The Foundation For “Women’s Coin”

THE FOUR MILLION WOMEN MARCH

You know I sort of thought that as the millennium dawned we had reached the age of enlightenment and tolerance.  That the 21st Century was a brave new world promoting values of compassion, tolerance,  human rights and support for the eco system in which we live.

But in 2016 the world seemed to go into reverse   A vortex of narcissistic leadership emerged fuelling individual’s base fear, hate and distrust of others who are different in race, colour, creed and sexuality.   Pinning economic failures on others rather than promoting a reliance on self-empowerment. 

Gutted! Where are we, as a human race – if we do not have compassion?

The murder of MP Jo Cox sadly reflected the emergent vortex of hate. She should not have died in vane her words shine as a beacon for us …

We are far more valued and have more in common with each other than things that divide us

Women as creators of life have a strong desire for the world to be better – for our children, and their children’s children.  It is in our DNA ….  The role of women as protector nurturing the next generation is part of the fabric of society.

The Trump inauguration triggered a reaction unprecedented in modern times.   Our ancestors paved the way for women to march and make their voices heard.  And march they did.  The women’s march made history – in a show of global solidarity over 4 million women marched in cities around the world.  Not just women but men and their children showing support for basic human and family rights.

The march was a line in the sand. 

Listen to our voices. Ah but do not just listen to our voices – listen to the power of our money

In the US women have decision-making power over $11.2 trillion, or 39 percent of the nation’s estimated £28.6 trillion in investable assets.  According to Salie Krawcheck, former president of the global wealth management division of Bank of America …

Women are on their way to be the majority of US millionaires in the not too distant future

Her advice is to “offer values-based investing services”.   She used to think that social impact investing was “not real investing” but she says she has changed her mind – women really want to “have a fair return and have an impact”

It is the power that women will have over investment and spending that will bring about societal and political change.  The Foundation for Women’s Coin will be at the forefront of the change.

VISION FOR THE FOUNDATION

The intent is ambitious, but easily within grasp.

The Foundation for Women’s Coin creates a platform “The Coin Collaboration” of Philanthropic Organisations, Foundations, Women’s networks, aligned organisations and individual women to join forces and use their fiscal power to deliver social and political change.

The Coin Collaboration has a set of values and guiding principles that members are asked to sign up to.  Trust between members is paramount.  The power of many can be used to focus on one key women’s goal.   Members can decide if they wish to collaborate and focus their energy to maximise impact – or whether small, local changes work for them.  The Coin Collaborative is democratic member driven Foundation.   Once part of the Collaboration members can use their purchasing power through Women’s Coin to affect the change they want. 

The Foundation will seek to be an exemplar in the world of alternative currency – setting standards and a charter mark (endorsement by the United Nations).    Women’s Coin will set a new value base for financial organisations that is driven by women to bring a new realism to the current profit/bonus driven financial institutions.

MISSION

Our mission is to bring about change, in collaboration with others. that will improve the lives of women and children, ensure social progression and foster self-reliance and self-esteem.  Purchasing power by women for women.

Women’s Coin is not just another Fintech offering alternative means of finance – it has a soul and intent to deliver solutions and hope

Women’s Coin promotes the core values of integrity and respect for diversity and the 17 underpinning principles of the United Nations’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). 

WHY A WOMEN’S COIN?

Finance:  It makes fiscal sense

  • Maximise every transaction – no deduction of fees or overhead charges
  • Build financial resilience
  • Ensures those who need funds – get funds

Global Connectivity

Women’s coin creates a women’s social movement of connected individuals, and aligned profit and not for profit organisations.  The power of social media and the internet of value ensure mass connectivity and profile across the world

Social Value

  • Promotes social value investment
  • Reinforces the purchasing power of women to influence policy makers, public bodies, employers, and services

Adoption and Engagement

The creation of a global social movement has appeal and benefit for individuals and organisations.  Connectivity Is a click away.  The documented journey will be the vehicle for promoting vision and the hurdles to be overcome and the joy “Women’s Coin” brings to the lives of ordinary women. The profile provides momentum and adoption.

BLOCKCHAIN AND CRYPTOCURRENCY

The Foundation for Women’s Coin will use latest blockchain cyrptocurrency technology.  The aim is to bring about change, in collaboration with others. that will improve the lives of women, ensure social progression whilst fostering self-reliance. 

The journey from concept to “Coin Collaboration” will be the subject of a film documentary. The documentary will capture the highs and lows of delivering societal change through blockchain technology and people power.  Excepts will be posted on YouTube – going viral with the message of the power of women to support other women.

The concept that … if women use the currency they can make informed decisions of where to make investment (eg ethically sourced investment), procure services founded by women, use the coin to help developing countries help themselves and avoid corruption (especially those with closed currency). They create a new climate in banking where the disproportionment of salaries between the top and bottom of organisations are not rewarded through women’s investment. Stop unpalatable bonuses in banking where behaviours and targets are not rewarded. Be a new ‘paypal’ for women … womenpal

Visiting Professor Christine Bamford

Supply chain provenance from cradle to grave

Leather Industry with Ethical Issues

In the new era of sustainable markets, like all industries buying a leather bag carries with it ethical connotations. In reality, consumers are offered little provenance information about pieces of clothing, footwear or fashion accessories. With greater recognition surrounding animal protection, human right, sustainable development and chemical processing the leather industry is facing a growing demand for transparency in their supply chains.

Each year, the leather industry slaughters more than a billion animals and tans their skins and hides. Not only the skins of cattle or calves, with the diversity demanded by customers, suppliers need to meet discerning consumer demands for sustainable practices. Although, for example, the typically alligators can reach up to 60 years, in farms, the animal is slaughtered before the age of 2 due to length considerations. Animal husbandry during those brief years plays an important part.  

Worker, Moroccan Tannery

The scandal of child worker in leather tanneries in Bangladesh in 2012 highlights that leather products are sometimes produced by underpaid workers in unacceptable conditions. Modern Slavery is not by any means an issue unique to the industry but needs to be tackled when found.

Apart from the impact on humans and animals, leather manufacturing can have environmental considerations. The older more traditional tanneries use by necessity toxic chemicals which then necessitates extensive waste processing. There is a drive in the industry towards much greater responsible practices.

To combat growing consumer awareness of such issues, the transparency of product provenance, trace-ability and effective control of suppliers are key to the growth of the sector. The question arises as to how this can be achieved most efficiently, with least cost, and maximum impact.

Potential of Block-chain Technology

One essentially need to prove to customers that they are buying a ‘good’ product, rather than one with questionable provenance. With the development of international trade and global value chains, making any product is complex intertwining a large number of suppliers with multi-step  processes. Each step involves the creation of  data, storage and centralized access. Technically, having detailed information of products from birth to death is impossible. These complexities make supply chain provenance a significant non-trivial exercise.

Block-chain technology can potentially improve the transparency and trace-ability issues within the manufacturing supply chain through the use of immutable record of data, distributed storage, and controlled user access. All data in each step of the supply chain will update directly and securely in block-chain. All stakeholders could trace and access information of the product with every detail of the animal husbandry, labour conditions, chemical processes and other intangible KPI’s that directly effect the tangible price of the product at each stage.

The Proposed Framework

The proposed approach comprises of a decentralized distributed system that uses blockchain(s) to collect, store and manage key product information throughout its life cycle. This creates a secure, shared record of exchange for each product along with specific product information.

We propose three main stage.

  • The first stage is collecting data. As a product moves through its life cycle, it is defined by a variety of actors – eg producers, suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, retailers and finally the end consumer. Each of these actors play an important part in this system, logging in key information about the product and its current status on to the block-chain network. Each product would have a unique digital profile containing all related information, populated during various life cycle stages.

 

  • The second stage is verifying data. In this stage, all data collected from input stage will be gathered and compared with the block-chain. This is double verification process to ensure that all data input is identical and acceptable.
  • The third stage is calculating data. All data, both tangible financial data as well as intangible non-financial data must be represented in a consistent way to allow comparisons. In this stages, data also will be encrypted and added to block-chain.

Overall, the movement of total value will be parallel processed from farm to land-fill.

In each step, the financial value and non-financial value will be tracked –  evaluated, added or subtracted from the product provenance. Through all stage of the production cycle, the total value of product will be illustrated and articulated in simple metrics including at the end to the consumer to allow decisions to be made.

A Collective Vision

When you can measure it, you can influence the sustainable development of the cycle.  It allows for both upstream and downstream controls to be enabled and embedded, from farms to land-fill. In effect a product can carry a digital passport that contains all the information you need to make and direct decision making at each stage.

The AI Wallet

This project aims to develop an Artificial Intelligence Wallet that would help one make personalised informed business decisions and transactions within the Seratio blockchain. The AI Bot inspired digital wallet would recommend products, processes, suppliers to individuals and organisations based on personal preferences. Personal preference here refers to each individual or organisations’s desired total transaction value that incorporates both the tangible asset value and the intangible value. Each individual or organisation’s total value is calculated and represented using the Social Earnings Ratio metrics. For example, consider the process of buying a product by logging into Amazon’s website: A customer can search for a product by specifying various criteria such as price range, customer ratings, delivery time, etc. The website would then display relevant products matching your specified criteria. The customer can then make a selection and purchase a product. Now, Amazon stores your browsing and purchase history. The next time the same customer looks to purchase such an item, Amazon makes suitable recommendations based on his/her history, on what other customers with similar choices purchased and so on. The AI wallet would do something similar within a Seratio blockchain by making suitable recommendations based on criteria including both financial and non-financial values. The AI wallet could also go one step further and complete the blockchain transaction. The service could also be ultimately offered in the form of mobile apps.

For further information, please contact Dr Suraj Ajit at suraj.ajit@northampton.ac.uk.

Social value: doing good and doing well

This, my first blog, aims to invite discussion and, in good time, offer fresh insights into Social Value: its contribution to ‘good’ in society and, here’s the challenge, the creation of competitive advantage for business and mission fulfilment for public and third sector organisations. A modest ambition? It’s doable.

We know what business can do to enhance social value; things like giving employment opportunities to marginalised groups, supporting communities and carers and interventions to protect the environment. They can also help to eradicate modern slavery and ensure that they only contract with other organisations who themselves seek to develop social as well as financial value.

But how can the social impact of these contributions be measured and made to create competitive advantage? How can business and public/third sector organisations ‘do good’ and ‘do well’ financially?

Here’s the news. Social value, the impact it has on target populations, can be measured and by the application of existing tools and methodologies which are not costly to apply. If you can measure it you can put a value to it. You can then enhance that value (doing more good) and you can leverage that value (doing well or better financially).

Applying the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 public bodies can and do apply a weighting to ‘contribution to social value’ in awarding tenders. That weighting might be decisive in determining outcomes but is too often given scant consideration. Public bodies often content themselves with reviewing tendering company’s mission statements and, frankly, often spurious claims regarding their contribution to social value let alone its real social impact.

It does not have to be that way. We can measure social impact, well meaning public bodies can award tenders accordingly (often there is so little to choose between tenders), companies can learn how to measure and thus enhance social value and, consequently, improve their chances of success. They then gain competitive advantage, public bodies fulfil their mission, social impact s enhanced. As a meerkat might say: simple!

Colleagues and I are hoping to develop a robust, on line, course, externally recognised, which takes interested parties through the process of understand, measuring and utilising social value an social impact for competitive advantage. I keep telling myself that it’s a wholly worthwhile pursuit for this newly ‘retired’ business school Dean.

Going further, if we can measure social value, we can transact it using Blockchain. This will take social value out of the soft Social Innovation space and into the hard transactional space of Financial Innovation – allowing social value to be mainstreamed and not a bolt on.

Could Blockchain help in overcoming the challenges in commodities trading?

Global production and consumption of sustainable products (e.g. cocoa and bananas), is increasing rapidly. Indeed, the value of trade across listed agricultural and seafood commodities is worth in excess of £35 billion. Organisations are increasingly buying into this agenda. For example, in 2014, the cosmetics and beauty giant L’Oréal committed to sourcing 100% of the renewable raw materials it uses from sustainable sources, as well as a goal of ‘zero deforestation’ by 2020.

However, this rise in trade and consumption is not without its challenges. For example, as is the case in all commodity trading, there is significant price volatility in the markets (see graphic below).

Commodities have been on a roller coaster ride for the past couple of years due to a surge in demand (and subsequent slowdown) from emerging economies, such as India and China, and an increasingly strong dollar. For example, prices for industrial metals (e.g. nickel and copper), fell by almost 40% in 2015 due to decreased demand from China. Another challenge lies in the disparity of the markets. For smaller producers, the capacity to produce for sustainable markets more often than not tends to be concentrated in more developed, export-oriented economies. This is so simply because it is easier to do business where there is better infrastructure and governance. There are some exceptions to this general rule, including cocoa which is largely produced in less-developed economies such as the Ivory Coast and Ghana. Another exception is cobalt, the largest producer of which is the Democratic Republic of Congo, even though around 1/3 of the global market is controlled by the minerals giant Glencore.

Overcoming these challenges requires innovative approaches. Internally, one strategy might be through the use of Porter’s value chain analysis (i.e. the range of activities in taking a product or service from conceptualisation to delivery). Through this approach an organisation examines its production processes (i.e. its primary activities – e.g. marketing, operations, logistics, and support activities – procurement, technology development and human resource management), and identifies where improvements can be made. If the organisation is competing through differentiation advantage it will try to perform its activities more effectively and efficiently than its competitors. If it competes through cost advantage, it will try to perform internal activities at lower costs than its competitors, and therefore enhance its bottom line and competitive advantage.

However, it is in the trading of the commodities that there are significant opportunities for innovation to address the challenges. Blockchain, the method of recording data in the form of a digital ledger of transactions is one such innovation. Indeed, if traders started sharing data using a tailor-made version of Blockchain it could remove a lot of manual processing, smoothen the volatility, speed up transactions (thereby reducing costs), and overcome infrastructure and capacity differences (thereby leading to some rebalancing of the markets).

Various examples already exist. For example, the technology company Everledger is using Blockchain to develop a system of warranties that enable mining companies to verify that their rough-cut diamonds are not being used by militias to fund conflicts, and that they comply with the Kimberley Process – a government and community-backed certification scheme for diamonds. In 2015, the investment bank Goldman Sachs and Chinese investment firm IDG Capital Partners invested £35 million in Circle Internet Financial, a start-up to exploit Blockchain technology to improve consumer money transfers. Similarly, the tech company R3 CEV has developed a consortium, including more than 40 global banks (e.g. Barclays, UBS and Wells Fargo), to explore the use of distributed ledger technology. Therefore, the rise in resource consumption has brought with it challenges. However, innovative strategies to address these challenges do exist.

Blue Light Services: Measuring Impact and Forecasting Intervention Solutions

The CCEG Blockchain UN Lab is developing Software-as-as-Service (SaaS) platforms for real life usage by organisations, institutions, governments and individuals to aid and  resolve intractable problems in society. Since 2011 we have been the main provider of public sector  solutions for Social Value Act 2012 and for corporates for the Modern Slavery Act 2015.  This new system aims to …

  • Measures impact of current interventions
  • Visualizes the impact in 3D across the region
  • Handles multiple agencies simultaneously eg. fire, police, health, employment, etc
  • Reports the impact in the framework of your choice
  • Can predict and used for modelling ‘what-if’ interventions
  • Demonstrates for commissioning different impact and agency options
  • Provides a solution for empowering unaligned, disaffected and hard to reach groups
  • Integrates with existing live command and control agency systems

 

Intangible Value Blockchain + xAPI + OpenBadges = BadgeChain

What if you knew? What if you knew that the effort you put into something actually had value beyond the immediacy of completed task?

What if the effects of that task could never account for an ROI? What compels us to even start that task, that project, that strategy if we can’t possibly know the benefits, the beneficiaries or the positive change that we could be affecting and effecting?

How would our stakeholders react, and how do we know it is benchmarked against what our competitors (or rather a collegiate for change) are doing beyond marketing and media kudos, and into real, significant impact – the value of intrinsically motivated efforts to add value, not to wealth, but to the value we can bring to society?

How would we possibly start to turn that value into data that we could then start to manage, analyse and make actionalbe and data-informed decisions on?

We’d need a common language, a common means to express and represent our activities, that of our agents of change, and that of the recipients and beneficiaries of the change we are facilitating.

That language exists, and it’s called the Experience API (or xAPI for short), and is already underpinning aspects of the OpenBadges movement – where intellectual currency may be in it’s infancy (seen as some as extrinsic motivators for learning), but the recognition of educational transactions across diverse and ubiquitous learning environments is becoming a common outward expressions of intrinsic desires to develop and grow, published for all on LinkedIn profiles (for more information, please take a look at BadgeChains –

If you want to know more, you’ll need to follow this project – not to be given the answers, but to be participants of the change in the way that activities which generate intangible value can be represented as a simple yet powerful statement: [Actor] [Verb] [Object] – [You] [Read] [Blogpost on IVBxAPI], [You] [Searched] [What is xAPI], [You] [Completed] [#LearnxAPI MOOC by Curatr], [We] [Started] [Intangible Value Blockchain project using #xAPI]…

We are reaching out to teams such as http://makingbetter.us/ (https://twitter.com/mkngbttr – setup by Aaron E. Silvers https://twitter.com/aaronesilvers and Megan Bowe https://twitter.com/meganbowe )to raise the knowledge and power of the Experience API from specification to application for the better good.

With your help, we can make the statement [Intangible Value Blockchain with xAPI] [Started] [Positive transferable change to Society].

Jim Harris is a Learning Designer at The Univeristy of Northampton – follow me here: https://twitter.com/JimDHarris