Opportunities in the charity sector - Oxfam & blockchain tech

@dugcampbell I notice Edinburgh Uni are involved. Seems worth making this lot aware of what MaidSafe are doing and its relevance to this, and maybe contributing something to their research / project?

Ox-Chain is a major EPSRC research project which explores how Blockchain technologies can be used to reshape value in the context of international development and the work of Oxfam.

Ox-Chain is a collaborative research project between the Universities of Edinburgh, Northumbria and Lancaster, and research partners Oxfam, Zero Waste Scotland, Volunteer Scotland and WHALE Arts. By bringing together experts in digital design, cryptography, business and international development we will design a Blockchain for Oxfam. Through this, we will explore the circulation and re-circulation of valuable items within its business model, how blockchain might support different ways of engaging donors and recipients of development, and how it might promote transparency in the supply of ethical second-hand goods. More broadly, drawing on the expertise and practices of our research partners, we will explore the reconfiguration of economic, social and cultural life in the context of international development which may be made possible by digital, peer-to-peer value exchange.

Above from the About page:



The same Oxfam involved in ever more numerous human trafficking and child rape accusations? Along with the Red Cross? All under the UK’s & UN’s human rights watch?

Proximity to a potentially massive time bomb is generally not a successful strategy.

Julian Assange said it best.

The work those organizations claim to be involved in is of great need in the world, but I would rather start from zero in a new organization unless I see a thorough gutting across the administration, a deep investigation, and a reformed process for vetting volunteers.

Come on, you say yourself “accusations” while throwing in very emotive words. Are you serious?

The admission by Oxfam that things went wrong is a good sign, and it’s not clear at this point what happened and why, so I think it’s OK to explore contacts and opportunities here - even if you go no further than educating this group that there is a very important alternative to blockchain in the horizon.

How far Maidsafe go along this route I’m confident that they can judge for themselves.

The emotive words ARE the accusations. It’s not like I’m making it up. Read the news. Those are their words, not mine.

I’m not bashing the idea of exploring contact or opportunities. I’m merely suggesting cautious optimism with this one group. Those with their heads down working might not be aware of the news or have the time to do due diligence. While, personally, I would stay far away until there are clearer signals, I never said people couldn’t make their own decisions. I would hope that the crowdsourcing of ideas would make us all more aware.

I certainly encourage anyone to fact check me and prove me wrong. I’ll be the first to admit my guilt!

Edit: As for OXCHAIN specifically, I know nothing about it. This is my introduction to it. I’m specifically referring to Oxfam and the revelations in the news about them.

There are accusations and then there are accusations. I’m pretty well up on the news (and I expect David, Nick and Dug are too because it’s necessary in their roles) but I have not heard accusations of people trafficking or child rape by Oxfam employees.

I’ve seen an in depth interview with the former ethics chief where she made a convincing case that her concerns about sexual abuse were not addressed, including rape, attempted rape and sexual harassment of staff by co workers. I’ve also heard admissions by Oxfam employees of using local prostitutes, and accusations, that to me are credible that these might have been exploitative, while also countered by interviews with Haitian sex workers themselves said that they did not feel exploited but hoped to get western clients because they paid many times more than locals (five times I think). None of this is acceptable, especially given this involved Oxfam.

My point is to clarify that it isn’t trafficking or child rape, and while those accusations are presumably being made somewhere, nobody that I’m familiar with has reported them. So I think you’ve chosen those particular accusations to make a point, and I’m not sure why you’d do that in this context.

You’ve qualified that now, but reading your first response - to me is over the top. It’s fair enough to want to make sure Maidsafe are aware that there’s an ongoing issue, though I didn’t think it necessary.

I haven’t chosen any accusations. I’m happy to give a few sample articles. I disagree about being over the top, but you’re welcome to that opinion. We both have a vested interest in defending this project. I’m happy to point people in the direction of the information, but it’s really not that hard to find legitimate sources. My point is merely to offer what I know of the subject because I think this project needs watchers in its incubation phase. As a community member, hopefully we can help serve that purpose. That said, I appreciate you taking me to task and pushing back. It’s certainly not a one man show. IMO, the less we can get of the Clinton Foundation, the UN, and these various aid foundations working together but just get these people some viable digital money, data security and privacy rights embedded in code, and other basic communication infrastructure, my hope is that all of these hundreds of billions, if not trillions of dollars, of which only a portion actually get to their intended destination, won’t be needed so much. Bring back dignity to people by giving them the tech tools to pull their own bootstraps up. That’s my intent.

A good place to start would be to look at the forensic accounting work of Charles Ortel. That’s just the financial fraud part of things, but by the end of all this, people will be shocked by what has really been going on by those at the top of the top who will be held accountable. I’ll leave that to my opinion, for the moment, but you can quote me on it and we can compare notes by the end of the year.

So, these links are just the tip of the iceberg. There’s plenty of more specific news about people getting caught trying to traffic kids out of Haiti, and a famous case of Hillary Clinton helping one lady trying to take 30 kids out to reducing her sentence to just a traffic violation. It’s a very deep and winding rabbit hole. I’m not asking people to go down it, and I would actually caution against it for the emotionally weak. I will cede that at a certain point, the truth is less clear, but that point occurs deeper one might think. I get it, it’s counterintuitive, almost ridiculous to even give such ideas a forum. There’s plenty of BS conspiracy theories rolling around that it’s easy to overlook real atrocities. Maybe it’s just me, but I think it’s a big deal and it pisses me off. So, I dig. As a business decision, I, personally, have a policy to avoid guilt by association…at all costs. Obviously, at some point, we hope the SAFE Network will go live and it will be neutral. People will use it for both good and bad. Can we just start it off on the best foot possible? There must be thousands of other organizations, no? I never meant to quell your excitement about the project.

It’s important to be aware of and to know that the media is, if not complicit in coverups, certainly keeping the whole truth from percolating to the top. In the current world of post-truth, I don’t really think citing media articles OR, for that matter, showing proof if there are no media articles necessarily gets us closer to the truth.

Anyway, I’ve defended my position enough on this issue. Let the chips fall where they may and people to decide for themselves.

Thanks @happybeing. It’s a small world - I was actually involved in the very early stages of this project (at the Uni) and I know the team behind it. Thanks for the timely prod! :slight_smile:


@dugcampbell As I was concluding the OP I realised that was quite likely. Glad to hear, and to highlight it. It now makes me curious about what else you have in your briefcase of opportunities :wink: good luck with them all.