Special Interest Group Health
The SI-SIG continues to find its sea legs as it strengthens its core/active membership, attracts additional members, increases engagement/participation, and moves forward with its first set of activities. We have struggled in our first few months to find a consistent cadence of meetings, membership engagement and activities, but we are working with our core SI-SIG members and the Hyperledger ecosystem team to identify and deliver solutions.
Over the next quarter, we will establish a regular general SI-SIG call for all members. We have adjusted the date and time to be more conducive to a broader range of interested members. We are also beginning to establish subgroup teams to allow members to engage with greater flexibility in time zones and interests.
Similar to other SIGs, the goal of the Social Impact SIG is to have the bi-weekly general meeting and core team serve as a “front door” to better engage and keep prospective new members active in the community, align them with resources, and connect them more directly with our subgroups.
The general special interest group (SI-SIG) will continue to serve as an entrée for prospective members in the global social impact community interested in understanding how best to educate themselves and participate in the implementation of blockchain technologies–ostensibly using the Hyperledger Project umbrella of frameworks, tools, and extensive community–in order to create solutions to solve a plethora of issues for positive social impact.
It’s important to note that a strong, core team of member has already formed and contributed to the research, content, structure, outreach and functionality of the group. We have a strong foundation upon which to build. We believe the Social Impact SIG is an important part of the overall mission of Hyperledger and its community. We look forward to continuing to build upon the vision we outlined in its charter.
Per the above, our primary issue has been establishing a regular cadence of meetings and setting the right expectations upon which to drive the group forward. With the support of the Hyperledger Ecosystem team, we have identified and/or taken actions to address these issues, including:
Establishing set agenda items (like project presentations and structured issues debates) as well as open items suggested by members.
1:1 outreach to group members that were no longer attending calls or not attending calls regularly.
Conducting a survey to quantify members’ goals to assure we are aligning to these interests to the best of our ability.
Forming our first subgroups to empower more community members to take leadership roles in the SIG.
Establishing the SI-SIG wiki and providing resources on social impact-related events, the ecosystem landscape and the outlines for our opportunity matrix by sectors as identified in our charter:
Philanthropy and remittances (donation traceability, aid transparency, digital currencies in aid and development, governance and accountability)
Financial empowerment (financial inclusion, microfinance, microinsurance)
Identity and land rights (refugee assistance, land ownership documentation)
Governance and democracy (fighting censorship and fake news, voting rights and protections, election integrity)
Supply chain and environmental protections (sustainable supply chain, fair trade, ethical sourcing, fair labor practices)
Overall Activity in the Past Quarter
The SI-SIG holds a regular meeting on a bi-weekly basis on Tuesday mornings at 0700 (Pacific Time).
Membership and activity across https://lists.hyperledger.org/g/social-impact-sig continue to grow. Membership is currently at 96 members. Our chat channel, # social-impact-sig (https://chat.hyperledger.org/channel/social-impact-sig), is seeing activity, but it is not as active as we’d like it to be just yet. There were quite a few structural changes recently with the community assets migration, so we are working to make sure members are aware of how to get to, and use, the new tools.
We began the process of building out an opportunity matrix for each of our sub-sectors. An opportunity matrix is a tool for collecting and prioritizing ideas. The goal is to generate ideas on a grid that aligns potential opportunities, measured against their feasibility and impact. Collectively, we will group, discuss and prioritize areas of potential impact, anticipated long-term value and amount of effort to implement. In step one of the process, we ask questions like:
What are some of the areas that represent this sector?
What organizations are currently trying to provide support and/or solve this problem? (Technical and non-technical)
Who are the potential stakeholders? (Who must we work with, bring on board, align with, convince...to be successful)
In step two, we assess the journey of potential projects in this sector by:
Defining the journey: Where is this sector in its journey? What steps are needed to get to the next level? What does success look like when this initiative is no longer needed?
Defining the headwinds: What challenges need to be overcome? Where might they rank from easy (we need to track a school district’s meals) to more challenging (governments around the world must agree)
Defining the impact: If we get this right, what happens? (This can be a phase in the journey above)
Our opportunities for social impact are immense, but we can’t boil the ocean. This will help us to size, assess and prioritize where we can best apply our resources.
Efforts around (1) philanthropy and remittances and (2) identity and land rights are furthest along. For the former, we are currently debating the merits of a potential white paper focused on the what philanthropies should weigh when considering cryptocurrencies.
Planned Work Products
Completing the opportunity matrix is our first planned work product. In addition, we are working on a landscape analysis of existing blockchain solutions under development and currently being implemented, identifying development challenges and pain points that blockchain could help to alleviate and outlining technical challenges and opportunities for technical development.
Establishing Subgroups: We recognized from the outset that the social impact space was broad, with complex ecosystems, stakeholders, projects and applications. To make this manageable and assure we can indeed have impact will require us to define and assess the market and focus our efforts within our reach.
The SI-SIG General Meetings will continue to be held regularly and we are already seeing a bump up in attendance and, with our new meeting time, a stronger set agenda, and the formation of our subgroups with specific deliverables, we feel confident that the group will continue to grow.
We will also complete a survey to identify member interests and assure that, as new members have joined, we continue to drive projects that are aligned to the mission of the SI-SIG as well as to the aspirations of the community.
We will continue to present current member projects and provide and solicit information for our primary focus areas to capture and define the landscape as well as seek out additional speakers to add “real world” experiences from the field so we can further understand the design, implementation and establishment of a Hyperledger Project solution within their context – particularly the need to overcome things like technical, cultural and infrastructure issues.
The continued build out of the SI-SIG Wiki, which is being led by Caine Smith, Co-Founder & Executive Director, AVA Foundation in order to:
Provide a more meaningful “front door” experience for new members to quickly discover SI-SIG’s resources and subgroups
To serve as a dashboard of activities and accomplishments
Better separate (and highlight) our subgroups (where the real action will be) from general SI-SIG coordinating activities/governance
This is a very diverse membership with global representation (including, but not limited to, member participation from Switzerland, East Timor, the US and India). The majority of membership represents social impact/NGO entities, though we also see larger enterprise participation. There is also a good mix of gender representation in the group.
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