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Finalist Evaluation

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Certainly a broadly accessible, multi-scale, platform to exchange SDG information and facilitate collaborations would be useful. I am not familiar enough with blockchain technology to see why it is adventageous for this application. I would lie to know more about who the targeted users are and how they will be recruited to use this platform.

Semi-Finalist Evaluation

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Judges are glad to see a blockchain focused proposal. Some points for improvement:

1. Are there proposals that have been submitted that you think could be enabled by this blockchain platform? It might be more useful to get a practical example of how the initiatives linked through the platform could enable positive change.

2. I'm not sure why there is such an emphasis on the UN as being a key actor in this space; they could be one actor, for sure, but I do think that there are potential other actors that could be even more useful for enabling this kind of initiative.

3. The focus of the platform is around climate, but there are a lot of other SDG related challenges such as food insecurity, health etc that could also benefit from such a platform; what would a really ambitious platform that can address a lot of these integrated challenges look like? Especially emphasising the use of blockchain for eliciting trade-offs and identifying unintended consequences of some actions on other SDGs could be really interesting.

4. Linking to work by other people using blockchain for the 'wellbeing economy' could be a powerful and persuasive angle to take; and could also help to address the incentive to get involved and the reach of the platform.

5. It is not clear to me having read the proposal, how blockchain would enhance synergies, visibility, and solutions to the SDGs. Please provide convincing comparisions such as what can be achieved 'with vs without blockchain,' or perhaps provide an example of some problem where blockchain has been succesfully employed (bitcoin is mentioned, but keeping track of bitcoin is not a similar problem to achieving SDGs).

6. I can understand why starting with Germany is useful- but after that, surely as a global platform the scalability is important?

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Sorin Simplaceanu

Jan 30, 2018
10:09

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Dear Jury, 

Thank you for providing valuable feedback to let us improve our proposal. 

As there are some direct questions, we will answer them in the comments, to better clarify our point.  In the answers provided we have also summarize what we have modified in the proposal text. 

Question 1. Are there proposals that have been submitted that you think could be enabled by this blockchain platform? It might be more useful to get a practical example of how the initiatives linked through the platform could enable positive change. 

Answer (see also section "Proposals"): 
There is a certain category of proposals that would benefit from the ClimateCoop platform. ClimateCoop is designed to be a true enabler, an accelerator and incubator of ideas facilitating execution. If a certain proposal implies communication between more than two parties, usage of trustful data, implying a definition of certain collaboration logic or extend a certain process to facilitate execution, then the usage of ClimateCoop platform will provide value. 

Nevertheless we have never seen ClimateCoop in it´s current proposed format as a finished product, but as a platform with continuous on-going evolution constantly adding value-added features & capabilities based on community input.

Please additionally also see the "Future vision" section in the ClimateCoop proposal for some examples on which directions the Platform might evolve.

A) . 

Unleash the energy of millions 

and

https://www.betterplace.org/
One of the main goals with the platform is to make contribution to SDG related projects globally acessible, super convenient and easy. We want to capture the mass population of eco conscious individuals who have no idea how they may help & contribute to the SDGs even if they would want to. This contribution may come in a large variety of forms  such as a part time effort & competence offered for a couple of hours per week or month or lending of equipment or monetary support, while the Platform will help with the coordination on how best to utilize this. We assume the collective capacity of such limited contribution could have significant impact once it´s properly organized via some medium, being the ClimateCoop Platform in our proposal.


B).  C’SQUARE - The Urban Comfort Rating
https://www.climatecolab.org/contests/2017/exploring-synergistic-solutions-for-sustainable-development/c/proposal/1334316

Additional Value ClimateCoop could provide:
- One of the core Use Cases of ClimateCoop is to allow individuals, communities, organizations to propose new ideas and raise attention, find support and arrange for a sort of consortium that might eventually execute a project. This is perfectly in line with this proposal where "citizens would be proposing solutions for solving trade-offs to minimize its impact on the environment". 
- Ratings & reviews, polls could be held on top of the ClimateCoop Blockchain in a trusted, authentic way (actually polling systems are one of the most standard Use Cases discussed for Blockchain).
- According to the C'SQUARE proposal "Citizens should be part of evidence-based and effective decision- and policy-making around the SDGs as well as urban planning in their own city", which matches another core Use Case of the Climate Coop Platform being policy driven matrix governance. The entire decision- and policy-making process would be implemented in a transparent, auditable & incorruptible way on the Blockchain.


C). Global Complementary Currency Pegged to the Production of Organic Living Biomass
https://www.climatecolab.org/contests/2017/exploring-synergistic-solutions-for-sustainable-development/c/proposal/1334292
Additional Value ClimateCoop would provide:
- Cryptocurrencies are the most common use case today for Blockchain technology. They have a prooven track record of being securely realized on top of Blockchain Technology. Actually we have proposed in the "Future Vision" part in the "new funding models and revenue streams" section the introduction of a multipurpose virtual currency / token for ClimateCoop. This could be aligned with the "crocus" currency to be issued by the proposed Organic Monetary Fund (OMF) entity. Note that you could have multiple tokens serving multiple purposes on top of ClimateCoop and they may be exchanged with or transformed into each other in certain predefined context & conditions.
- The blockchain may ensure that the volume of  "crocus" would be really pegged to the growth of healthy living biomass produced under a “Micro-farm Cluster” (MFC) as the proposal suggests. The metrics & measures of the biomass might be automated via IoT, robotics & AI solutions and the data fed into the Blockchain in a secure way.
- Having "crocus" implemented as a virtual currency, it would open up it´s integration with cryptocurrency exchanges

 


Sorin Simplaceanu

Jan 30, 2018
10:33

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Question 2. I'm not sure why there is such an emphasis on the UN as being a key actor in this space; they could be one actor, for sure, but I do think that there are potential other actors that could be even more useful for enabling this kind of initiative.

Answer (see also section"Enabling environment)": This part didn´t go through very well in our proposal, thank you for the feedback, so we will try to clarify the role of the UN or others global NGOs. We have also edited the proposal accordingly.

We would expect the UN or another global NGO to define "super-level" policies & governance and show direction, define high level targets & goals. We believe the UN is a good, authentic, credible, trusted & prepared organization to do this. The rest of the network would aim for compliance with these policies, however have fully self-governed autonomous functioning without unnecessary interference.

We believe initially every Large Scale, Complex, MultiParty System requires some sort of regulation, but it should be a healhy & limited one not to suffocate innovation, discourage interest or degrade efficiency.

We are optimistic the right balance might be found for the role of the UN (or other global NGO) and the level of governance it may initially provide to the ClimateCoop platform, which over time and with experience may be accordingly adjusted and possibly even eliminated.

There needs to be additional effort invested into the governance model during the execution phase of the project consulting all the SMEs, Advisory Board and other respective parties.


Sorin Simplaceanu

Jan 30, 2018
10:50

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Question 3. The focus of the platform is around climate, but there are a lot of other SDG related challenges such as food insecurity, health etc that could also benefit from such a platform; what would a really ambitious platform that can address a lot of these integrated challenges look like? Especially emphasising the use of blockchain for eliciting trade-offs and identifying unintended consequences of some actions on other SDGs could be really interesting.

Answer: We did indeed present ClimateCoop mainly "dressed" as a platform for the Climate Action goal in order to concentrate our scope and make the proposal more understandable. As it was very well recognized by the Jury, it is really a generic platform you could customize for any and even all the other different SDGs opening a completely different level of synergistic opportunities. The capabilities, use cases, benefits and values discussed of ClimateCoop are valid for all the SDGs, technically there is nothing SDG specific here.

One way to achieve this would be to enrich assets / information managed within the blockchain highway of ClimateCoop with rich semantic metadata and introduces policies that would enforce parties to provide this data. For instance for ideas & projects the metadata would contain key information for the change in scope in terms of resources, competence, monetary, economic, social, cultural, etc. inputs & outputs.

Once this rich metadata is available we would have off-chain, run-time analytics working on the blockchain reporting synergistic opportunities or threats. We could also provide an elastic search capability to the users of the Platform, that would allow for human detection of more complex synergy, which predefined reports, rules might bypass. Finally we could apply & train various AI models (adaptive, predictive, etc.) to observe the rich data sets & events within the blockchain and detect situations, patterns of interest.


Sorin Simplaceanu

Jan 30, 2018
10:35

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Question 4. Linking to work by other people using blockchain for the 'wellbeing economy' could be a powerful and persuasive angle to take; and could also help to address the incentive to get involved and the reach of the platform.

Answer: This links we put to references:

Below we have a couple of examples of Blockchain projects in the domain of the "wellbeing economy" in the references list.

(a) Ambrosus - Ensuring "Trusted Quality of Food & Medicine" on the Supply Chain

https://ambrosus.com

(b) Powerleger - "World Leading P2P Blockchain Full Stack Technology Energy Company. This Platform Application class offers smart contracts for carbon traders to assure digital transactions across organizations; credibility of asset using immutable distributed ledger technology; and transparency and auditability."

https://powerledger.io

(c) Humaniq - "Humaniq is a new generation financial services with its own cryptocurrency, which is aimed at eradicating poverty amongst millions of people living in the emerging economies."
https://humaniq.com

(d) Ecocoin - "The ECO coin is a currency with economic and ecological value. Imagine, a community wants to encourage people to ride bikes and decides to reward all bike riders with 5 ECO coins that can be spent at the local market."

https://www.ecocoin.com

(e) Dubai Smart City - "The goal is to offer government services on interoperable blockchains and create a cohesive ecosystem that can dramatically reduce wasted time, effort and resources."
https://www.ibm.com/blogs/blockchain/2017/04/blockchain-in-dubai-smart-cities-from-concept-to-reality/

(f) MITO DAO - "Mitigation Token — universal exchange vehicle for multiple green finance assets. Designed to unite green finance markets across the globe"

https://mito.ipci.io

(g) Biocoin - "BioCoin creates a bustling ecosystem that supports local communities and green businesses, creating a newtork of socially responsible companies all over the world and accelerating global adoption of organic agriculture, sustainable development and responsible consumption."

https://biocoin.bio


Sorin Simplaceanu

Jan 30, 2018
10:36

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Question 5. It is not clear to me having read the proposal, how blockchain would enhance synergies, visibility, and solutions to the SDGs. Please provide convincing comparisons such as what can be achieved 'with vs without blockchain,' or perhaps provide an example of some problem where blockchain has been successfully employed (bitcoin is mentioned, but keeping track of bitcoin is not a similar problem to achieving SDGs).

Answer: We have provided some specific examples within the response to Question 1, where you may see how Blockchain technology - and ClimateCoop - provide value to existing proposals.

Regarding the enhancement of synergies please see our response for Question 3: visibilities and solutions would be enhanced as the Platform would allow for dynamic community discovery & development around intersections of geographical distribution and/or the multilevel SGD hierarchical structure. Please also check the "Future vision" part in the Proposal where we have additional Use Cases that will improve the previous two characteristics of the Ecosystem.

We have recently arrived to the 3rd generation blockchain technologies, which allow applications & their governance model to fully run on the decentralized blockchain (the business logic, processes, policies written inside Smart Contracts) with guarantee for scalability, interoperability, and sustainability. This is indeed much more than the 1st Generation Blockchain technology (which Bitcoin is based upon) has allowed us to accomplish.

 

Here are some of the biggest Blockchain Projects as a reference for the readiness & maturity of the technology:

 

(1) IBM & Maersk: blockchain-based platform for global trade

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-maersk-blockchain-ibm/maersk-ibm-to-launch-blockchain-based-platform-for-global-trade-idUSKBN1F51DE

 

(2) Kuehne & Nagel: Blockchain Tech for Asset Management

https://www.trustnodes.com/2016/09/06/worlds-largest-freight-company-use-blockchain-tech-asset-management

 

(3) American Express, Santander and Ripple: cross-border payments

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/16/american-express-santander-team-up-with-ripple-on-blockchain-platform.html

 

(4) Nasa

https://futurism.com/nasa-funds-autonomous-unmanned-spacecraft/

 

(5) Wallmart

https://www.forbes.com/sites/rogeraitken/2017/12/14/ibm-walmart-launching-blockchain-food-safety-alliance-in-china-with-fortune-500s-jd-com/#3a9eb94d7d9c

Please note that most of the previous projects will be all implemented with private / consortium Blockchain technologies. Nevertheless on http://www.coinmarketcap.com we have list of public Blockchain technologies worth an aggregated Market Cap of 500 billion USD.

According to Deloitte, there were 26.000 Blockchain projects started in 2016 and today we have 86.000 projects on GitHub source control management system (https://www.coindesk.com/deloitte-report-over-26000-blockchain-projects-began-in-2016/).


Sorin Simplaceanu

Jan 30, 2018
10:25

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Question 6. I can understand why starting with Germany is useful - but after that, surely as a global platform the scalability is important?

Answer: The platform has no limitation in terms of scalability. This is one of the reasons actually we have opted for a Blockchain based solution, so scalability might be achieved in the most natural and efficient way. The platform must start somewhere and this is scope of hosting the first blockchain nodes in Germany, to allow other parties to connect to the platform with own nodes and distribute it globally.

The ClimateCoop Ecosystem would initially support the standard Use Cases we have discussed within the proposal. Whenever scaling with ClimateCoop to a new country or region there might be a need for marketing & communication to raise awareness and interest for the ClimateCoop platform among citizens/organizations. In parallel to this, local NGOs, Government entities responsible for SDGs, Corporations with active sustainability footprint, Media outlets specialized around SDGs and selected communities shall be contacted to ensure their understanding & get their engagement for the Platform.

We would recommend a gradual roll out by gaining experience first and moving on to new regions and applying change with the lessons learned.

ClimateCoop is designed from the ground to be global platform and whenever it achieves that final state will it provide the greatest value for the SDGs.


Sorin Simplaceanu

Jan 31, 2018
09:39

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Dear Jury, 

As requested here is the list of changes we made to the original Proposal:

- Pitch text has been improved.

- Added a diagram discussing the Assets the Platform will support to the Summary part. 

- Throughout the Proposal we have recommended decision making, policy definition rights to global NGOs, not only the UN.

- In the Poposal section we have added two existing proposals from our current competition and also added some explanation to the completed proposals.

- In the "What actions do you propose?" section we have added 3 figures explaning the matrix governance how it helps "creating order & harnessing value" on the Platform.

- in the "Who will take these actions and which types of actors are involved?" section we have added a new paragraph discussing how the Platform will empower & utilize the mass population of eco conscious individuals to contribute to SDGs.

- We have added the requested details to the "What enabling environment would be required in order to implement this proposal?".


Sorin Simplaceanu

Feb 28, 2018
09:38

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Dear Jury Members,

Many thanks for selecting our Proposal to enter the final round of the Competition together with the other great Contesters. We are humbled by your decision and excited to continue our participation.

We understood from your latest evaluation feedback we should maybe further emphasize the below two important aspects of ClimateCoop.

(1) Summary of advantages of using Blockchain Technology

The primary reason we need Blockchain technology for ClimateCoop is to have a fully decentralized Platform that is governed by the Community and not by any single central authority.

This governance model would however ensure there is a well defined structure, hierarchy & process to the democratic governance empowering elected representatives of the Community to define & manage global and / or local policies via a collaborative decision process, which drive and regulate the various value streams in ClimateCoop. This governance model would be flexible and adaptive allowing the Community to change, adjust and fine tune it with a Blockchain based voting system. 

The secondary reason is the digital trustability environment Blockchain ensures. It allows for "trustless" value exchanges between parties collaborating in ClimateCoop. It would manage the identity and history (actions, ratings, reviews, etc.) of Community members. It would give the opportunity to use ClimateCoop as the modern economic / monetary infrastructure backbone (with a dedicated & restricted cryptocurrency, various treasuries, etc.) of the SDGs. It would serve as a "registry" of business commitments, agreements (de facto in a legal context) members in the Community make. It would allow for certificates, approvals & decisions to have a commonly accepted standardized form with immediate effect & acceptance.

There are other incremental advantages of using Blockchain as the underlying technology, such as ensuring dynamic & unlimited scalability, unstoppability, global accessibility and finally complete transparency of the Platform.

(2) Summary of Target Users & Strategy to Acquire them

We did refer to the future users of the ClimateCoop Platform as the Community for a reason.

This Community would include, but not limited to NGOs, Government Agencies, The UN, Sustainability Units of Big Corporations, Charity Funds, Projects & Organizations in the Climate Change domain, Sponsors and most importantly the mass population of private individuals, eco conscious citizens.

We propose ClimateCoop as an inclusive, unified and common Platform for collaboration & governance. We do understand the level of complexity and tremendous challenge ClimateCoop faces to acquire it's user base. For this reason we are planning for a multi-phased roll out, with geographical segmentation allowing to build local partnerships, accommodate marketing strategy to the local culture, seeking out for local sponsorship & governmental support and arranging for local evangelism, education & training of ClimateCoop. Also we do plan for a multi-phased roll out of ClimateCoop capabilities, starting with features targeting a few User Segments and later once adoption has been reached rolling out with other features attracting new User Segments. It's all about having a gradual approach, starting simple and taking valuable feedback & experience on the way fed back to the continuous improvement process of adoption strategy and execution.

Please note that in the beginning of February we have been contacted by the Climate Chain Coalition (http://www.climatechaincoalition.org/), which we have learnt is a brand new organization aiming to bring together parties who share the vision that distributed ledger technology (DLT) / Blockchain may help to deliver better Climate Change solutions. We have reached out to the respected members of the coalition and found them to be really supportive & postive about ClimateCoop. We plan to work together with this influential & highly experienced global network in many ways. One of the strategic support we will seek and hope for mutually beneficial collaboration is when it comes to adoption of the ClimateCoop platform and acquring of it´s user base. 

These two key characteristics of ClimateCoop, the matrix-based, multi-level & democratic Governance Model and the Community around Climate Change unified in collaboration we believe will boost a lot of synergistic opportunities for Climate Change and the other SDGs.

Many Thanks! 

Bertalan and Sorin