Any social or economic researchers here?

Hi everyone,

I’m a researcher that studies poverty, work/labor issues, and the informal economy, which led to my interest in Cardano. I have a background in econometrics and psychology.

I was wondering if there were other like-minded researchers here, and perhaps those formally studying (e.g. employed in academia, policy think tank, or government) crypto and blockchain?

Thanks,
Charles

5 Likes

Hi Charles! I am studying adult development psychology and aim using it to optimise our working environment and social interactions by building an scaled-up automated way of coaching / developing ourselves and finding those projects that most align with our own constitution of the moment. I am looking into either researching this professionally or in the context of a Phd study.

I am also involved with sociocracy as a social policy making technology and am interested where blockchain can help facilitate governance using sociocracy or similar technologies. But this is more of a personal interest.

I currently live in Antwerp (Belgium), but am looking to move to the US (west coast) this year as my wife is American and misses her family.

4 Likes

Thanks for introducing yourself @DaedalusVoyage! Your interests are great. I’m near NYC but I have been to Belgium and other parts of Europe. I know American universities tend to be more globally recognized, but I think European universities, such as in Belgium, Germany, and Scandanavia, are much more creative and forward-thinking in social research. I work in academia; feel free to private message me if you have any questions about choosing a U.S.-based Ph.D. program.

1 Like

Hey Charles

Not a researcher, but I work for a non-profit that sends digital aid vouchers (and value to account) to beneficiaries in South Africa (often collaborating with formal government sectors like Social Development). As an NPO, we’re looking at how we can get the money donors send to beneficiaries to flow into our informal economies. Currently, the aid sent is only redeemable via formal retailers and financial services. About me and my role: An industrial engineer by training, turned software tester. Currently wanting to see if they’d be open to a blockchain based version of what we do, but need to first plant seeds…

4 Likes

Hi @jason_apples,

Your work sounds great - is your NPO considering Cardano as a platform for your project?

Loren Landau, who was a SA-based researcher but now at Oxford, works with a few colleagues of mine and I was able to learn more about SA through them, e.g. informal economy, urban mobility, spaza shops.

2 Likes

I am seriously considering it and selling it to our board - in fact, it’s why I want to learn how to create smart contracts (still busy learning programming). The only thing I wonder, is how to convince SA retailers to accept cryptocurrency - I imagine that would be quite a feat but once accomplished, a doorway to commercialize blockchain tech.
Speaking of spaza shops, the digital aid we send is redeemable at these kinds of retailers as well. And it sparked that conversation - about how we can support informal economies more! Loren Landau’s work is amazing! It makes sense he works with Wits. They produce incredibly rigorous and insightful political research.

2 Likes

Might this be helpful for acceptance with retailers?

1 Like

for sure! however the issue stands that access to internet in sa is quite limited and expensive. So i wonder how having to download a wallet on your smart phone (already that’s a problem, because smartphone use is not the norm) would work? However, a kind of card could work? Isn’t IOHK looking into something along these lines. Although, this is not a very green solution unless the cards are made of something other than plastic.

1 Like

It’s important to put all of this in context of other advances that are underway. I am thinking specifically about Starlink which will provide internet to remote places as long as sattelite access is possible. I can also see relay stations with high-throughput equipment connecting to Starlink in places like SA to then distribute with an inexpensive local network. Suddenly the world is connected. Suddenly Africa can grow and join a digital online economy.

2 Likes

I am now going to find out all I can about Starlink… WOW, I’m blown away by the possibilities.

To elaborate on your mention of “a kind of card”, this could be something like:

Obviously, it’s a bit expensive, but consider this to be the first generation of such devices. You take the device with you into the shop, scan the payment QR code, authentication with fingerprint and done. No need for a phone (although the price of the ngrave definitely needs to go down).

As it stands, a cheap second-hand phone is probably better. Or a local trader could sell scratch cards with a pre-paid wallet address or something like that.

Point is, I think this will be solved soon.

2 Likes

NGRAVE sounds really cool. And is definitely a step in the right direction. I’ll be keeping up with them, thanks for mentioning!

1 Like

I think those of us in the social sector (npo) tend to think implicitly about adoption of tech at user/consumer level or large retail (like Shoprite in SA).

But you might want to make a move to target cardano and digital currency adoption with spazas first for a few reasons. First, they have active global capital flow (remittances) and likely have very active smartphone use. Second, they have a dual role as individual retailer and individual consumer. My sense is that they are a good middle ground between consumer and large, established retail.

2 Likes