There is a certain mystique surrounding the blockchain technology, which seems almost as heroically promising as dangerously powerful.
Hailed as one of the most important innovations of our age by some, this technology describes a distributed database that can “move value around and represent the owernship of property”. Introduced through Bitcoin, the use of the blockchain is also currently gaining attention in many other areas, as the potential missing technological link to a more decentralized world.
As one of six major themes this year, OuiShare Fest 2016 will explore the implications of decentralization for individuals, businesses and society and the impact of technologies like blockchain.
William Mougayar will speak about “The promise of a Centerless World“, while Founder of Ethcore Gavin Wood will present his experience developing the decentralized platform Ethereum in “Booting the shadow aristocracy”.
BLOCKCHAIN AND THE PLANTOID
Researcher Primavera de Filippi will reveal a more tangible manifestation of the blockchain and the ‘self-sovereign digital identity’ by presenting the so-called Plantoid . Her talk “Plantoid: the advent of blockchain-based lifeforms” will demonstrate how this small metal artwork in the shape of a flower operates as an entirely autonomous object that not only owns itself but can reproduce with the help of human beings.
In an interview, Primavera explains the complexity of this small robot-plant: “The soul of the Plantoid is a piece of software that is not run on any given server, but has been deployed on top of the blockchain and is thus run in a decentralized manner by every node in the network. While people can possess the physical embodiment of a Plantoid, they cannot exert any control on the way in which that Plantoid will act or evolve. The life-cycle of the Plantoid and its reproductive process is ultimately determined by the underpinning technology”.
Look out, the Plantoid will have a guest appearance at the Fest
Notions of decentralization will also be discussed in their relation to the environment (Julien Tournier: “the impact of decentralization on the environment”), the refugee crisis, as well as their impact on the business sector (“Will blockchain substitute corporations?”).
Advanced sessions such as “A critical eye on the Blockchain” and workshops by experts like Markus Sabadello meanwhile will offer a more hands on approach and the opportunity to delve deeper into this subject.
Believing that “centralization is accountable for many problems today such as exploitation and the unequal distribution of wealth and power”, program curator and CEO of Jolocom Joachim Lohkamp sees the potential that technologies like the Blockchain have in restoring the “most promising initiatives” and grassroots values of the collaborative economy.
As a a new way to scale innovation and wealth horizontally Joachim looks forward to OuiSharefest as the meeting point and space to address possible solutions: “I’m truly concerned about how we shape our society and address the social and environmental challenges of our time […] It excites me to explore the concept of decentralization with the OuiShare community, organizations and other interested stakeholders” – Joachim Lohkamp, Program Curator