Digital Social-Good Innovators Bet on Blockchains to Solve Big Problems


blockchainOn the 15th December 2017, Martel attended the “Blockchains for Social Good Conference” in Turin, Italy, for a rich day of presentations, best practices, and debates about Blockchain Technologies and their applications for the public good.

With distributed ledger technologies, we may be witnessing one of those potential explosions of creative potential that catalyse exceptional levels of innovation. The technology could prove to have the capacity to deliver a new kind of trust to a wider range of services.

The conference participants’ tried to answer a challenging question: “How can we promote the creation of solutions and applications based on Blockchain Technology, which address social and environmental issues? How can we work to shift economic and social paradigms through Blockchain Technology, increasing the economic prosperity of individuals and communities?

Fabrizio Sestini, Senior Expert, DG Connect at European Commission leads the CAPS initiative at the European Commission and launched the Horizon 2020 €5m European Commission Prize: “Blockchains for Social Good”. The prize has been designed by the European Commission to promote scalable, efficient and high-impact decentralized solutions to social innovation challenges leveraging the technology used in Blockchain.

At this event in Turin, besides the official launch of the prize, several prominent representatives from the Digital Social Innovation scene participated. Of particular relevance to a number of activities Martel is pursuing was the session dedicated to the use of Blockchains for the Public Good.

Municipalities should be at the forefront of the open innovation process to ensure their communities’ welfare. They intrinsically collect critical data from citizens through smart cities’ applications gathered from various communities’ sensitive data, which can be reused for multiple purposes. Representatives of Barcelona, Torino and Milan – namely Francesca Bria, Barcelona City Council, Chief Technology and Digital Innovation Officer, Paola Pisano Deputy Mayor for Innovation and Smart City, City of Torino, and Cristina Tajani City of Milan Cabinet Member for Labour Policies, Business, Commerce, Human Resources – presented their cities’ plans for developing services based on the Blockchains Technology. They all underlined how “data” is a resource to be treated with care, defining how data can be collected and for which purposes it should be used therefore, becoming a subject of critical and political debate.

At Martel, with our work on smart cities’ services, we are committed in contributing to this vision and we are excited to be involved at such a critical stage of innovation, tapping into the social debate on how technologies can impact the social welfare.

It is a key part of our mission to build new and stronger relationships with municipalities, industries, sciences, policy makers and non-profit actors – adds Dr. Federico Facca, the Head of Martel Laband assist them on their journey to realize their innovation through sharing experiences, competencies and results.

blockchainOur team uniquely combines technical, scientific and business skills to support municipalities, NGOs, start-ups and industry players on their journey to realize innovation. We are currently engaged in a number of H2020 research and innovation projects such as SmartSDK, RIFE, FLAME, and SELECT4CITIES, which are developing innovative approaches and solutions for smart cities’ services. In parallel, by leading the H2020 ChiC and HUB4NGI projects, we are supporting open innovation initiatives that aim to put technologies at the service of citizens for a next generation Internet that is more centered on human needs and rights.

2018 is around the corner and Martel has already a lot in the pipeline, starting with the “Connected Technologies for Social Good” workshop in Brussels, 14-15 February and the 2nd Digital Social Innovation Fair, in early June in Rome. Stay tuned, and subscribe to Martel’s newsletter!