The transcript is from a panel discussion titled “Activating Local Communities of Commerce” on YouTube. The panel consists of Charles Nichols, Gabriela Chang, and Michael Keating, who are experts in their respective fields. The discussion revolves around engaging marginalized communities and including their voices in the networks being built. Each panelist introduces themselves and briefly describes their work.
Gabriela Chang, co-founder of Ethicob, talks about their D5 protocol that enables secure lending for impact investing. The protocol allows anyone in the world to invest in smallholder farmers without risk, ensuring impactful financial inclusion.
Michael Keating, founder in residence at the Cello Foundation, discusses the challenge of limited personal transportation options for the billions of people who have smartphones but lack vehicles. He highlights his previous work with Scoot, a company that connected electric vehicles to an app for convenient rentals. Currently, Keating aims to close the gap by connecting riders and vehicles through the solar blockchain.
Charles Nichols, founder in residence at Nuzo, introduces Nuzo’s mission to empower communities to launch and govern their own marketplaces. Nichols emphasizes the importance of critical mass to make a marketplace useful and explains how Nuzo utilizes tokens to incentivize early adopters. Their marketplace, the Nuzo Marketplace, serves small shops in Nairobi, Kenya.
The panel acknowledges the trust and value present in small communities that traditional financial institutions fail to assess. Gabriela Chang highlights their work with migrant populations, issuing loans with a lower default rate than traditional banks due to the inherent trust within these communities.
The conversation shifts towards the creation of value and opportunity for traditionally excluded populations. The panelists discuss the potential of blockchain to transcend geographical and financial borders, empowering individuals to create value. They emphasize the importance of supporting regenerative agriculture and leveraging blockchain to unlock the productive potential of large populations in Latin America, Africa, and Southeast Asia.
Michael Keating emphasizes the significance of capital and financing in bridging the gap in personal transportation access. He also highlights the potential for individuals to create value by participating in protocols like wireless coverage networks. Charles Nichols emphasizes the importance of small businesses in Sub-Saharan Africa, which account for 8 out of every 10 jobs, and discusses how Nuzo aims to create opportunities and enable access to high-quality products and services.
The panel concludes by discussing the importance of community strength, commitment, and growth. They express the need for technologies and protocols to empower individuals, enabling them to participate, govern, and co-own the platforms and systems being developed. They emphasize the interconnectedness facilitated by blockchain technology and its potential to counteract forces that aim to create distance and division.
In summary, the panel explores various topics related to activating local communities of commerce, including impactful financial inclusion, access to personal mobility, enabling community marketplaces, trust in marginalized communities, unlocking value in excluded populations, closing the gap in access and governance, and building stronger and more connected communities.