Launching the OpenUBI Ecosystem in Berlin

By Gilad Barner, community and operations manager, GoodDollar

It has been an incredibly busy few weeks since Yoni Assia, chief executive and co-founder of social trading platform eToro, officially launched GoodDollar at Web Summit 2018, in early November.

Following the announcement in Lisbon, it has been amazing to see the positive reaction to what we are trying to achieve: an ecosystem that explores how cryptocurrency and blockchain technology may reduce inequality through models based on universal basic income (UBI).

Less than a fortnight after Web Summit, I travelled from Tel-Aviv to Berlin to help launch the OpenUBI community at a unique event, held at the office of amatus.. Our day-long conference was part of Revision Summit 2018, a social-impact technology conference.

I was excited to see that the event, titled OpenUBI in the Crypto Age, attracted like-minded people from all over the world — including many leading lights in the UBI space — with a collective goal of reducing wealth inequality.

What is the OpenUBI Community?

The OpenUBI community has been formed to encourage collaboration and discussion around UBI and its technological implementation. Anyone can join, because we are building a decentralised community.

Anna Blume and Christian Hildebrand, founders of Value Instrument, a company designed to stimulate economic activity in communities, organised the event with GoodDollar.

We thought that the German capital was the ideal place to host this first OpenUBI gathering — and so it proved. Berlin has a very vibrant, pioneering, UBI-aware community. It was clear to attendees that there are a lot of projects happening in this space in the city.

For instance, Circles is an electronic cryptocurrency that aims to create and distribute a globally accessible UBI. Julio Linares and Karenina Schröder, from the project, provided lectures on their work, and Karenina’s talk focusing on the rise of women in blockchain — and the OpenUBI space, in particular — was inspirational.

In the afternoon there were two keenly attended panel sessions: one on governance in cryptocurrency and UBI; and the other about identity challenges. Everyone on stage agreed that individuals and groups should work together in this area. Moreover, project leaders left the conference with a much better idea of how to collaborate, and who with.

Words of Encouragement

I spoke with many attendees in Berlin, and was encouraged by the words of Kingsley Advani, founder and partner at Chainfund Capital. “We have never had such an opportunity or a platform to be able to provide UBI at scale,” he told me. “In this day and age we have the technology, and with the blockchain, projects like GoodDollar can provide UBI to those with the greatest need.”

Ultimately, this first OpenUBI get-together event was very well received and very successful. People were hugely excited to meet one another, and itching to start collaborating on projects. It was great to see attendees realising there truly is potential to build a thriving ecosystem. It was proof that this is possible.

Many individuals, all around the world, are coming to the conclusion that UBI solutions need to be explored. There is no reason why they should not work together, and if they do it will be much more efficient. A lot of meetings were generated from the conference.

What is Next?

The Berlin conference marked the first cornerstone of the OpenUBI community. The next stop is London: on December 13 I am moderating a GoodDollar panel at The Next Web’s Hard Fork summit.

I hope everyone can come along to this event, which will indicate how active the ecosystem is in London, and what projects are happening. The OpenUBI movement is just starting, and I want to see this sort of activity happening in every city in the world.

Join GoodDollar. The project needs builders, scientists and experts in identity, privacy, and financial governance, as well as philanthropists and ambassadors. Email GoodDollar at hello@gooddollar.org, contact us via our social media channels (Twitter and Telegram), or join the OpenUBI movement.