Future of Security- Ecosystems

Rutger Van Zuidam, Founder and CEO, Odyssey took the Synergia Conclave 2019  on a journey along the ‘curve’, beyond any one’s imagination. Blockchain technology is itself unmindful of the concept of boundaries and sovereign states.

Background

The Treaty of Westphalia enshrined the principles of sovereignty which also find a mention in the  UN Charter.  However, the entire concept of sovereignty is under challenge by the rush of globalisation and transnational crime.  Blockchain technology is itself unmindful of the concept of boundaries and sovereign states.

The perception of security is undergoing a transformation- from “for the public” to “with the public”.  The big government alone cannot ensure security.  In an increasingly complex world, top-down linear approaches seem unable to cope with today’s challenges which are borderless, have a multitude of stakeholders and can’t be solved by “throwing money at it”. Governments must act beyond making new laws, policies, technology or allocating more resources. New ways to collaborate, establish relationships and build communities will determine the outcomes that will impact generations to come.

Odyssey, the blockchain company of Rutger Van Zuidam, has a unique approach to the world’s problems.  The company seeks insights from its years of work by over 3000 participants who went beyond the curve and looked at how to organise security in our global society for the 21st century. They tried to find out what was the role down to the individual level and the actions as these will determine the outcomes that will impact generations to come.

Analysis 

Challenges cannot be solved by one organisation or any one country as no one can hold all the critical information.  Workable solutions have to be worked out by a multitude of stakeholders brought together on one platform.  Solutions arrived in such a manner belong to all and thus have universal acceptance.

Rugger Van Zuidam raised the pertinent question as to what is the curve that we are trying to look beyond?  He explained it with the example of the Hubble Telescope which took an iconic picture through a single exposure of 15 days which showed 400 galaxies with billions of stars in each. How many of these stars are supporting life?  That is the kind of deep look that the human mind needs to get at real problems confronting us now and in the future. The implications of imagining come from our aspirations. The focus of Odyssey, his company is to build a secure future with mass participation.  

The challenges are so complex that one organization and /or one industry cannot find an ideal solution. Collaboration and cooperation of information is the key to secure our future. Complexity involves ecological divide, social divide and spiritual divides. There is always a huge gap between those who are suffering from a peculiar problem and those who can find a solution to those problems.  Who Will bring them both on a common platform?  

Counterfeit goods plague the world today and can have catastrophic consequences. The supply chain integrity is based on ethics and this is something that cannot be controlled in today’s day and time. For example, a fake smartphone with poor quality fake battery is carried in the hold of an airliner, it puts the lives of all passengers at risk as the battery can explode any time.  Most products are sold by a third party and the intermediaries are not aware of the genuineness of the item. There are limits to managing the supply chain. With blockchain one can prove, the route or process from end to end and fight to counterfeit goods. The idea of an “Virtual Twin” emerged from one of these blockchain projects which is a very effective way of unmasking fakes as any individual can compare the fake with its “Virtual Twin” on the web

The emergence of the third generation of web is a collaborative layout that allows global massive scale delivery. The way we think about a problem is the uniqueness of dealing the complexities, rather than sticking to traditional methods which will only give traditional solutions.  Cost of production decreases if worked in an ecosystem which the collaboration enables. The impact rises beyond the organization and that is how complexities are handled.

He elaborated on this logic with a project which was undertaken by his company.  A pilot study was undertaken in Europe on how solar energy can be generated atop a roof. The mass collaboration to solve the problem included government agencies, private entities and competitive organizations. Hackathons by over 1500 people were conducted to find solutions. 

Blockchain comes in where transactions and settlements are done. A bank is not required for the same. Public and institutional trust are key factors-an open AI model without proprietorship, checks the data source, a certified authority legitimizes the process and it is all from open source.

Assessment

  • The future challenges are so complex and so much beyond our imagination, the solutions we seek must not be traditional ones arrived at using old methods. Towards this end, blockchain has the potential to change the way problems are studied and solved. The danger lies in narrow economic interests and fear of losing a position of advantage which deter national leaders and wealthy corporations to share their solutions and methodologies on an open domain.
  • In today’s world, everything is being done in silos- money is with few,  data is money and is jealously guarded, individual and organisational expertise too is hidden in silos. So the dilemma is how to select the right solution and how to scale it.
  • Challenges cannot be solved by one organisation, one country, no one can hold all critical information.  A multitude of stakeholders should be encouraged and supported.

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