of reviews on their on their social networks to create trust. This leads to a crowd sourced quality control that relies completely on the contributions of the people, who are currently not rewarded for this. Only a small group of people really thrive on the achieved success of the platforms. The idea of Bee Collective is to make it possible to value contributions to reach the SDG´s with bitcoins and reward them fairly financially. As all transactions done in the blockchain, like contributions made by individuals and companies to solve the SDG´s, will always be visible, they are more likely to be rewarded fairly. We hope this will be an incentive for people to invest time and energy in solving these complex problems. During the presentation of Perry Smit at the Partos Innovation Event, Tey Elrouja cofounder of Bitnoxx, also described a whole other array of opportunities like the registration of someone’s identity and diplomas, which could prevent a lot of misery among displaced people.
We are very optimistic about the revolutionary use of the blockchain. If you have any idea on how to help us take advantage of the possibilities to reach the SDG´s, please get into contact with us. - By Sara Stevenson