The BlockLab of the University of Granada was born within the framework of a cooperative, transformative and evolutionary project from MediaLab UGR – Research Laboratory for Culture and Digital Society, belonging to the Vice-Rector’s Office for Institutional Policy and Planning, and the MYDASS research group (Modeling and Development of Advanced Software Systems) of the Department of Computer Languages and Systems of the Higher Technical School of Computer Engineering and Telecommunications (ETSIIT) of the University of Granada.
In order to promote the launch of the Alastria Consortium Node (alastria.io), working with Hyperledger Fabric networks (and BESU) of our university, we make available to the university community, and society in general, a space for meeting, research, experimentation and innovation in which to explore the new frontiers of the digital shifting.
Also, we have access to the first existing Neural Distributed Ledger, a 4th generation blockchain. In the BlockLab we will launch a RETIS node as a testnet in collaboration with ByEvolution, the company that has developed this disruptive DLT.
1. Why the BlockLab of the MediaLab?
BlockLab is the UGR meeting point for any person, company or entity interested in the innovative potential of distributed ledger technologies; and especially, in its cultural, social and economic implications. Its setting within Medialab UGR (https://medialab.ugr.es/) responds to the transversal potential of this space in the university and in society from its conception of an open social laboratory for learning, research and experimentation around to the impact that digital technologies have on culture, economy, and on society as a whole. From these key points, there is already extensive experience in the development of co-creative innovation processes in various fields, including setting an example through initiatives such as Laboratory 717 – Laboratory of participation and democratic innovation in Andalusia (https: / /laboratorio717.org) or LabIN Granada – Granada Citizen Innovation Laboratory (https://labingranada.org). We also encourage the international cooperation within the academy and the companies.
BlockLab is organized as a laboratory of ideas, experimentation and exchange of projects, based on the philosophy of blockchain and ethical hacking; with two fundamental axes to develop changes in society: Cooperation and (co)creation.
Its main objective is to become a repository of information, experiences, code and training to create a Hub that fosters the creation of blockchain-based solutions in order to both provide innovative solutions to traditional problems and anticipate and respond to new challenges resulting from the interaction of the multiple technologies of the 4th Industrial Revolution.
In line with what we do at MediaLab UGR, special emphasis will be placed on the development of new democratic formats, citizen participation and innovation, from a multidisciplinary and disruptive perspective.
All the projects and formats that are born within this framework of action will be aligned with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, and their 169 Goals, of the United Nations 2030 Agenda.
2. Who can participate?
The BlockLab is not conceived as a professional forum, but as a physical and virtual meeting space for social innovators, disruptive minds and people dedicated to the world of research and the professional world as well as citizens, who share the interest of, from multiple perspectives and disciplines of knowledge, develop projects that use this technology as a vector to solve specific governance problems, improving processes and drawing new forms of organization. In short, the aim is to contribute to designing a disintermediated society based on the trust of its members in those areas that are critically determined.
Amongst the blocklabers are:
- People who contribute technological knowledge, both in the conceptualization of the technology itself and in the code that develops it; especially to develop an own community that spreads the training in the languages of the technologies of distributed registry (DLTs).
- Communities of professionals who want to expand their knowledge about these technologies and their application in their environments; especially the Spin-Offs and Start-Ups.
- People who are social leaders and want to help transform the old schemas of processes and participation of our democracies and systems of governance in organizations.
- People anxious to learn and / or transmit knowledge about these technologies to improve our society.
- People interested in developing a new ethic, ethical hacking for machines and algorithms with the help of blockchain.
3. What projects and activities do we develop at BlockLab?
As a cooperative and cocreative community we will set the limits between all the blocklabers, but by way of illustration we propose:
- Specific training on certain technologies, processes or programming languages in the field of blockchain.
- Development of an ethical hacking structure in relation to the possibilities offered by the blockchain.
- Organization of debates, workshops and seminars, either of general dissemination and / or academic to deepen the challenges that the decentralization of our society entails.
- Evaluation, design and testing of technologies in our Alastria Node or in those spaces that we help to create.
- Collaborative prototyping on new processes and strategies on how to achieve ethical systems of disintermediation for society that improve the democratic quality of our organizations.