The 10th edition of Netexplo Forum convened on April 26 and 27 of this year in Paris. At that meeting, organized in partnership with UNESCO, the winner of the Grand Prix was voted on and announced. The award is a major distinguishing achievement because, each year, it is chosen from numerous innovative digital projects identified throughout the year. After two days of debates and meetings among leaders, entrepreneurs, researchers, start-ups, sociologists, and even philosophers — not to mention a public vote — the Grand Prix for 2017 was awarded to BitNation for the BitNation Refugee Emergency Response (BRER).
BRER gives refugees who have lost their citizenship or identities due to the upheaval of their situation cyber citizenship using blockchain technology. This helps to create a verifiable “web of trust” as members of each refugee’s family and community verify who they are. The paperless citizenship package also comes with a Bitcoin payment card so each user can get back on their feet, without the need for access to a bank account that might have been left behind, or otherwise be out of reach.
Various universities around the world, each renowned for their work in tech, comprise the Netexplo Observatory’s international spotting network. Members of the network spot projects each year that exhibit new uses of digital tech which embody the group’s innovative, unique approach to understanding our digital society. Universal access to knowledge and the free circulation of ideas are also critical values of Netexplo. The development and success of projects like the Bitnation Refugee Emergency Response prove just how valuable and important this type of advancement can be.
Disclosure: Several members of the Futurism team, including the editors of this piece, are personal investors in cryptocurrency markets. Their personal investment perspectives have no impact on editorial content.