We’re excited to play a small role in the Block COVID innovation camp event. As one can imagine, the event has rapidly taken shape over the past few weeks as we’ve been able to confirm speakers, gain support, and iron out all the details. It’s been awesome to watch it all come together. You may be wondering about the event and have some questions. In this post we’ll review things to be aware of as you prep for the event.
What is an Innovation Camp? We had to have an ideation session to figure out what to call the event because it’s not a conference, it’s not a hackathon, and it’s not an incubator. We ultimately settled on “Innovation Camp” because the event has aspects of all the aforementioned yet it spans multiple weeks and has even more goodness to share. Block COVID consists of a pre-event online ideation solution, a kick-off event where a lot of information will be shared, mentor style training, team check-in sessions, and a wrap-up event. The guiding principles of the event are that we are action-oriented (we want to build things), we are optimistic and inclusive, we both teach and learn from each other, we are collaborative, and we want to solve real problems stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.
To be clear, we are not trying to build medical solutions that hospitals and scientists are already working on. We want to build solutions that solve problems for “the new normal”. Since our world was turned upside down we are facing new realities with new challenges. It is these challenges that we are focusing on and hope to build solutions.
It should go without stating, but everyone you see, meet, encounter, or come across at any point in this event is a volunteer who donates their own time, talent, and resources out of the kindness of their heart. Yes, we will use technologies and tools to make this all possible, but this is about solving problems rather than pitching products. Volunteer developers can use any technology they want to build solutions, there are no restrictions. The only agenda is building solutions for today and beyond.
Some have asked why we’re focusing on blockchain in this event. We are big believers in the power of blockchain for building solutions in times just like these. Due to the decentralized architecture of blockchain, trust and transparency is brought to the forefront. We specifically feel that blockchain is a great fit for solutions related to the COVID-19 pandemic because:
If you’re new to blockchain you may have questions around crypto, mainnets vs. testnets, smart contracts, and transaction costs. One the great aspects of the Block COVID event is that you will learn (for free and in real-time) about all this.
Trust is brought about on the blockchain through consensus. Consensus is achieved by having multiple parties involved who are rewarded with small amounts of gas for their work verifying hashes. The good news is that this is what happens on the mainnet and everything that we work on for Block COVID will be done in a development environment which is known as a testnet. That is to say that no money, crypto, or tokens will be deployed to a production environment or mainnet. Developers will not have to use any real “gas” when developing these solutions.
So, rest easy, nobody’s doing anything in production that will incur any type of cost during the event!
If you’re new to blockchain, this is a great opportunity for you to learn from thought leaders in the blockchain industry. This innovation camp is the perfect opportunity for web 2.0 (centralized) developers to soak in free knowledge from web 3.0 (decentralized) developers, tool creators, and experts. If you’re wondering if it would be advantageous to learn more about blockchain, just venture over to LinkedIn and look at the supply & demand for blockchain developers as well as the pay rates for blockchain developers. There’s never been a better time to start learning about blockchain!
If you’re wondering who should attend this event, the answer is… everyone! As you would imagine there will be code written, but there are needs from all perspectives. We need developers, designers, marketers, project managers, people who simply have a problem they need solved, data entry, etc. There will be room for everyone to contribute, learn, and to make a difference. Regardless of your skill set or level of knowledge there will be a way to get involved throughout this event.
In anticipation of the event there are several things you can do to help and get involved. The first and easiest thing you can do is to promote the event in your social media channels. The more people we have involved the better, and the more diverse the audience the better. The event’s official hashtags are #CodeHope and #BlockCOVID.
You should also join the Block COVID Slack workspace and get plugged in. Slack will allow us to have rapid, conversational style communications in real-time. We’ll be creating channels around projects, ideas, and teams. If you’re not familiar with Slack check out this getting started page and let’s get the ideas and conversations going!
Also, we’re using an online solution for idea submission. You don’t have to wait until the kickoff event, go ahead and submit some ideas so we can all start reviewing and thinking about them! The projects that get built can stem from the ideas that get submitted. We’ve created “missions”, which are categories to help mentally organize the ideas that we hope you’ll submit. Get started right now submitting ideas at https://Ideas.BlockCovid.org. Since we’re using Slack, we’ve made it easy for you to login to the ideas portal with your Slack login.
Hopefully the above information provides some insight into the event and how you can be best prepared for the event. We look forward to seeing you at the event and making an impact together as a group.
It’s April 4th and that means that the Block COVID Innovation Camp has turned on the ideas functionality to the world! It’s great to see things getting kicked off and we’re ready for YOUR ideas to be shared with everyone. Help us build solutions to help your real-world situations by submitting ideas.
That’s right, without your ideas we won’t be able to build much. We need your perspective, your challenges, and your unique situations from all over the globe shared with us. We want to build solutions for the new normal, the new challenges that have arrived at our front doors, solutions for the future. Ideas are indeed the central piece of the Block COVID innovation camp. Please share your ideas and share the link to the ideas page out with your social networks so we can get visibility into all types of newfound challenges.
No idea is a bad idea, even the interesting ones like needing to find toilet paper!
If you only want to submit an idea and that’s it - that’s completely fine! You don’t have to be a developer or involved with the event at all, but you can still share your ideas. Yes, share the link to your grandma, uncle, friends, and everyone else because they all have unique perspectives that we want and need to hear about. Are you facetiming daily with relatives? Are you texting with friends in different parts of the world just to check on them? Ask them if they have any ideas and you can submit for them.
The team at Ideanote.io has been gracious enough to us to allow us to utilize their platform for the greater good of humanity. Ideanote is a solution that makes ideating easy and fun. Ideas are easily submitted online and then other participants can vote on, rate, and further ideate on the submitted ideas. The projects that we build together will directly come from the ideas that get submitted. The team at Ideanote.io is partnering with Block COVID to allow us to utilize their platform for the greater good of humanity.
To help categorize ideas we’ve created some overarching “missions” that will help everyone stay organized. There are several missions that already exist in the system. If you don’t see them all just click the “Load More” button at the bottom of the page. If you don’t see a mission category that you think should be there, just let us know in the #general channel in the Block COVID Slack workspace.
Find a mission, then click “Add idea” and then you’re off and running!
Thanks for joining us on this journey. We never know what tomorrow holds and we never know what idea may spark a solution that could change the world. It could be your idea! Please submit your ideas and share this out with your friends and social networks.