Core values are the fundamental beliefs of a person or organization. They act as a guiding principle that help people right or wrong. While walking through a commercial street, have you ever wondered about an app that will notify you of discounts in your preferred retailer, or a product, that align with your values? This is one of the featured functions of the new Seratio AI Bot. On the other hand, it could also help the retailer identify the customers who align with their values and incentivize.

AI Bot

The main objective of the AI bot to help its users make informed decisions based on their values. By building predictive models and using AI algorithms, AI bot will be able to learn user’s preferences and behaviour. This will help the bot identify their next course of action and provide suggestions.

AI Bot receives the required data from multiple core segments of the seratio ecosystem. They are as follows

  1. SAPI

Seratio API is the software that implements impact assessment & tracking (non-financial value analysis). It is responsible for S/E scores calculation, S/E certificate awards, and has a build-in S/E translator enabling engagement and use of all other non-financial metrics.

From a corporate point of view it can process and combine different data sets, including monitoring product provenance, modern slavery conditions checks, Proof-of-[…] metrics, and convert them all into a single-number non-financial attribute – S/E score.

     2.  Seratio Platform Wallet

Anonymity, the fundamental idea behind blockchain. Although it provides high security, it breaks trust in blockchain. CCEG’s solution to the problem is to maintain the anonymity while bringing in non-financial intangible attribution (social Value) of each transaction. the fundamental functionality of the platform is to add an extra layer of value to every transaction

Here every user has the option to enter their basic, financial and social information, that helps in generating the S/E (Social Earnings Ratio) certificate through SAPI.

The details which are used to calculate the SE Ratio of an individual include:
• Country
• Number of people dependent on the individual
• Value of asset
• Environmental considerate decisions
• Amount spent to help others
• Raised/Helped Raising Amount to help others
• Number of people positively influenced by the individual

In the wallet we can set the SER preferences to do/restrict transactions or interactions with organisations, products, projects and people. Which means, the individual can initiate a transaction only if they satisfy the SE Ratio cut-off threshold mentioned by the Individual.


     3. Provenance

The Provenance Monitoring is an S/E based complex analytical tool which allows tracking provenance of products, companies, services etc. In terms of product provenance, the platform will track both financial as well as non-financial attributes at every stage of the supply chain. This information is then submitted to blockchain through smart contract. Here it integrates with seratio blockchain platform. When the product moves from one part of the supply chain to another, the information is carried forward and verified with the corresponding information in blockchain. This creates a secure, shared record of exchange for each product along with specific product information.

When the product is complete, the collective information is processed by SAPI and will be able to provide it aggregate social value along with its other tangible information.

     4. Rewarding Body

Rewarding body functionality supports organisation to create social value by earning tokens through impact that users make through their personal beliefs or social activity. When paid staffs are rewarded with normal currencies, the social currencies can be distributed to its unpaid supporters/helpers. May it be a reward for referral made by valued customers or for the volunteering for a social cause, rewards can be given to thank the other. Users are rewarded with specified tokens for their social activities based on the rewarding policy set by rewarding body. The Rewarding body will then transfer the tokens to the user directly using user’s QR code.

     5. Microshare exchange and Retail

The MICROSHARE is a unit of non-financial, intangible value gained by people through many activities their personal beliefs or social activity (volunteering, charity, carers, etc). The first batch of the microshares are the SER microshares, which was distributed to all who contributed to the ICO. The other altcoins will receive their microshares as well. At this point, microshares will be tradable for another microshare at the microshare exchange.

Soon users will be able to acquire microshares from rewarding body and will be able to buy discount vouchers from retailers. These retailers will empower the community and their values, that they believe in, through discount policies. The discount policy will contain

• Minimum SER value needed to avail discount
• Type of microshare
• Amount of microshare
• Discount offered

Users would be able to purchase the discount in advance and produce it at the retail shop or pay at the counter.

Key outcomes for regular users:

man presses interface

The AI Bot can give suggestions or predictions based on individual’s SE Ratio preferences.

Depending on the user’s values and behavioural patterns, some of the model prediction scenarios are as follows:

• If an individual wants to buy a product, AI Bot can suggest a list of companies, which are providing that product based on the SE score preferred by the individual.

• If an individual wants to improve his SER value, AI Bot can suggest a list of NGOs or Rewarding policies based on their values.

• AI Bot can suggest the available offers and discounts. These offers can be availed using Microshares.

• It should also suggest ways to earn Microshares by integrating itself with rewarding body features in Seratio platform. This should also depend on proximity and preferences of the Customer.

• Different purchase patterns can be generated by the AI Bot, based on previous purchase history details and can suggest the possible future buying nature and other related activities by the individual.


Key outcomes for Organisation/Company:

Similarly, the AI Bot can give suggestions or predictions based on an organization’s preferences and values. Some of the key suggestions could be seen below.

word cloud - community

• If a company wants to launch a product and they want to sell it at a targeted volume of customers, then our AI Bot can suggest the SER value that company should hold to reach the targeted volume of customers.

• Also, if a company want to improve their SER value, our AI Bot can suggest the areas where that company’s activities can be rectified or corrected to switch over from a low SER to a preferable SER value.

For example: Our Bot can suggest improving the wages, if currently one of the reason for that company’s low SER value falls in Modern Slavery category.

• For a manufacturing company, looking to improve their SER value, our AI Bot can suggest the list of suppliers whose SER value is higher with whom the company should associate and a list of suppliers with whom the company should not associate at any stages of product manufacturing.

• To improve their CSR activities, the Bot would be able to provide a list of NGO’s or rewarding body and provide insights into their current and historic social activity. The companies could then either collaborate with these organizations or they could conduct their own activities.


Building Predictive Models – Our Approach

Predictive models predict the future behaviour of a user. Predictive modelling is a group of statistical algorithms, which when applied on provided data, outputs a mathematical function/equation/a logical program that helps to predict the outcomes. To understand our approach, a sample steps taken are provided below

Stages of building a Predictive Model:

AI Bot

A. Data Cleaning:

This stage includes the process of detecting, correcting or removing the inaccurate records from the given data source. This is important to maintain the quality of data.
This stage includes:
• Various kind of data importing scenarios like importing various kind of datasets (.csv, .txt), different kind of delimiters (comma, tab, pipe), and different methods (read_csv, read_table)
• Getting the very basic information, such as dimensions, column names, and statistics summary
• Getting basic data cleaning done by removing NAs and blank spaces, imputing values to missing data points, changing a variable type etc.
• Creating dummy variables in various scenarios to help modelling
• Generating simple plots like scatter plots, bar charts, histograms, box plots etc.

B. Data Wrangling:

This is the process of transforming and mapping data from ‘raw data’ form into a desired format using merging, grouping, concatenating etc. for better decision making and analytics.

C. Explore the data with Python

In this step the data which is saved in database from the given datasource, is loaded to Python for further processing. At this stage the data is converted to dataframe, another data structure using a Python package named Pandas.

The following is an illustrative representation of a dataframe with details of a user for the calculation of SE Score.


After this, we will access the required columns from the dataframe by removing the unwanted ones.

D. Creating and training a model

This is the step where the Model is created and trained. For prediction, first we have to find a Function/Model that best describes the dependency between the variables in our dataset, known as Correlation.

We use Linear Regression Algorithm to create the model if the output to be predicted is a continuous variable. Whereas we use Logistic Regression Algorithm if the output variable is a binary or categorical variable.

After this, the dataset is split into training and testing datasets for the purpose of Training the Model.

• The training dataset is the one on which the model is built. This is the one on which the calculations are performed and the model equations and parameters are created.

• The testing dataset is used to check the accuracy of the model. The model equations and parameters are used to calculate the output based on the inputs from the testing datasets. These outputs are used to compare the model efficiency.

Training the model means fitting the created model to the training set of data. At this stage, we have created a model which is trained with the training dataset and is ready to handle to test dataset.

E. Prediction

This is the stage where the prediction process happens. The trained predictive model will be ready to give the result/prediction using the test dataset we created in the previous step. The default function predict() in Python is used to predict the result we expect.

In this stage the error between our test predictions and the actual values are calculated for checking the efficiency of our created model.

businessman connect to social network

Explaining the approach using an example:

We are considering a scenario where we want to predict the number of sales a retailer will have on a future date depending upon certain previous factors such as offer/discounts on particular category of products provided for customers who will buy using Microshares.

A. Data Cleaning

The provided data is prepared by removing/updating the inaccurate entries to maintain the quality of data.

B. Data Wrangling

In this stage, we will merge/group/concatenate the data if needed for our requirement when analysing our data source.
•  Create a Database in MongoDB
•  Create a collection named sales_data
•  Save the sample data to sales_data

C. Explore the data with Python

•  Load data from database to Python
•  Import data source and convert to pandas dataframe
• Get the required columns from dataframe by avoiding the unwanted ones.

D. Creating and training a model

We use Linear Regression Algorithm to create the model as described in the scenario. For creating the model, we will follow the below steps:

•  Store a variable SalesCount, we will be predicting value of
•  Generate the training set, train
•  Select anything not in the training set and put it in the testing set, test
•  Print the shapes of both sets
•  Initialise the model class, linear_model
•  Fit the model to the training data

 Now we have trained a Linear Regression Model named linear_model.

E.  Prediction

At this stage, we can use the trained linear_model to predict the required output/results using the test set test.

•  Generate our predictions, linear_predictions for the test set
•  Compute error between our test predictions, linear_predictions and the actual values, test

Now, in this stage, we have created a model named linear_model  with Python which can predict the Sales Count of a retailer in a future day, by analysing various factors. For example, if there is an offer/discount on a particular ‘Category’ (Clothing, Sports Accessories etc.) on that day or whether the customer will be using ‘Microshares’ to buy and so on.



This Predictive Model can be used by our AI Bot to help the retailers predict the future Sales Count depending upon the various factors mentioned. Likewise, by building different prediction models in our AI Bot, the main objectives like helping users make informed decisions based on their values can be fulfilled.

The Seratio EcoSphere

End of a Journey, Beginning of a New



At the end of Q3 2018 the not-for-profit foundation Centre for Citizenship, Enterprise and Governance (CCEG) will have completed the Seratio Ecosystem to MVP (minimum viable product) level ready to start implementation in Q4 trials with significant partners in cities, regions and countries around the world.  This has been a 7 year journey, started in May 2011, to create structures for good that allows us to travel through our lives guided by the beliefs we hold dear to our hearts. By establishing a digital currency of intangible value, we can use AI (Artificial Intelligence) Bots on our mobiles to navigate our interactions with organisations, products, projects, processes and even people based on their provenance and how aligned they are to our own values. Retailers will be able to incentivise and target to differing degrees whole communities that match most closely their corporate values. We will be able to exchange our token instruments of non-financial value with assets of financial value.

Now moving to engagement and integration within global markets across public, private, civil society and community sectors, the Seratio EcoSystem will be governed by its participants through a Distributed Autonomous Foundation (DAF) which itself will integrate with other DAO (organisations) structures representing the Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO’s) both small and big. We are an international community of over 120,000 with a vision which are ready to deliver, but the next phase is about market need, scalable adoption, and professional operational delivery to give us a world based on sustainable social impact. Our common goal is to form a world transacting on the optimisation of Total Value where both Financial and Non-Financial Value are of equal importance and driven by our individual and collective Values.

The Journey (2011-2018)

We started our journey in May 2011 and created digital impact measurement, the Social Earnings Ratio, which became the “fastest adopted social impact analysis metric in the world” (The Vatican, 2014). The S/E Ratio, a corollary to the financial P/E Ratio, digitises non-financial value, turns sentiment into financial value, and does it through Fast Data in under 10 seconds. Applied successfully to Social Value Act 2012, Modern Slavery Act 2015, EU Commissions, etc and a plethora of academic commissions, CCEG became the leading provider of SaaS platforms across many sectors, with its own journal Social Value & Intangibles Review.

In early 2016 we moved from just  the measurement of value to the movement of value, adding a transaction of value capability through blockchain. We now have a CCEG Blockchain UN Lab which conducted UK’s first Initial Coin Offering in October 2017 with UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) guidance,  an institutional blockchain consultancy and advisory service Rothbadi & Co,  a large IP DLT consortium CyberFutures, and a university educational value forum

Justas Structuras Creare (Creating Just Structures) #goodistrending

Our aim remains to enable open source structural change for good,  having researched 12 Whitepapers, a membership association for Blockchain Alliance for Good, and the world’s first peer reviewed academic journal Frontiers in Blockchain, jointly launched with a mainstream academic publisher.

Development Cycle

Seratio Ecosytem final image

The integrated components of the Seratio EcoSphere are described above with the following easy to read non-technical guides to understand the linkages:

Current Status

Seratio Ecosystem - circles

The system as a whole is 85% complete (green shaded above) at present moment with 100% expected by October 2018. Originally expected to complete by July 2018, the additions of the DAF and Exchanges has extended the timescales a further 2-3 months. Although the securities financial exchange (yellow shaded above) will take further still with Swiss FINMA approval required, the security asset exchange is not an immediate requirement for day one as many others exist which we can use.

Moving Forward with Partners

With the end of the visioning and development cycle, comes a new challenge as we move into pilots and trials of our MVP to test and improve the Seratio system. We have in place already one pilot with a UK brand Mencap which has been delayed now to December 2018 due to their financial constraints, several demo’s and launches in November 2018 in Amsterdam and June 2019 in Copenhagen with Informa Plc (FTSE 100), as well as city launches in Taizhou (August 2018), Yiwu (October 2018), and country launches in Wales (August 2018) and Moldova (November 2018); other partners are now in discussion.

The Seratio Ecosystem is aided by AI to assess the complex analytical data available and to transparently steer consumers becoming their online friend. Similarly for public sector institutions, private sector corporates, civil society NGO’s – and their leaders – to become their values driven guide

As with all the work at CCEG, the Seratio EcoSphere is open source, and part of our contribution towards the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

If you wish to be a partner please feel free to contact us at



Provenance Engine: Challenges and Solutions

In a nice day, you come to the supermarket, hold in your hand a pack of tomatoes. The succulent tomatoes look tasty with green leaves promising a good meal for your dinner. But, have you ever tried to get the address of the farm grew up the fresh and tasty tomatoes in your basket? Does it adapt the requirements of food standards? Have ever you questioned about what it says in the food labels is true? Although we are in the Information Age when your mind is flooded with the news from all around the globe, sometimes you face a lot of challenges to answer the simple given questions. But what is the root cause?

  1. Main challenges of tracking provenance.

Before reaching the end consumer, goods come across a long journey through a lot of factors. In each end-point of this journey, each retailer, each manufacturer has their own system with the different way of storing, tracking and circulating data. For example, the storage facility is running a system made by company A, the transporter is controlling the data management system by the product of company B. The compatibility in those centralized systems is not valued in its level of importance. Otherwise, the difference of specific progress makes the synchronization between two systems is impossible. If someone would dedicate their time to draw the picture of this product life-cycle from birth-to-death, they must dedicate an enormous amount of time with the huge workload to overcome a lot of obstacles in gathering, classifying and accumulating essential data. Consequently, surprisingly how little we know about the info of all goods we purchased. The unseen dimension of our possessions has still existed if the suppliers are insisted with the current information system meanwhile customers keep concentrating only the info in the wrap-page. Obviously, we need some changes.

Currently, some companies dedicated their resource to build their information repository that opens for customers to observe their vast network of sub-suppliers. However, all current systems are just focusing on the hard asset attributes with the boring scientific index or rough numbers about the industry standard what does not bring much significance to the understanding of normal customers. We have to acknowledge that with a little knowledge about the food industry, we are hard to differentiate the advantages of Global G.A.P certification against the organic certification from USDA. All the terminologies or even financial figures are not more useful than the brand of producers. More than that, the customers demand simple metrics that directly relate to their value preferences.

The last challenge I would like to share on this blog may be illustrated after this short story. Most customers may know about the top favourite product of Apple – iPhone which is normally seen in the bright, clean and modern iStore where is full of happiness and well-mannered people. But only a few ones have ever heard about the investigation conducted by The Guardian ( that tells you about the sad story behind the lovely and cutting-edge products made from the assembly-line workers who have begun killing themselves since 2010. The given article reports that 18 reported suicide attempts with 14 confirmed deaths, depression and suicide have become normalised in the sprawling factory where more than 1.3 million workers are working daily. The life condition of these pitiable workers is controversial but the numbers never lie. Obviously, they are not happy or at least have the positive attitude with their work. Once the figure about the working hours or average salary gets the failure to reveal the secret of these poor workers, people are eager to find the alternative approach which incorporates not only the hard asset criteria but also soft asset information.

  1. Our solutions

In CCEG, not only products, we believe that all organizations, processes, projects and peoples have their stories. In the world of transparency and good things, people have their own right to track things from the start to the finish. Moreover, in the rise of social responsibility and an increasing interest in the ethical practices, no one would like to purchase products from unhappy workers, the soft asses like the positive sentiment should not be un-regarded in the decision making progress.

Using the combination of revolution in Distributed Ledger Technology and big data filtering methods, we are developing the tool called by Provenance Engine. Not only the information repository, Provenance Engine is the base to empower users presenting their value preferences and get profit from it.

About the structure of Provenance Engine, developing by the enthusiastic and well-skilled blockchain and big data developers, the system consists of two main parts which are called by Data Format Engine and E-passport.


Provenance Engine Overview


In the Data Format Engine, input data from suppliers will be collated and formatted following the existing non-financial metrics standard to their industries. After short questionnaires designed to reflect the total value of given entities, users have their own S/E labels and data about their value preferences. S/E labels is a single-number non-financial attribute monitoring product provenance, modern slavery conditions checks, Proofof-[…] metrics. Users could opt to have the digital presence through E-passport hosted by blockchain where store their corresponding non-financial attributes.


By this way, users could permanently determine their non-financial attributes. Generally, users are not only consumers but also all kinds of organizations, products, processes, projects and people. In case of e-authentication, Provenance Engine could support to provide the social attributes to identify social inclination of any citizens. The use of S/E labels implies wide-range application in many sectors, especially in e-commerce industry where the information of suppliers is limited.


In cooperation with other add-on services of Seratio Platform, consumers could precisely connect with the suppliers who share the same values preferences upon the information supported by provenance engine. Through the purchasing power in the hand of all people, we could positively impact the community and enhance our life experience.






Seratio Blockchain: Moving Towards All-in-One Blockchain Environment

Blockchain seems to be ubiquitous nowadays. The space is burgeoning with DIY blockchain (or more generally DLT) development platforms, while there are times as many of the blockchain based applications. However, having a closer look, these blockchain development platforms and eco-systems are focused mainly on the financial digital assets and starting your own ledgers (permissioned or not… up to you!) Majority of the current blockchain platforms do not offer anything more complex than e-wallet, new cryptocurrency development tools and sometimes an exchange. How does Seratio Blockchain offering stand out and why we call it an all-in-one blockchain environment?

Before delving into the technical overview, Seratio Blockchain Environment goes beyond an ordinary blockchain platform by introducing additional social non-financial values based services and including AI into the system. With one of the largest blockchain research and development teams in the world CCEG & Seratio are trailblazers who work towards creating not merely technically unique but most importantly community beneficial solutions.

It started from just a blockchain platform in 2017… Since then, Seratio development team has introduced a few new components into the system. Although our plans have grown, the goal is the same: we are looking to enable beneficiaries to keep track of the value and impact they make and let them profit from it.

Bird’s-eye View
Seratio Blockchain Environment consists from the following main parts:
– Seratio Platform (incl. platform embedded services)
– Add-on Services
– Decentralised Exchange
– Decentralised Autonomous Foundation (DAF)

Blockchain Environment (1)

Multicurrency E-Wallet
Seratio Wallet is an interface multicurrency wallet. As of May 2018, platform users can store and transfer platform native tokens such as SER, SER Altcoins and Microshares, as well as other ERC20 tokens (ETH, ETC). The work is going on introducing BTC and other Altcoins (Q4 2018).

Another unique feature that Seratio development team is pioneering is a new token standard – ERC995. The standard will allow tracking token origin – so called Association Flags. It is introduced to give token holders the opportunity to check which financial tokens (whether SER & Altcoins) gave ‘birth’ to their Microshares (non-financial tokens), and therefore check what values are stored & carried. From technical point of view, the standard is ERC20 and ERC827 token standards based, and ushers improved token transfer functionality. ERC995 Token Standard has been already introduced to the community and is scheduled to go live in summer 2018.

Soft Value Tracker
One of the most important and unique features of the Seratio Platform are the S/E certificates. Certificates allow transaction of the non-financial attributes (labels), more precisely they show how much social non-financial value an entity creates against its financial value. Although S/E certificates are optional they are essential to benefit from all the services (embedded & add-on) provided by the Seratio platform. S/E Certificates are currently available for the platform users in the alpha mode.

Add-on Services
There is a number of add-on services that are connected to the Seratio Platform and its APIs. The services include:
– Provenance Engine – software to track financial and non-financial origins;
– Seratio AI Wallet – AI bot injected ‘hot’ cryptocurrency wallet;
– Retailer’s Portal – blockchain-based service that allows crypto transition without interfering with the existing Retail Management Software;
– Rewarding Body Portal – blockchain-based service that provides entities with ready-to-use token development and management (S/E based) tools.

The services can be accessed through the Seratio Platform account as well as independently. All 4 services are currently under development and each have a dedicated development sub-team.  Retailer’s Portal & Rewarding Body Portal are close to completion and will go live simultaneously with the mobile version of the Seratio Platform (summer 2018).

More details on the platform & add-on services can be found in Seratio Whitepapers.

Decentralised Exchange

ClassicDelta is a decentralised crypto-to-crypto converter and trade homeplace for the Microshares (non-financial tokens). The exchange is aimed to support functionality of Seratio Platform services, particularly SER & SER Altcoins token holders. ClassicDelta brings together both Ethereum and Ethereum Classic blockchains whilst other crypto exchanges operate mainly and exclusively on only one blockchain.  ClassicDelta is now under active development and is scheduled to start operating in Q3 2018.

Decentralised Autonomous Foundation (DAF)
DAF is a hybrid concept introduced by the CCEG. DAF is an extension of DAO and represents a decentralised wisdom-of-crowds community engaging tool.  DAF is currently at its early stages of design and development.

CCEG has introduced its DAF model in the latest Seratio Whitepaper.

Cryptocurrencies with Values

There is only one thing that the world has in common outside the essentials of food, water, air and heat. We do not agree on values, what is love, or music. Even our attitude towards spirituality, religion, has historically been both unifying and divisive. It is our intangible values that sometimes escalate to wars and killing our fellow man. Sadly, however, tangible assets including money is the only things that is used universally, accepted, and agreed whether in New York or Shanghai, in the middle of the Gobi desert or dealing with your neighbour. We all understand the value of assets, benchmark ourselves and other things with it, and have a sophisticated ways to trade on items based on financial value whether through bartering or using tokens of currency. So when remodelling our interactions and visioning the new world order, why not start with something we can all agree on, and build up from there?

We can see the rolling of eyes and shaking of heads; a new vision of the world built on the worst possible instrument of materiality and lowest common denominator of mankind? The very thing that is blamed daily for the ruin of the world. Money. Representing greed, hedonism, selfish and self-centric behaviours that are universally considered vile and demonised in the press. Hardly in line with what society needs to promote – love, happiness, kindness and transparency. The idea of money to unify the world seems ridiculous and out of step with the positive direction we are heading. But what if money, the universally accepted mediator across mankind, can be injected with values that can be exchanged just as easily as currency? A world where hard tangible financial value and soft non-financial value are interchanged seamlessly and a world build capturing all values inherent within society wherever it may lie or extreme it may be. A circular economy trading value built on our values.

So how can money be injected with values? It already does. Would you accept $5000 for your shirt if it’s paid in KKK Coins? It may offend your values, or you simply think that since you do not associate with the Klu Klux Klan where could you spend the currency? Currency carries both a financial value and represents values attributed towards a community, a set of beliefs, or alignment of values. Perhaps you can spend it with those who share similar values, who possess Trump Coins. What it does is to create a circular economy based on total value, both financial and non-financial value, and the exchange rate or desirability will be dependent on the demand that a vibrant, transactional and cohesive community creates. Fair or not, abhorrent or not, giving voice to those whose values are repulsive to the rest, a new system of currency that encapsulated all our values is equitable and transparent. We will fight in the exchanges, not in the streets, and we give value to all mankind not artificially censor those who we prefer to supress however unpalatable this may seem. It is democracy built on a common fiscal platform following thousands of years of maturation.

The solution is at the centre of the burgeoning 4th Industrial Revolution where Fintech meets Socialtech. The technology is called ‘Blockchain’ and touted as a panacea for all world problems, it nevertheless has some features that truly “smell of teen spirit” – decentralization, democratization, distributed governance and anti-authority. More importantly, the movement of these ‘blocks’ of digital value can carry a vote, a governance layer giving currency the power of consensus. They can integrate smart contracts that determine a transaction of value dependent on third party values. Finally, they can move any kind of value – both financial and nonfinancial – digitally, at a fraction of the cost of existing legacy systems with instantaneous efficiency. Blockchain is promising truly ground breaking evolutions in Humtech, Faithtech, Gendertech, Edutech and many transformative solutions. These articulate through cryptocurrencies which are values based – Women’s Coin, City Coin, EduCoins, Islamic Coin, Leadership Coin, Water Coins, Care Givers Coins, Fashion Coins, EnviroCoins … all contributing to a family of United Nation’s 17 SDG Coins (Sustainable Development Goals) representing us all.

So let’s imagine a world where we all hold multiple coins representing the rainbow of our values and the degree with which we align with different communities. The importance is reflected on how ready we are to exchange our coins for products and services. Whilst the financial value within the SDG family of coins are the same, the non-financial tokens of value are different. The latter is a microshare of provenance of ourselves, products, organisations, projects and processes – which can be earned, exchanged and spent dependent on the degree to which we fulfil the values we ascribe to. In future, the exchange rate between families of coins determines the veracity, passion and demand for those beliefs benchmarked against each other. Afterall, what is the use of holding an ISIS Coin if it’s unaccepted in most retail outlets, but equally minority rights are safeguarded as they can champion their own values and spend it within their own communities irrespective of adoption by others. Evolutionary market forces determine what values survive, what grows, and which values becomes extinct over time.

The reliance is not on fickle regulations, untrusted judiciary, size of our armies, interpretations, aggression or force, votes, politics, economic strength, or subterfuge. The dependence is entirely on our values, and the belief that positive attributes will rise naturally to the fore and less mainstreamed values will find their natural equilibrium in the grander schema. Bad people can do good, good people can do bad, nevertheless all our values need to be recognised, transacted and tested. We all know the currency of financial value, but what is the currency of non-financial value? At last, we have a means to capture that, and to articulate intangible values as robustly as we have learnt to do with hard assets, in order to build a better world but based on reliable and time served systems.


Using Blockchain for sustainability certification for agricultural commodities

In June 2017, the sustainability label provider, UTZ announced a merger with the Rainforest Alliance to issue a single sustainability certification label by 2019. The news was welcomed by stakeholders across the supply chain, including farmers and retailers. For example, Roberto Vélez, CEO of the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation, noted that:

“It should bring great benefits to them, such as being audited against one standard instead of two, thereby making major savings on auditing costs…This should allow coffee growers to invest more efficiently in sustainability and increase their income, hence contributing to their economic sustainability.”

UTZ which had income of just over €19m in 2016, is a program and label for sustainable farming. It provides sustainability certification (for farmers, products and companies), impact measurement, traceability along the supply chain, and training. The Rainforest Alliance is a global nonprofit that works with a range of stakeholders (e.g. large multinational corporations, small, community-based cooperatives, and individuals), whose livelihoods depend on the land, helping them transform the way they grow food, harvest wood and host travelers. The two organisations reportedly certify around 180,000 cocoa, coffee and tea farmers globally. However, their efforts benefits millions.

This merger continues interesting trends and shifts in the sustainability certification field. For example,  Fairtrade International another global sustainability certification provider, has shifted from certification of the end product, to focus on developing partnerships along the supply chain. Similarly, another organisation, SusConnect is also seeking to deliver value along the supply chain.

These shifts and trends in the market are as a result of various factors. While there is a growing market for products certified by major sustainability initiatives (e.g. Fairtrade International, the Forest Stewardship Council, the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements and the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil), much of the switch to standard-compliant and certified production is about risk management and brand protection, rather than consumer marketing.

Indeed, within recent years, price premiums have been declining across certified markets. I have written previously about the need for the double bottom line of environmental and economic sustainability. It is easier to do business where there are economies of scale (e.g. in larger, more export oriented economies) that can offer better infrastructure and governance. One of the few exceptions to this rule of economies of scale is cocoa, where certified production is concentrated in less-developed economies (e.g. the Ivory Coast and Ghana), mainly because Africa accounts for around 70 – 75% of global cocoa production.

Not withstanding these issues, there is growth potential in the market through for example, higher productivity, higher-quality products, secure trading relationships and technical support. However, it is likely that there will be further mergers and consolidation, as strategic partnerships are forged to most effectively realise this potential. Blockchain technology could play a key role in the facilitation of these partnerships, as well as in the transfer of the sustainability labels and certificates.

Don’t ask what we gain: ask what we lose.

The case of the digitally poor and how Blockchain can help

Our first Blockchain meeting took place on Friday May 5 at the Innovation Centre. It went well as we were buzzing with ideas and ways in which Blockchain can help across all aspects of human life. Of course a cursory look at the many twitter sites and the growing number of websites dedicated to Blockchain show that the main interest is still within the Fintech word.The legacy of the cryptocurrency is still strong and economically a great disruptive force. Yet, as I argued in the Blockchain Educational Passport: Decentralised Learning Ledger, the 4th Industrial Revolution is not about money, but about people, and about procuring knowledge.

Educational Passport: Decentralised Learning Ledger (DLL)

In this post I would like to draw the attention to and start a conversation about the ‘digitally poor’. In doing this, I will define poverty along the lines of the capability approach and the human development paradigm, as a deprivation of capabilities, that is, opportunities to lead a life each has reason to value. Within this definition of poverty, I argue that the ‘digitally poor’ are going to be those who have no means to show what they know, what they can do, and who they are. The digitally poor are the known unknowns and in a world that is becoming more and more connected and they are islands of disconnection, numbers in statistics at best, or invisible at worst. The post is a starting point and more, I hope, will follow.

Case 1: Ann’s story

Almost 20 years ago I was working as a Learning Teaching Assistant in a secondary school supporting the inclusion of young people with disabilities and learning difficulties. Ann was a 13 years old girl certified as having dispraxia, dislexia, discalculia and, fundamentally, ‘dis’-functional at many levels of basic skills. Yet, Ann could tell my state of mind as soon as I enter the room. She could tune in and empathise at a deep level with the people around her. She was, as far as the school was concerned, a ‘good girl, who tried hard’ but clearly had limited success. In Math, for example, she was still asked to add and subtract to 100. Divisions and multiplications were deemed too hard and nobody mentioned any of the other key mathematical skills a Year 9 should have had. All her school life, she was kept behind without a chance to move forward.

Yet, one morning at one of our weekly meetings we found out that during the previous few weeks Ann had been looking after her mother who had been lying in a dark room and living with depression. Of course, she had also been looking after her younger sister, and the house. She cooked, cleaned, did the shopping, paid the bills, and still came to school to be our ‘good girl’. When I pointed out that in order to do all such things she needed to be able to use math, at least at an intuitive level, and that we could have done something to take this into account, I was told that … well, no, it was not what schools do. Schools are bound to label our children for how well they pass the academic testing. For how well they fit artificially drawn boundaries in our curriculum. Because there was no other way to show what Ann could do, we could not measure her real value as a human being. We were happy to label her as dis-functional, morally inclined to admit that she was kind and caring, but otherwise unwilling to testify her abilities.

Ann is by no means the only child or adult with learning difficulties or disabilities who suffers the injustice of being ‘poor’.

Case 2: Islands in the desert

We have left Beirut and we are steadily climbing the Mount Lebanon Ridge heading toward Hermel at the farthest North point of the Bekaa Valley and less than 30 minutes drive to the Syrian border on the road to Homs. The furthest North you drive the least luscious and fertile the valley becomes until the land between Mount Lebanon and the Anti-Lebanon mountain range is a semi-arid stone landscape.

Stone walls, Hermel
The North Bekaa Valley from Hermel

Yet, among the stones, there is life. I do not refer to plants, insects and other animals. I refer here to human life. Scattered across the Bekaa all the way from Baalbek to the Northern borders, along the main route to Syria, or tucked away on the limits of the horizons are the settlements of Syrian refugees.

Syrian refugees settlement, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon
Syrian refugees settlement, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon
Syrian refugees settlement, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon
Syrian refugees settlement, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon
Syrian refugees settlement, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon

Lebanon has more than 1 million Syrian refugees and by no means are they all settled in the Bekaa Valley. Those who are might not be the best educated, or the ones who had the means to start a new life. They are those who live out of UNHCR’s support mechanisms and who compete for work with the Lebanese in this harsh and unforgiving land. Some might have left with papers showing who they are and what they can do. Others might have left their homes with nothing but the bare necessities. Each one of them has something to give, but they are doubly poor. They are deprived of their homes, money, family, old connections, dignity and above all identity. Uncharted and unknown, they, like many others across the world, inhabit an alternative map of human geography. By all means, they are islands in the desert.

Case 3: More than schooling

Amidst such gloom, there is also hope and education is the key to bringing about change and human development. An example of this is the work carried out by the Ana-Aqra Association. A ‘non-profit, non-sectarian, non-political association founded in 1994 and officially established in 1998’ Ana-Aqra (I  read) runs a number of programmes to enable disadvantaged children to thrive and flourish.

Ana-Aqra school in Baalbek, Lebanon
Ana-Aqra school in Baalbek, Lebanon

One of such programmes is the one I visited in Baalbek, ‘The Children’s Learning Center (CLC) – Al-Madad Foundation‘ which is one of the many initiatives supporting Syrian refugee children. Hosted in old traditional Lebanese house, the Association and the teachers working for them create an environment in which the child is at the centre of learning. For a few hours a day, each child is a person. Not a statistic, not an island, but a human being whose rights to play, to be safe, to be able to read, and to be healthy are enshrined and signed with the colourful prints of the children’s hands.

The children’s rights – Ana-Aqra School, Baalbek

Yet, because they are refugees, they exist only within the safe boundaries of the school. They are known to the few and ignored by the many. Most importantly, they will be the next digitally poor. In years to come, if we do not develop a system to show what they have learned, they will not exist, unable to prove what they have learned to be and deprived of the opportunities to become.

The Blockchain Educational Passport: adding value to our learning

The ones above are just three cases in which a Blockchain Educational Passport can help. I do not go into the details of how Blockchain can work as part of the more comprehensive CCEG Blockchain UN Lab portfolio. This can be found in the Whitepaper 5.0. The point here is to put forward a draft framework for capturing the ‘combined value creation’ as evidence of impact of learning within a knowledge procurement framework.

The figure below shows an initial blueprint combining both the DLL framework and a more traditional procurement cycle framework. While the former focuses on capturing and making visible the intangible nature of both learning and its impact, the latter makes use of available accountability systems related to the procurement of tangible assets. The key innovative approach is to use Blockchhain to map, track and account for all transactions and produce personalised impact ledgers, or Educational Passports, for both the individuals and the organisations involved in the process.

Integrated decentralised learning ledger

One of the key features of the iDLL (Integrated Decentralised Learning Ledger) is its flexibility, adaptability and connectivity across different contexts and domains so as to build a more representative eco-systemic view of value creation and impact.

For example, in the case of Ann, it could be possible to make use of a number of already existing documents assessing her academic value (grades, tests, progress reports, Individual Educational Plan) but also devise indicators for measuring social value (in her case her caring responsibilities). In this way, Ann will not be assessed only in terms of academic value (AV) but also in terms of social value (SV). While AV and SV will be a unique measure of personal value (PV) belonging to Ann alone in the form of a personal wallet, part of either AV or PV can be shared with teachers or the school as they contributed to, or not, to Ann’s PV or part of. The same process can be applied to all students and teachers in the school to arrive to a combined organisational value (OV) measure not dissimilar from the already existing S/E ratio. Blockchain will provide the evidence of transactions (both belonging to individuals and to the school) to be kept in the public ledger.

The same approach can be used not only for schools, but also for any organisation (public or private), universities, businesses, NGOs or other associations. This approach allows for both a permanent record of value creation and for a record of its fluctuation over an individual’s or organisation’s lifetime. In the case of schools, the iDLL can make use of current accountability system (such as Ofsted evaluations), but, most importantly, add to them new criteria and indicators which are currently not applied since they do not fall within the tangible assets framework.

There are of course challenges. First of all is the challenge of identifying and agreeing on indicators of social value and of redefining accepted measures of tangible value. Second is the challenge of building the complex technological infrastructure able to support the increased number of transactions, and in some cases to bridge and combine different accountability systems. Third is the challenge of changing users’ mindset with regard to the usefulness of broadening the information base required to make the final evaluation.

All the above are points for future blogs and discussions. Yet, i believe that we need to start now to think about how we can ensure that there are not digitally poor individuals in generations to come. Devising a new system such as the DLL or iDLL is not just a technical challenge, but a moral priority which has the potential to address current inequity and unfairness.


Tracking progress on sustainability certification


Driven in large measure by the ground breaking outcomes of the United Nation’s (UN) Rio Summit of 1992, on environment and development, and the more recent UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (which replaced the Millennium Development Goals – MDGs), there has in recent decades, been a growing move towards the development of a number of sustainability/environmental certification schemes. Indeed, the number of such schemes (e.g. for commodities trading), is endless and is somewhat of a mine field, without effective guidance and support.

For example, there are well known designations such as Fairtrade and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). However, depending on the commodity, there are others that might provide a ‘better fit’, for example, The Better Cotton Initiative for cotton producers, Bonsucro for sugar cane producers, or the Pro Terra Standard that is primarily focused on soy-derived products. For example, ProTerra is the first certification program in the food and feed commodities sector to respond to the demand for both non-GMO soy and improved sustainability. 

As I have written about in previous articles (e.g. on frugal innovation and shifts towards the developent of market equity portfolios that take account of the future impacts of climate change), there is an increasing drive towards organisations taking account of their social impact. Thus there are a growing number of ‘double bottom line’ companies being developed. For example, the B-labs of which there are more than 1,800 so called B-Corps’ that are committed to producing a measurable social impact.

Without doubt, this increasing move over the past decades towards increased socio-environmental impacts-based initiatives and certification is a good one. However, one question that does arise is how might progress towards these goals best be measured? And how might it be done in a manner that is transparent and with results that are widely available? Could Blockchain serve as possible option?

Blockchain as a Solution for Connected Health Services

The emergence of smart phones, cloud computing, and networking on the Internet has created a type of consumer increasingly accustomed to doing everything using smartphones to check bank balances, purchases, watching movies on mobile devices, etc. From here these consumers wonder why health systems can not provide appropriate applications for similar service using the Blockchain technology. Which led to the emergence of information technology companies working in the field of health that attract investment capital with the flexibility to design applications that meet the needs directly to groups of patients at the same time emerged obstacles for IT companies, notably lack of access to health data with no agreement on how to distribute the resulting economic benefits For smartphone applications and at the same time IT officials in search of the potential of Blockchain technology in health care to answer the following basic questions:
  • Who should pay for applications and electronic services in the field of health?
  • What is the evidence of the effectiveness of the services provided by the application and which are the reason for paying the wages? 
  • What conditions should be available to be the starting point for developing health applications with a business model?
We believe that the Blockchain solution is to strengthen cooperation between health providers and technical companies by enabling the exchange of health data to enable more efficient and adaptive health care delivery. The national health system must take into account that the framework in the area of health care data must be updated from the demand for standardised standards of patient health record to providing data access through application interfaces using Blockchain . The framework of the health electronic services system will be operated by accredited third parties and can be directed by the health system as well.
Blockchain technology can revolutionise the provision of health services, as well as help health systems to boot to reduce the cost of this development, the stakeholders to determine how to distribute benefits and take into account five basic principles:
  • Potential effects of technology on health care systems
  • Organizational changes
  • Secure the correct data
  • Financing electronic health systems
  • Security and privacy of patient data

I have discussed the Connected Health Services in my book, published in 26th March 2017, and for more information please access the ebook through the following link: 

Al-Zoiny, S. and Al-Sherbaz, A. (2017) Connected Health Services in Smart Technologies. UK: Kobo Publisher. 1230001603163.

Blockchain and Procurement

Blockchain is a revolutionary computing concept that has taken the computing community by storm, but in every new technology, there are questions about its security. This one is no different. In the paper to come, potential security threats will of Blockchain be analysed from a technical point of view and examined in a way to find solutions. The security of the cryptocurrency will also play a part in the analysis of Blockchain and the author may contribute to bitcoin’s security in the cryptographic nature. The writtens below are an overview of Procurement, blockchain from the understanding of the author. There may be edited versions to follow.


The acquisition of services, goods and work is the cornerstone of any business. These goods and services have to come from external sources. External to the organisation, institution or charity. The challenge is to find a source appropriate to provide the organisation with the product/ services which meet its needs. Following, the cost need to be agreeable and depending on the value of the purchase, time and contract negotiations need to be considered. “Large public and corporate organisations like to promote choice and greater competition with procurement and acquisition programs. Choice and quality go a long way in business.” (Anon., 2017)

The act of procurement is more than just organisations purchasing goods, or services, it is the building and maintaining of relationships with all sources of the services. Negotiating contracts and transaction prices are all a vital element of procurement. The concept of procurement is “maintaining fruitful long term relationship with suitable supplies”.

Business transactions have been reformed by this concept and are ever growing.

(Problems with procurement)

Procurement offers a plethora of advantages in comparison to a purchase only transaction, but it too has a few problems:

  • Accidental Orders – Sometimes an organisation can mistakenly order items they didn’t want, even though with a good relationship with the supplier this is easily rectified these problems are still very common.
  • Inflexible suppliers – Most suppliers will accommodate a purchasing company’s needs but some may not offer discounts or may even include surcharges.
  • Exceeding Budget – If they budgetary updates are not communicated properly throughout the company and especially to the purchasing department.
  • Damaged Goods – The company may only know that the item is damaged when it reaches its destination, then there’s a long process of returning, negotiating and reordering which has already caused a unnecessary delay.


Blockchain provides a new way for organisations to engage with technology to reduce cost, improve speed and transparency and integrate social value across the procurement function. It is known as the new ‘revolutionary computing’.

In brief, Blockchain allows competitors to share a digitally distributed ledger across a network of competitors without need for central authority. Thus no single party has the power to tamper with the records (Ledger). Every member of the transactional process will have a shared ledger consisting of all records of transaction costs, times, and even the quality of the goods. Essentially every member of the transactional process will be able to view the movement of the goods purchased, from supplier through all the middle-men to the purchasing organisation.


Marrying the Blockchain concept with the procurement process could be wonderfully beneficial as the advantages of Blockchain simplify the process of procurement, and the process of procurement joins well the concept of Blockchain.

As the ledger is shared between all those involved in the procurement process there must be a protocol in place for the verification of payment amounts and amount of goods agreed between supplier and purchaser. Blockchain has successfully dealt with this issue. When a record on the ledger is updated, it awaits the verification of all those involved that the update is correct before the update is approved. The ledger then, proves secure and the act of procurement can flourish with this new partnership.

Blockchain uses bitcoin currency. Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency, a type of digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds. A bitcoin is programmable and can represent money, goods or services, at the discretion of the trading parties. A bitcoin can even be programmed to represent the funds for a particular need, it can be used to represent a departmental budget, ensuring that coin is solely used for that department, thus sticking to their budget.

Using Blockchain for procurement is an exciting partnership, whose lifespan will change the way of business in our future.