Social Impact Working Group
The Working Group leverages a variety of expertise to highlight the vast potential of Blockchain and other DLTs. The tools they offer can be utilized to tackle some of today’s most pressing issues, including climate change, modern slavery, poverty, inequality, food waste, fraud, corruption, and other areas addressed by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Objectives for 2021
The Working Group co-chairs have agreed on three main objectives:
- Mapping the blockchain ecosystem in the use of blockchain for social purposes
- Establishing relations and engagement with relevant bodies (EU or International)
- Enhancing Education in blockchain
Outputs for 2021
The Working Group engages in a number of activities aimed at achieving the abovementioned objectives. Among others, Members of the Working Group aim to publish a report and hold an event based on the outcomes of their survey mapping the "blockchain for good" ecosystem, participate in stakeholder (e.g., government, academia) events, create guidelines for blockchain and SDGs, and create a framework for blockchain social impact applications.
Work to Date
As initial steps in their goal of mapping the "blockchain for good" ecosystem, the Working Group complied an internal list of 100+ projects using blockchain for social impact purposes and conducted a survey among those contacts and the broader industry.
Why is it essential?
- 87% of millennials believe business success should be based on more than just profit – Deloitte Millennial Survey 2019
- 80% of global consumers agree that business must play a role in addressing societal issues –Edelman Trust Barometer 2016
- 75% agree that a company can take specific action that both increase profits and improve the economic and social conditions in the community in which it operates – Edelman Trust Barometer 2017
- 33% of consumers are now choosing to buy from brands they believe are doing social or environmental good – Unilever international study 2016
- 64% won’t take a job from a company that doesn’t have strong CSR practices – 2016 Cone Millennial Engagement study
- 75% say they would take a pay cut to work for a responsible company (vs. 55% U.S. average) – 2016 Cone Millennial Engagement study
These statistics substantiate that social impact is getting more and more important and is shaping our behaviours and business perceptions.
However, the social impact market is suffering from several issues:
- Lack of consolidated frameworks to measure contributions globally of projects to social impact.
- Lack of tools for funds traceability and impact transparency.
- Lack of financial resources & support, especially to developing countries.
- Need to incentivise/inspire projects or individuals to contribute to social good.
- Need to tackle Modern Slavery, Conflict Mineral trade, Human Rights Violations present in global supply chains, and incentivize ethical and responsible supply chain practice.
- Lack of coordination of the existing programs.
Many of these issues can be solved (partially) with blockchain as it may bring a greater transparency and traceability of impact investments (funding, charity…) and impact measurement (proof of impact). It can also play an important role in incentivizing people to contribute to social good as well as organisations – through responsible, ethical, and transparent sourcing practices that can be verified back to the origin.
This Working Group is essential to support the initiatives using blockchain for social impact and sustainability, build guidelines for impact measurement, and help matching project owners with investors.
The SI&S WG will also be, in collaboration with the Climate Action WG, the bridge and the link between all the other vertical working group and the social impact and sustainability issues.