Last month, Data-Driven Yale attended the Blockchain for Social Impact Conference hosted by Consensys’ Blockchain for Social Impact Coalition and the PeaceTech Lab. The conference brought technical groups and social organizations together to explore how blockchain technology can facilitate solutions to help meet the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. This year’s conference had a particular focus on how new technology can improve agriculture, climate mitigation, and refugees.

For Data-Driven Yale, a highlight of the conference was hearing from Nick Beglinger and Cleantech21 on how they’ve used blockchain technology to drive environmental solutions.

Blockchain technology can make supply chains more transparent and verifiable. Cleantech21 helped develop REDD-Chain, a modern implementation of measurement & verification that supports the United Nations’ Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) program. We envision using similar technology to improve the transparency of other environmental initiatives.

One potential application of blockchain technology to climate governance is an improved reporting and verification system for carbon emissions reduction commits. At the conference, MIT Solve led a peer-driven workshop where attendees helped Data-Driven Yale envision how blockchain can strengthen transparency within global climate commitments. With help from participants from Blockchain Club, the Inter-American Development Bank, Heifer International, and more, we began to develop a framework for how blockchain technology could be effectively deployed to strengthen greenhouse gas emission reduction commitments.

In the lead up to the event, Data-Driven Yale joined the Blockchain for Social Impact coalition. The Blockchain for Social Impact Coalition (BSIC) incubates, develops and implements confederated blockchain products and solutions that can address social and environmental challenges across the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The Blockchain for Social Impact Coalition is an initiative of ConsenSys, a global formation of technologists and entrepreneurs building the infrastructure, applications, and practices to enable a decentralized world.

Currently, the coalition consists of 58 organizations ranging from enterprise to social impact investor and a significant number of social entrepreneurs around the world in Geneva, Glasgow, London to New York, San Francisco and DC solving the world’s most challenging problems that affect the bottom of the pyramid populations in Nigeria, Syria and Moldova.