Ethereum4 by Remix, vertical web3 education.
The Remix team has begun a program to provide industry specific Ethereum workshops. These are practical workshops with titles such as Ethereum 4 Musicians, Ethereum 4 NGOs, Ethereum 4 Healthcare etc.
In these workshops, we gather together a variety of disciplines of a field from different organizations, explain how Ethereum’s technology can be used in their industry, introduce them to some Ethereum based projects relevant for their field, get them to try some DApps and walk them through some smart contract code, and discuss potential projects that they could undertake.
Most Ethereum education focuses on developers — and you’d think this would be the approach Remix would take — as it is a technical tool. Well in fact we do take that approach in much of our outreach — but in the Ethereum 4 initiative we are taking a broader view. For a blockchain project to happen within an organization, many of its departments would be involved — and these players need to have a handle on what the technology can do. Adoption requires more than training developers. So our outreach should also include technical education for an audience of mixed technical abilities.
And Remix is an excellent tool for explaining the basic concepts of Ethereum because it is a point and click app that does not require any setup. Click to compile. Click to deploy. Click to interact with a function on a deployed contract. Get a transaction receipt. View opcodes. You can get people pretty far — pretty quick.
On the flip side, in workshops like these, you can get people pretty confused pretty quick — so we take the time to work through their questions.
Tapping into organizations desire to innovate and compete
There is a huge need in most organizations to prove that they are trying out new technologies and that they are trying to innovate their processes. Also organizations have to keep up with their competitors. The Ethereum4 program meets these needs.
With Ethereum4, the Remix team is reaching beyond our usual community to have animated & mutually informative conversations. With some mentoring, these conversations will lead to new projects using Ethereum with an impact in the ‘traditional’ world.
Welcoming new communities to Ethereum
In the past 5 months, we have had workshops for nonprofits, and for music professionals. We are soon to be having workshops for Lawyers, Healthcare Admins and we’re planning on having workshops for accountants, artists, and farmers among others. Our attendees have been from: Milan Digital Week, Amnesty International Italy, BRAC, Medicins Sans Frontières, Acre Africa, CIFA onlus, CBM Italia, Music Innovation Hub Milan, Music Tech Europe Academy, Music Tech Deutschland, SIAE, and Legal Hackers.
In planning for their April 2021 event, the Milan Digital Week asked for assistance from @matlemad. He wanted to focus the workshop on Ethereum for musicians and asked the Remix team to collaborate with him. As we built that workshop we realized we had a new model of outreach — which is…
A workshop of 4–6 hours split over a few days with about 15 participants. The small number of participants ensures we can have a participatory & conversational workshop and not a “how to” lecture. We also choose our participants to make sure we have a diversity of skills and job titles. We develop our curriculum for each workshop with an ambassador from the field — someone who helps us choose demos that our participants will care about and who helps us translate blockchain babble to their industry’s lingo and the other way around.
In the classes, we also compare the constraints of web2 applications used in the industry vertical (with its location addressed content, data tampering, non interoperability, opacity, censorship etc) with web3 applications and discuss the pros and cons of each.
We also have the attendees discuss an Ethereum project that they could develop (within their org or by hiring some devs) that would address a problem in their field.
Some points that have been raised in our intro workshops
- The need for voting secrecy in DAOs & that need is not easily solved.
- The need for programmable Anti Money Laundering (AML) features for DAOs and Multisig wallets (e.g. a whitelist of addresses a DAO can receive ETH/ERC20/NFTs from).
- The ownership of digital assets is hard to grasp –and its details — such as the permanent storage of a digital asset can be tricky.
The cool thing in these workshops is that we lean on the workshop’s ambassador to help communicate to the group and we use the depth of technical knowledge in the Remix team.
After attending one of these workshops, our attendees will often want to some follow-up with us and with each other.
The followup program is designed to help mentor our alumni, so that they can bring some Ethereum project to fruition. We have a regularly scheduled calls with our alumni with presentations of new topics to help them organize their own starter projects & proof of concept projects. We also help find mentoring sessions with buidlers of the ETH ecosystem.
Ethereum4 is a new project, so we have not yet had participants go on to make projects within ( or outside) their organizations, but we have targeted several of our alumni’s projects as ones that have the potential to be sustainable.
And beyond mentoring our participants blockchain development, we are also providing the connections so that our participating NGOs can potentially receive the proceeds from an NFT sale. If the legal and accounting department of one large NGO will agree to accept, others doubtlessly will join them.
The program is small & hands on but it could scale
These workshops address specific industries. The interesting thing in the blockchain space is that disparate industries can use similar solutions — like certificates of authenticity or registries of ownership are useful in many different applications. So by building up a library of educational material, we can pretty easily give a workshop to a very different field but using similar examples.
Our demos currently include DAOs, multisigs, dividend contracts, registry contracts, escrow contracts, voting contracts (on-chain and tokenless), signaling on Rollup L2, crowdsale contracts and NFTs. Of course we don’t use all of these examples in every workshop — just where appropriate.
The first part of growing this program involves building out our library of demos to include many of the current use case paradigms.
Then to expand the number of attendees & the number of workshops given, we would need to have people in the community use and adapt our teaching material and give these industry specific workshops on their own.
Ethereum4 Workshops can make an impact
The current media narrative of the blockchain space begins with money laundering and moves on to the price of crypto currencies. We quickly bring our participants past the blockchain hype — but we always have to deal with the hype. Ultimately, the goal of Ethereum 4 and all Ethereum education projects is to get people trained, get them to build some projects, and also to get those projects some visibility so the public, the media, and governments have a better understanding of our blockchain technology and what it can do.
This story was co-authored with Rob Stupay.
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Ethereum4 by Remix
We offer free, tailored workshops to communities of same professionals wanting to learn what Ethereum and smart…