Imagine a company that is owned by no one but its users and employees. Or salaries that are determined solely by peer review. Or publicly-auditable and fraud-proof national elections. Or instantaneous money transfers that cost only a few pennies. These are just a few of the concepts made possible by new decentralized technologies such as Bitcoin and second-generation technologies such as the recently launched Ethereum network. In this session, you'll learn a bit more about the decentralized bitworld that may be coming your way sooner than you think.
Ashley Taylor is a Social Innovation & Strategy member of Consensus Systems (ConsenSys), a blockchain company pioneering development on a cryptographically-secure, decentralized network called Ethereum. It is likened to a global, shared computer where users can own their identity and data, which enables a transparent layer of trust for all interactions. Specifically, Ashley is interested in the potential of the technology to catalyze communities to organize and build a web of cooperative economies. She is also one half of Future Culture, a web series for Futurism.Com. Ashley studied Cultural Anthropology and Visual and Media Studies at Duke University. Previously she worked with a group of data and media artists at the Office for Creative Research, who craft tools for engaging with the human side of data. She was also part of a think tank, Center for Planetary Culture, where they developed a wiki that crowdsourced viable models for social change. She grew up in the Piedmont foothills of North Carolina, and teaches yoga therapy when the moment arises.