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Blockchain for Global Impact

New Bridge Established in Israel between Blockchain Entrepreneurs and Sustainability Organizations in a First Conference on Blockchain for Global Impact


The scene at Asia House in Tel Aviv was an unusual one: code developers, computer science experts and Blockchain entrepreneurs enjoyed the company of leaders in the sustainability community of Israel: women and men who invest their time in implementing projects and leading programs in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East to advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
At first sight, an impossible shared interest. When listening closer to the discussions one could not but be impressed with the common grounds between the close to 250 participants from these two distinct communities and the new bridge they have established.
Not surprising, delegates of the diplomatic missions in Israel found interest in the Conference. The following countries were represented by their Ambassadors or Economic Attaches: Latvia, Honduras, Tanzania, Thailand, Lithuania, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Slovak Republic, Kenya.

“Blockchain for Global Impact: Practical Tools for Sustainable Development” Conference was a timely gathering. Blockchain is a rapidly evolving area of information technology with the potential for creating huge benefits in terms of security, reliability and cost efficiency in the exchange of information. Blockchain Technology can be a key driver to help implement the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It has the potential to bring together key stakeholders involved in value chains and those regulating them: producers, intermediaries, consumers and the authorities – local, regional, national governments and international institutions.

On the crossroads between Africa, Europe and Asia, Tel Aviv an exceptional site for this one-day event held on 17 December 2019. It was organized by: Blockchain Technologies for Sustainable Development Working Group, Society for International Development – SID Israel, Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Herzog, Fox & Neeman law firm and the Hogeg Blockchain Research Institute, Tel Aviv University.

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This short account on the Conference is also your guide to the actual presentations. The presentations have been recorded in segments which could be viewed here

Fireside interview with Yaliwe Soko
Ms. Yaliwe Soko, is Chairwoman of United Africa Blockchain Association (UABA), Founder Essence Crypto Consultants as well as United Africa Women in Blockchain and Ethereum Foundation Devcon Alumni. Ms Soko is one of the very few African women to be fully involved in Blockchain and cryptocurrencies. 
Mr. Moshe Hogeg is one of the leading entrepreneurs in Israel in the field of Technology and startups. He has been in the forefront of developing, mentoring and supporting many companies, especially in the field of digital currency investments and blockchain technology both in Israel and around the world.
The Opening Keynote Address - Ms. Beatrice Florah Ikilai, the Vice Chair of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Working Party on Public – Private – Partnerships. Beatrice has arrived specially from her home-country, Uganda.
Mr. Omri Barak, Israel’s Channel 12 News Technology Anchor was the Conference moderator, which opened with special greetings from Adv. Janet Pahima, Partner at the International Department of Herzog, Fox and Neeman, Mr. Alon Beer, Director of the Society for international development- SID Israel and Dr. Ari Achiaz, Managing Director of the Hogeg Blockchain Research Institute at Tel Aviv University.
Another perspective came from the Israeli Government representative.
Ambassador Gideon Behar, Head of Bureau for Africa, Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs outlined the government considerations in promoting new technologies from Israel which could benefit SDG attainment in LMICs. Ambassador Behar is best placed to bring such insights.
Demonstrating a current effort on the part of the United Nations to deploy Blockchain technologies, the World Food Program (WFP) has pioneered in a project named ‘building blocks’. Ms. Hila Cohen, Head of Business Development, WFP Innovation Accelerator in Munich, Germany described the journey her organization is on, giving practical examples that could serve other UN agencies and the industry at large
Dr. Inon Schenker is a Blockchain for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Champion working on UN, Private Sector and Government initiatives. He is leading ‘Double Bottom Line’ initiatives, which for over 18 years impacted the lives of millions in Africa, Latin America and South East Asia.

Two intervention in the second part of the Conference addressed a key interest of participants primarily from the sustainability community, which welcomed the definition of ‘Blockchain Dummies’. We invited two iconic teachers to educate us on Blockchain

The second teacher was Mr. Ido Sadeh Man. Starting his professional life as a jazz musician, over the last decade, Ido has led product and development for several Israeli startups including Odysii (sold to Gilbarco Veeder-Root, NYSE: FTV), and Mobli where he was COO
Mr. Eyal Herzog, Co-founder, of Bancor gave a comprehensive presentation on the essentials in blockchain technology. Eyal has been a venture-backed technology entrepreneur for over 20 years.

One of the biggest challenges with any new technology, Blockchain included, is to demonstrate its effective use and results. We selected two use cases to be presented. The first an example of a supply chain solution, the second from the health sector

Mr. Gadi Benmoshe is Chief Information Officer at Israel Ports Development & Assets Company (IPC). IPC is responsible for the development of Israel’s commercial seaports, including the construction of two new container terminals in Haifa and Ashdod and the Israeli Port Community system (IPCS).

Mr. Sascha Mundstein, Creator, Founder & CEO, Health Impact Transfer. 

Sascha Mundstein recently left Pfizer, Inc., where he led digital initiatives, patient solutions, and global technology strategy for many years in various roles, including developer, system architect, innovation consultant, intrapreneur and Blockchain evangelist.

Under the theme Banking the Unbanked, Roni Cohen Pavon - the lead of the final panel

Closing remarks were delivered by Dr. Dongyan Wang, also known as Dr. alpha from China.

Lead Technical compliance and BeST Project (Blockchain evolution and Security Technology) across teams in Tencent, Co-authoring DLT Future Outlook in ITU FGDLT Focus Group, involving in ITU DFC group ,ITU Security, Infrastructure and Trust Working Group, promoting blockchain activities for the benefits of SDG goals.

Adv. Roni Pavon Cohen is a partner in Herzog, Fox & Neeman’s Internet & E-Commerce Department, with a particular focus on cryptocurrency and financial services. Roni is a founding member of the firm’s cryptocurrency practice, advising clients on all aspects concerning their Initial Coin Offering (ICO), provision of services related to the cryptocurrencies world, trading and operating a trading venue for cryptocurrencies and integrating cryptocurrencies as part of their existing business.

His three guests were:

Mr. Gil Karie is the Director of Innovation of Ignite Power, the fastest-growing Pan-African developer and financier of solar solutions, providing more than a million users throughout Africa with sustainable and affordable energy.

Mr. Daniel Leon is a business and social entrepreneur with a proven track record of growing early-stage companies and building organizations from the ground up. In 2017, Daniel founded Celsius Network, a new global financial platform that utilizes global blockchain technology to enable peer to peer lending & borrowing.

For over 20 years, Tal Oron has been building software driven businesses and operations. Most recently, the children’s book publishing company Wonderbly.com and today the Executive Director of eToro’s blockchain for good project GoodDollar.org

Watch the fascinating Interviews with our guests on BlockTV

Victor Hu- Huawei

Fireside interview with Yaliwe Soko
Ms. Yaliwe Soko, is Chairwoman of United Africa Blockchain Association (UABA), Founder Essence Crypto Consultants as well as United Africa Women in Blockchain and Ethereum Foundation Devcon Alumni. Ms Soko is one of the very few African women to be fully involved in Blockchain and cryptocurrencies. 

Beatrice Florah Ikilai- UN PPP

Mr. Moshe Hogeg is one of the leading entrepreneurs in Israel in the field of Technology and startups. He has been in the forefront of developing, mentoring and supporting many companies, especially in the field of digital currency investments and blockchain technology both in Israel and around the world.

Tomer Bariach- Seeds

The Opening Keynote Address - Ms. Beatrice Florah Ikilai, the Vice Chair of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Working Party on Public – Private – Partnerships. Beatrice has arrived specially from her home-country, Uganda.

Roni Pavon Cohen- partner at HFN

Mr. Omri Barak, Israel’s Channel 12 News Technology Anchor was the Conference moderator, which opened with special greetings from Adv. Janet Pahima, Partner at the International Department of Herzog, Fox and Neeman, Mr. Alon Beer, Director of the Society for international development- SID Israel and Dr. Ari Achiaz, Managing Director of the Hogeg Blockchain Research Institute at Tel Aviv University.
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