There is a certain mystique surrounding Blockchain technology, which seems almost as heroically promising as dangerously powerful. Hailed as one of the most important innovations of our age by some, this technology describes a distributed database that can
“move value around and represent the owernship of property”
.
Introduced through Bitcoin, the use of blockchain is also currently gaining attention in many other areas, as the potential missing technological link to a more decentralized world.

As one of six major themes this year, OuiShare Fest 2016 will explore the implications of decentralization for individuals, businesses and society and the impact of technologies like blockchain.

William Mougayar will speak about “The promise of a Centerless World”, while Founder of Ethcore Gavin Wood will present his experience developing the decentralized platform Ethereum in “Booting the shadow aristocracy”.

Researcher Primavera de Filippi will reveal a more tangible manifestation of the blockchain and the ‘self-sovereign digital identity’ by presenting the so-called Plantoid . Her talk “Plantoid: the advent of blockchain-based lifeforms” will demonstrate how this small metal artwork in the shape of a flower operates as an entirely autonomous object that not only owns itself but can reproduce with the help of human beings.

Look out, the plantoid will have a guest appearance at the Fest

A Plantoid cannot be owned because no one can own or control its soul…The life-cycle of the Plantoid and its reproductive process is ultimately determined by the underpinning technology".

Notions of decentralization will also be discussed in their relation to the environment (Julien Tournier: "the impact of decentralization on the environment), the refugee crisis, as well as their impact on the business sector (“Will blockchain substitute corporations?”). Advanced sessions such as “A critical eye on the Blockchain” and workshops by experts like Markus Sabadello will offer a more hands on approach and the opportunity to delve deeper into this subject.

Noting how “centralization is accountable for many problems today such as exploitation and the unequal distribution of wealth and power”, program curator and CEO of Jolocom Joachim Lohkamp sees the potential that technologies like the Blockchain have in restoring the “most promising initiatives” and grassroots values of the collaborative economy as a new way to scale innovation and wealth horizontally.

“I’m truly concerned about how we shape our society and address the social and environmental challenges of our time. I’m also a tech enthusiast and obsessed with knowledge, change and innovation. It excites me to explore the concept of decentralization with the OuiShare community, organizations and other interested stakeholders”
– Joachim Lohkamp, Program Curator

Still confused but sort of intrigued? Join the discussion at OuiShare Fest in Paris, May 18-21 to learn more.