IOTA Foundation is officially sponsoring the Blockchain for Peace Innovation Alliance

The 2018 Symposium “NextTech Peacekeeping” was held by Germany and built upon the momentum and resulting initiatives from the three prior symposia: “Awareness, Protection, Innovation” (hosted by Korea in 2016), “Innovation and Next-Generation Peacekeeping” (hosted by Austria in 2015), and “Exploring New Partnerships” (hosted by Italy in 2014).

The event attracted over 180 in attendance: senior-level military and civilian representatives from Member States, delegates from academia, research institutions, and other United Nations partners from the international community interested in collaborating with leaders from the United Nations to find solutions to the most pressing needs of peacekeeping today.

The theme for this year’s five-day event, “NextTech Peacekeeping”, centred discussions around innovations at the edge of mainstream adoption, focusing on technological discoveries and new opportunities that have the potential to impact the field. For the first time, non-profit organizations outside the “UN universe” were invited, such as the IOTA Foundation, Peace Innovation Foundation, Airbus Foundation and Open Cellular Initiative.

In the absolute centre of attention was the inspirational keynote of Mr Dominik Schiener, co-founder of IOTA Foundation, sharing his experience as a technologist and entrepreneur, and his passion for innovation. His keynote addressed the key challenges of UN peace operations and how they can be solved by coming together and form innovation alliances.

Dominik made a strong point by stating: “Innovation is not just about talking. It’s about doing.” He announced that the IOTA Foundation is officially sponsoring the Blockchain for Peace Innovation Alliance. Through this initiative, under the coordinating lead of the Peace Innovation Foundation, he said, we will work together with partners from governments, industry, academia, civil society organizations, intergovernmental organizations, and start-ups. This alliance will demonstrate the potential of blockchain technology for peacekeeping in very practical terms. And, beyond technology, this initiative will set a powerful example that these new partnerships can deliver meaningful innovation to the UN.

Dominik emphasized “We’re doing this because we genuinely believe in this collaborative approach to offer the UN new capabilities, designed and tailored to its very unique challenges. And we want to put our money where our mouth is.”

Together, the members of this alliance will showcase the benefits of Distributed Ledger Technology to the UN’s critical field work, in very practical terms and with hands-on projects.

The Blockchain for Peace Innovation Alliance invites others who share this vision to get in touch. Hardware providers, software providers, governments, think tanks, development agencies – anyone and everyone with the passion and the expertise to contribute.

Dominik closed his keynote with a very personal call: “We all together are the United Nations. Let’s innovate together.”

This new alliance is an impressive example of bringing greater collaboration to United Nations by aligning the technological and innovative capacities of the world with the specific needs of the peace missions.

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