Image for post
Image for post

The starting pistol of the next global race to win the coveted title of “world’s first country” could fire on 20 January when Joe Biden is expected to officially become President of the United States.

The next race in question being the “Earth Race”. And I’m excited, as healthy competition is what drives rapid innovation, and this is what we need if we’re to save the planet. Ideas, ambition, courage.

Yes, the space race of the 1960s might have had its roots imbedded in the Cold War between the US and the Soviet Union. But as they competed to show their superiority in space flight. They ignited a sonic boom in technological innovation that arguably sowed the seeds for rapid tech advances all over the world. …


Image for post
Image for post

Last week’s news made for bleak reading for even the most jaded retail analyst. I was particularly struck by an article I read in The Times about Philip Green and the collapse of his retail empire. The headline refers to him as “an analogue man in a digital world”.

‍This sentence alone should strike a lightning bolt of fear into the hearts of every CEO around the world who has so far resisted or dragged their heals on digital transformation. I’m not talking just retail here. I’m referring to every commercial business.

‍We’re in 2020. The digital age has arrived. If the pandemic has taught us anything this year, it’s this. …


Image for post
Image for post

Imagine a future in which an art investor does not trust the authenticity of a painting unless it has been verified and registered to a secure blockchain. That future is going to arrive sooner than some people think. Louisa Bartoszek explains how blockchain could reduce art fraud, money laundering, all the while safeguarding the privacy of investors.‍

When two antiquities dealers, Erdal Dere and Faisal Khan, were charged by the US justice department for using fraudulent provenance in September 2020, the importance of confirming the validity of an artwork’s history was once again highlighted. …


Image for post
Image for post

Data is vital in a crisis. We need data to track and trace infections, manage healthcare supply chains and help protect our economies from sustained damage through potentially avoidable lockdowns and restrictions. But how can we balance data and patient privacy? Blockchain. Specifically, decentralised identity.

Each day we seemingly inch closer and closer to a vaccine to the Covid-19 virus, sparking worldwide optimism that there could finally be some light and the end of this hideous tunnel.

‍Whilst we wait for the various vaccines to be approved, governments around the world are placing large advance orders. Here in the UK, the government has added that there will be no “queue-jumping” with “every single person in the UK” offered a vaccine for free through the NHS before any private providers will even have the product to sell. …


Image for post
Image for post

To achieve its climate neutrality goal by 2050, the European Union needs to take urgent action to reverse its deforestation problem. There are six immediate ways using blockchain to digitise Europe’s forests can help the EU achieve its ambitious and difficult to attain targets. In this article I explain how and why I believe the EU needs to create a European Forest Union.

When the European Parliament elected Ursula von der Leyen as the European Commission’s first female President one year ago (1 December 2019), her victory was built on a promise that the European Union (EU) would begin a new chapter in its fight to protect the planet. …


Image for post
Image for post

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos this week revealed the first wave of recipients to secure funding from his $10bn Earth Fund, exactly nine months after he launched the programme to support the work of climate scientists, environmental activists, and other green groups.

Much of the money will go towards natural climate solutions in an effort to preserve and protect the natural world from climate change. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF), who will be receiving $100 million, has said it will focus on the restoration of forests and degraded mangroves in Colombia, Fiji, Madagascar, and Mexico.

It’s terrific to start to learn more about Mr Bezos’ intentions for his Earth Fund and from a personal perspective, I am particularly pleased to see his early focus is in supporting natural climate solution initiatives such as reforestation and research into carbon credit capture. …


Image for post
Image for post

Ask any hotelier what their priority business concern is in a normal year and it will be to increase occupancy rates and find ways to increase revenue per available room, more commonly known as “RevPAR”.

RevPAR has long been one of the hotel industry’s key metrics in order to gauge financial and business performance. For those not familiar with the term, RevPAR combines the results of both occupancy levels and average daily rate (ADR) into one number. Ultimately, one hundred percent occupancy doesn’t necessarily equate to a successful business if a hotel’s RevPAR is low.

In the annus horriblis that is 2020, the year of COVID-19, RevPAR numbers for hotels worldwide have taken a serious hit. The pandemic has had a devastating effect on the hotel industry as people around the world stay at home, either by law or choice, to limit the spread of the virus. With the second wave of enforced lock downs underway, the current focus is one of survival, with cash conservation and liquidity of immediate concern. …


Image for post
Image for post

As the camera pans to trees in the Borneo jungle being felled in Netflix’s “A Life on our Planet” documentary, David Attenborough shares how he has seen with his own eyes how the ‘flat hazy-green blanket of the jungle’ has radically transformed since the 1970s. Vast tracts cut down to make way for palm oil plantations. I silently cried stop, please stop, as the tree toppled. Helpless to stop the loggers through my television screen.

The scale of our ecological emergency is simply enormous. It is so overwhelming; it can be difficult to fully comprehend and find a solution. …


Image for post
Image for post
Understanding the basics of blockchain technology

Technology is constantly changing and trying to keep up with the latest tech jargon can be tough. I was recently asked to explain what blockchain and distributed ledger technology means to people who might not be familiar with this fast-growing tech and explain how businesses can benefit from using it.

Why should businesses care about blockchain? What are the benefits?

There are a number of benefits of distributed ledger technologies like blockchain. To try and keep it simple, I divide them into four buckets — Decentralised, Secure, Transparent and Efficient.


Image for post
Image for post
Photo: Austin Chan/Unsplash

Last year I left BNY Mellon, a global financial institution, to join 2030 Group, a tech start-up using distributed ledger technology to solve real world problems. Many people have asked me what the transition has been like after 20 years working at global companies.

To mark my first 12 months since switching the City for Shoreditch, I thought I would share 12 observations. Some good, some brutal, some maybe surprising.

1. It’s extraordinarily fast-paced; even faster than you probably think it is

A small company with fewer people generally means there are fewer processes in place. Along with less people who need to have a say in something. It’s faster and easier to get things done. It’s liberating and I love the pace. …

About

Louisa Bartoszek

Head of Communications at tech start-up, 2030 Group. She writes about tech innovation, environmental solutions, entrepreneurs, communications & leadership.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store