The Asia Foundation and World Bank Host Technology Panel Discussion

Washington, DC, September 20, 2017 — The Asia Foundation, in partnership with the World Bank’s Blockchain Lab, hosted an event at the Bank’s headquarters, “Rewiring for Digital Transformation: How Online Platforms and Blockchain are Redefining Development and Changing the Rules of the Game.” Experts from Google, Stripe, eBay, Asian Development Bank, Deloitte Consulting LLP, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Fintech4Good, and the Nepali platform startup Hamro Patro participated at the forum. Caroline Atkinson, chief policy adviser at Google, opened the event with a keynote address stressing the ways that online tools and resources can lead to greater inclusion, efficiency, and innovation around the world.

Senior Director for Technology Programs John Karr speaks at panel on new online platforms and blockchain solutions.

Online platforms are now a prominent part of life in the developing world, and platform innovations are revolutionizing the ways people connect and collaborate globally. Combined with the growth and maturation of blockchain technology, new decentralized modes of working are emerging with major implications for governments and international organizations, as well as the private sector. These developments may offer a window of opportunity to drive global economic transformation.

“There is an amazing community of innovators and developers emerging in the Asia-Pacific region, and platform-driven innovations are giving these local creators tremendous power to contribute to positive development outcomes,” said John Karr, The Asia Foundation’s senior director of Technology Programs, who moderated a session exploring new online platforms and blockchain solutions that encourage inclusive growth in the region.

The speakers at the forum, representing different industries, shed light on how the public sector, development agencies, and other organizations can integrate these technologies and rethink traditional approaches to achieving sustainable development results.

The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia. Informed by six decades of experience and deep local expertise, our programs address critical issues affecting Asia in the 21st century—governance and law, economic development, women’s empowerment, environment, and regional cooperation.

Learn more about the Foundation’s work on technology in development here.

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Related locations: Washington DC
Related programs: Technology & Development
Related topics: Civic Tech

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