The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), has announced that its ‘Impactio’ initiative, a curation and funding platform for projects that help solve the world’s most important environmental and social issues will run on Kaleido, a full-stack enterprise blockchain platform based on Ethereum.
Impactio is designed to accelerate the closing of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals funding gap. The platform brings together practitioners, experts, donors, and investors to make high-impact projects come to to life, matching social and environmental impact projects with the support and funding they need to be a success.
Impactio was unveiled by Kavita Prakash-Mani, WWF Global Conservation Director, and Joseph Lubin, founder of ConsenSys and co-creator of Ethereum, at the Concordia Summit during the week of the 74th United Nations General Assembly in New York.
“We face a $2.5 trillion funding gap to achieve our Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. We know that this isn’t necessarily due to a lack of capital or a lack of solutions. What is lacking is a robust mechanism for linking these private dollars to viable, large scale, SDG-advancing projects. Impactio is designed to address this gap, bringing together social and environmental impact projects, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), subject matter experts, and funders.”
– Kavita Prakash-Mani, WWF Global Conservation Director
Impactio is the first blockchain-based collaborative governance platform developed to curate, vet, and fund social and environmental impact projects at scale. Coming out of the WWF’s Panda Labs, Impactio was inspired by ConsenSys’ research on token-curated registries and WWF’s 60 years of experience in developing global environmental solutions.
“This blockchain use case not only solves a critical business need but also offers an incredible opportunity to make a huge social impact for the greater good. We developed Kaleido to simplify the challenges associated with implementing a blockchain network, so organizations like the WWF can focus on fulfilling their mission.”
– Sophia Lopez, founder of Kaleido
The Impactio pilot ran for seven weeks, from July 1 to August 21, attracting over 100 participants, who reviewed 34 projects that could support the advancement of the United Nations’ SDGs.
Projects ranged from social enterprise startups in need of seed funding to existing NGO conservation projects looking to scale up.
According to the WWF, “The platform’s innovative distributed peer-review and curation mechanism uses tokens to incentivize collaboration and decision making. This is orchestrated through a set of smart contracts while all the activities on the platform are recorded on the blockchain ledger, resulting in a highly transparent, automated, and tamper-resistant curation process.”
The Impactio platform also includes a feature where digital tokens can be donated by curators to successful projects as seed funds. Impactio enables subject-matter experts to curate projects by collaborating with project leaders to improve the quality of their projects, before endorsing and challenging them with their allocated tokens.
Australian-based ethical wealth management and superannuation fund, Australian Ethical, donated $20,000 (AUD30,000) from its charitable foundation to finance the pilot curation process. The 30-year old fund, which has been helping people invest for a better future, highlighted the platform’s potential to deliver efficient and effective impact solutions for social and environmental issues.
“Australian Ethical is committed to funding innovative solutions that help improve the broader impact ecosystem. We believe Impactio has huge potential to leverage the knowledge of experts, funders and impact entrepreneurs around the world to funnel capital to leading impact initiatives. The Impactio pilot has been really promising and presents an exciting development for the sector.”
– Nick Chadwick, Foundation Officer, Australian Ethical
The collaboration between projects, experts and potential donors during the pilot helped inform how a self-sustaining funding ecosystem could thrive and scale.
“For the past few years WWF Panda Labs has accelerated our global investment into innovation that helps to realize the potential of emerging technologies to scale social impact. At a time when mega-trends are disrupting all sectors, the two-year collaboration with ConsenSys took the privileged assets from both global organizations and tested and validated a powerful new solution that seeks to re-write the rules for impact finance.”
– Dermot O’Gorman, WWF-Australia CEO
WWF Panda Labs and ConsenSys aim to run more sustainable development campaigns and are inviting social impact practitioners, experts, donors, and impact investors to bring these projects to action.
“Enterprise Ethereum adoption continues to rise—importantly among commercial and non-profit sectors. More direct, transparent, and trustworthy funding models are made possible through a more decentralized IT infrastructure. The first Impactio pilot provided promising validation of the global community’s resolve in surfacing unique solutions that support the U.N.’s sustainability goals, and most importantly, our people and planet.”
– Joseph Lubin, founder of ConsenSys and co-creator of Ethereum