You know I am a blockchain-hype skeptic, but last year I had the chance to collaborate with a company active in the energy industry, Prosume, which makes reasonable use of blockchain. Its objective is facilitating the transition to renewables, as well as the prosumers (households that produce renewables) entry in the highly monopolised energy market.
I am glad to announce that our collaboration led them to be among the 6 winners of the prestigious “Blockchains for Social Good Prize” by the European Innovation Council. 🏆🇪🇺🎆🥂 The 6 were selected among almost 200 applications from 43 countries. My role was to help Prosume build the case for energy as a key sector for infrastructuring social innovation. In a “for good” prize energy did not even exist as a category: Prosume won ex aequo with another company.
There are two reasons why this award is highly symbolic:
1) Energy is not an inherently “for good” sector: in the current commodification of social purpose, this award is a very encouraging sign for all the people out there who work in “technical” or “traditional” sectors. Native “For good” ventures are great, but we desperately need change-makers in traditional sectors. Change can’t be understood as a salvific app: it is a complex negotiation.
2) The Prize acknowledges the social justice dimension of energy. The energy infrastructure is mostly monopolised, reliant on fossils and treating citizens as consumers without agency. If our increasingly digital (thus energy-demanding) society wants to transition to renewables without leaving too many people behind, energy governance needs to get to the headlines.
BTW don’t worry, no plot twist: this newsletter #BlockchainTaMère column will stay strong and merciless.