Innovative uses of blockchain for public empowerment – WS 04 2020

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11 June 2020 | 11:30-13:00 | Studio Trieste
Consolidated programme 2020 overview / Day 1

Proposals: #109, #140, #150, #183 (#148)

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Session teaser

The blockchain technology promises to provide a decentralized platform for efficient cross-border consumer-based markets and public services. Major building stones are initiatives like the European Blockchain Service Infrastructure (EBSI) and use cases for public empowerment in areas like self-sovereign identity and trusted data sharing.

This Workshop aims at answering two questions:

  1. How could citizens benefit from blockchain applications?
  2. What are the key success factors for harnessing blockchain for public empowerment?

Session description

Many companies have been exploring the potential of blockchain in recent years. Regulatory frameworks on blockchain applications are underway in many countries. At the same time, a 2019 McKinsey Report states: “A particular concern, given the amount of money and time spent, is that little of substance has been achieved.” Does this statement relate to the corporate world or to blockchain applications in the public sector?

This session aims to focus on innovative uses of blockchain for empowering citizens. The debate will address the question of how the public and the global community could benefit from the innovative power promised by the blockchain technology. To which Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), being the “blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all”, is blockchain expected to contribute (or threaten) most? What are existing projects applying blockchain in the public sector or in service of the public?

Participants to the workshop will be provided with insights to the work that major public institutions like the European Commission and UNECE have initiated in the area of harnessing blockchain for pubic empowerment. The European Blockchain Services Infrastructure (EBSI) is a major flagship project of the European Commission and the European Blockchain Partnership with four current use case: notarization of documents, certification of diplomas, trusted data sharing, and the European self-sovereign identity framework (eSSIF).

Within the framework of the European Blockchain Partnership, for example, the Italian Ministry of Economic Development (MISE), being a co-chair member, is developing a series of innovative initiatives. The MISE plans to host in 2020 at least one technological node of the EBSI creating a blockchain platform aimed at providing cross-border public services at EU level and which will be tested in all European countries that will join the project.

UNECE has done major pioneer work in exploring the potential of blockchain in trade facilitation. For example, the Organic Cotton Traceability Project aims at enhancing transparency and traceability for sustainable value chains in the garment and footwear industry.

The International Association of Trusted Blockchain Application (INATBA) aims to facilitate the dialogue between the various stakeholders working on blockchain applications so that these applications could be “mainstreamed and scaled-up across multiple sectors”. What are the expected benefits for citizens from blockchain applications in the energy sector, for example?


The workshop will consist of short impulse presentations from the key participants followed by a Q&A session addressing the comments and questions posed by the workshop participants in the live chat.

Further reading


Until .

Please provide name and institution for all people you list here.

Focal Point

  • Galia Kondova

Organising Team (Org Team) List them here as they sign up.

  • Silvia Giannubilo
  • Amali De Silva-Mitchell
  • Ashwini Sathnur
  • Bart A.M. van den Bergh
  • Debora Cerro Fernandez
  • Jörn Erbguth
  • Leandro Navarro
  • Adrian Doerk
  • Najah Naffah
  • Ismael Arribas

Key Participants

  • Maria Rosaria Ceccarelli, Chief of Trade Facilitation Section, Economic Cooperation and Trade Division, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) 
  • Pēteris Zilgalvis, Head of Unit, Digital Innovation and Blockchain, DG CONNECT, European Commission (EC)
  • Barbora Greplova, Co-Chair of the Energy Working Group at the International Association of Trusted Blockchain Application (INATBA)
  • Marco Bellezza, former adviser to the Minister of Economic Development, currently CEO of Infratel Italia S.p.A.



  • Dr. oec. Galia Kondova (School of Business, University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland).
    Galia Kondova is an economist with World Bank experience in private and financial sector development in Central Europe. Senior Lecturer at the School of Business FHNW in Basel researching and publishing in the area of digitalization (blockchain, digital finance) for economic growth and public empowerment. Latest publications on Self-Sovereign Identity, Digital Finance, Governance of DAOs, Blockchain Use Cases, Stablecoins, ICOs and STOs.

Remote Moderator

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Reporters will be assigned by the EuroDIG secretariat in cooperation with the Geneva Internet Platform. The Reporter takes notes during the session and formulates 3 (max. 5) bullet points at the end of each session that:

  • are summarised on a slide and presented to the audience at the end of each session
  • relate to the particular session and to European Internet governance policy
  • are forward looking and propose goals and activities that can be initiated after EuroDIG (recommendations)
  • are in (rough) consensus with the audience

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Video record

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