Ox-Chain is a major research project between the Universities of Edinburgh, Northumbria and Lancaster, and research partners Oxfam, Zero Waste Scotland, Volunteer Scotland and WHALE Arts, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. It brings together experts in digital design, cryptography, business and international development. Through collaborative research, we will design a Blockchain for Oxfam to better support the circulation and re-circulation of valuable items within its business model – hence ‘Ox-Chain’.

The arrival of the Blockchain promises to radically change the way we share, circulate and distribute the things that we value. However, the possible benefits for the not-for-profit sector have only begun to be understood, and much research and innovation is presently limited to the financial and tech industries. 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.

 

Oxchain Workbooks


As part of the reporting for the Oxchain project, workbooks have been created to illustrate research progress. Find links to these below.

Workbook: Phase-1

Workbook: Phase-2

 

 

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DAOWO Summit UK


Bringing together the worlds of art and blockchain the DAOWO Summit UK lays the foundations for a global transnational network.

Focused on establishing greater cooperation between the arts and blockchain industry, leading researchers and key artworld actors discuss the current state of play. Discussions focus on potential cultural and social impacts, technical affordances and opportunities for developing new blockchain technologies for fairer, more dynamic and connected cultural ecologies and economies. Two UK events are planned as a precursor to a DAOWO World Tour and Summit that seeks to forge a transnational network of arts and blockchain cooperation.

The Summit is organised with Furtherfield and New Media Scotland and is a free event open to anyone interested in the field, places are limited so please sign up via Eventbrite http://daowo.eventbrite.com

Programme Summary

  • State of the Arts: Blockchain’s Impact in 2019 and Beyond| Ruth Catlow and Ben Vickers on developments from critical practice to the business of arts and the blockchain. Followed by discussion hosted by Clive Gilman
  • Make / Do / Block | Panel discussion with 5 creative practitioners whose work allows us to experience the otherwise abstract technology of blockchain. Hosted by Prof Chris Speed and Mark Daniels.
  • What value does the blockchain bring to collecting art? | Ruth Catlow in conversation with Marianne Magnin, London Director of Arteïa

 

Schedule

1.00 Registration

1.30 Welcome and Scene Setting

State of the Arts: Blockchain’s Impact in 2019 and Beyond | Ruth Catlow and Ben Vickers present a comprehensive overview of developments from critical artistic practices and emergent blockchain business models in the arts. DAOWO Arts and Blockchain pdf download (Catlow & Vickers 2019)

Followed by a discussion hosted by Clive Gillman, Creative Scotland

2.15 Coffee

2.30 Panel

Make / Do / Block | Panel discussion with 5 creative practitioners whose work allows us to experience the otherwise abstract technology of blockchain. Hosted by Prof Chris Speed and Mark Daniels with panellists:

  • Pip Thornton – The Value of Words in an Age of Linguistic Capitalism
  • Bettina Nissen & Ailie Rutherford – Designing feminist cryptocurrency for Govanhill
  • Evan Morgan – GeoPact
  • Jonathan Rankin – OxChain, Pizza Block
  • Larissa Pschetz – Karma Kettles

Although the term ‘blockchain’ has trickled downstream into the public domain, the principles behind the technology remain mysterious to many. Embodied within physical assemblages or social interventions that mine, hash and seal the evidence of human practices, creatives have provided important ‘coordinates’ in the form of artworks that help us to unpick the implications of the technology and the extent to which it re-configures power structures. This panel brings together a variety of creative practitioners who have made forays into designing and making artefacts and activities that allow us to experience the otherwise abstract technology of blockchain.

4.00 Coffee

4.15 Conversation

What Value Does The Blockchain Bring To Collecting Art? | Ruth Catlow in conversation with Marianne Magnin, Arteïa UK Managing Director.

4.45 Wrap up, takeaways and final discussion | Ben Vickers to lead into drinks

5.00 – 6.00 Drinks

 

Tickets: http://daowo.eventbrite.com

Location: Inspace, 1 Crichton Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9AB


Contributors include:

Ruth Catlow, Furtherfield and DECAL

Mark Daniels, New Media Scotland

Clive Gillman, Creative Scotland

Marianne Magnin, Arteïa

Prof Chris Speed, Design Informatics, University of Edinburgh

Ben Vickers, Serpentine Galleries

Through two UK summits, the DAOWO programme is forging a transnational network of arts and blockchain cooperation between cross-sector stakeholders, ensuring new ecologies for the arts can emerge and thrive.

DAOWO Summit UK is a DECAL initiative – co-produced by Furtherfield and Serpentine Galleries in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut London. This event is realised in partnership with the Department of Design Informatics at the University of Edinburgh and New Media Scotland.

The event is sponsored by OxChain which 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, involving the Universities of Edinburgh, Northumbria and Lancaster. http://oxchain.uk


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Modern Human Presents Pizza Block


2-5 St John’s Square · London

Sign up: https://www.meetup.com/Decentralized-Design/

To see photos from this event click here

Our Ox-chain team will be running their Pizza Block workshop on the 29 May with Modern Human for the Decentralized Design meet up. It will be a unique opportunity to learn about blockchain, experience how it works in practice and participate in a lively discussion. Decentralised or ’self-sovereign’ identity management has recently emerged as a potential blockchain use-case, in particular to grant individuals greater control over their personal data, and support verification of identity and certification. In this design-led workshop, we aim to unpack the core premises of blockchain-based identity management applications, and create space for participants to consider the implications of these systems in a range of domains. The workshop will be based around a co-operative game, where participants will play as either individuals or organisations acquiring, managing and verifying ‘pizza-making’ skills to each other, through a combination of blockchain-based artefacts and a distributed ledger.

 

Decentralized Design has been set up to cultivate a community of researchers, designers, product managers and similar, working on demystifying a highly technical space in order to bring forth real user value. Set up in February 2019 Decentralized Design will offer events that will focus on enabling the conversations we need to have, learning from those who are currently tackling design problems in this space and building out the practices that will enable constructive and positive futures for decentralized technlogies.

The event is sponsored by Modern Human, an award-winning, multidisciplinary design practice and innovation consultancy.

Modern Human works at the intersection of design, behavioural science, technology and business to imagine new products, services, & experiences that improve modern life. Their work includes connected home appliances that make you a better cook; financial services for the way you really manage your money; products that help doctors save lives in the NHS; and physical environments inside retail stores, libraries, museums and call centres.

Modern Human was founded on the philosophy we should all be enriched, empowered and liberated by the technology available to us. Blockchain is one of the next generation of technology with exponential power to transform the direction of humanity. Modern Human believes it’s vital for designers to contribute to conversations about the human implications of these technologies.

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Volunteering on the Ledger #1 - Identity Management


This unique research event is designed to shape an innovative and emerging technology towards the practical needs and aspirations of volunteers and volunteer-involving organisations.

Join a small group of peers and help determine how blockchain technology can solve key challenges and create new forms of value within the sector.

On the day, as well as taking you through the key features of blockchains, we’ll be developing ideas about how these can be relevant for anyone involved in environmental, cultural heritage and/or youth-engagement volunteering.

This first-of-3 workshops will dive deeper into: Identity Management

  • Consider what is most important around volunteers’ identity
  • Envision a basis for data portability: what if volunteers could ’own’ and permit use of some or all of their identity data?
  • Discuss potential implications for your organisation – and the wider sector
  • Co-create a shared system and collaborative ideas, supported by proven design methods and with expert practitioners in the room

We are looking for willing participants with an open mind to new technologies and with experience of volunteering and the sector. As a design-led workshop, a working knowledge of blockchain is not required. The workshop is highly participative and will use creative practical exercises and novel approaches to convey ideas, connect these with familiar challenges in the sector, and foster mutual understanding and co-creation.

Sign up through Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/volunteering-on-the-ledger-the-inside-track-on-blockchain-tickets-50782808748

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Volunteering on the Ledger #2 - Alternative Currencies


Volunteer Scotland and the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Design Informatics, with Northumbria University, invite you to join us for Workshop #2 of ‘the inside track on blockchain’ series.

This unique research event is designed to shape an innovative and emerging technology towards the practical needs and aspirations of volunteers and volunteer-involving organisations.

Join a small group of peers and help determine how blockchain technology can solve key challenges and create new forms of value within the sector.

On the day, as well as taking you through the key features of blockchains relating to alternative or social currencies we’ll be developing ideas about how these can be relevant for anyone involved in volunteering.

This second-of-3 workshops will dive deeper into: Alternative Currencies to:

  • Consider different kinds of alternative currencies
  • Elicit how volunteers are valued, and what volunteers value themselves
  • Explore how alternative currencies can be used to create and exchange different forms of value for volunteers
  • Co-create your own alternative currency for the voluntary sector

We are looking for willing participants with an open mind to new technologies and with experience of volunteering and the sector. As a bespoke, design-led workshop, a working knowledge of blockchain is not required. The workshop is highly participative and will use creative practical exercises and novel approaches to convey ideas, connect these with familiar challenges in the sector, and foster mutual understanding and co-creation.

Find out more and sign up through Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/volunteering-on-the-ledger-alternative-currencies-tickets-52355861792

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University of Northumbria

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Lancaster University

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