Silvia Díaz Molina (Madrid) on P2PModels

Silvia Díaz Molina is one of the presenters at MoneyLab #7. She is part of the European Research Council starter grant group in Madrid called P2PModels. Silvia Díaz Molina will speak in the AltFin: Experiments from Prototype to Pilot workshop on Friday afternoon. /Geert

P2PModels is a research project born from a ERC and is based in Madrid. Its goal is to explore blockchain potentialities developing small tool for communities. The communities we chose to work with are big, complex, and related to the Commons, or that have mutualized services.

The communities we are working with at the moment are Amara, a crowdsourcing platform for translation, and Smart, a cooperative that offers counseling and services for worker of the cultural and art sector.

Our team is a very interdisciplinary one. We are an UX designer, a person in charge of the communication, a half computer scientist-half sociologist, some developers and an anthropologist. That enriches our research a lot, but also makes our decision making processes a lot more complex.

In relation to blockchain, we consider ourselves blockchain-skeptics, of course. We don’t know yet if we are working in The Emperor’s new clothes, but we guess this feeling is a normal one in every innovative project. We face a lot of challenges regarding the work with the communities. Are we trying to put blockchain with shoehorn? What is the added value that blockchains can offer communities?

In general, we feel like if we are trying to find an application of a particle accelerator, or some super technical thing…for ordinary people, for their daily life. We’re facing a lot of challenges, also regarding the technical development. We are exploring different ways. One of them is using Aragon modules. Aragon is an organization conformed by white, male, young developers, most of them, we suspect, without “caring” responsibilities. That means, what they develop, is usually very disconnected from the needs of diverse non-technical communities.

We all know how the technology embeds the values and perspective from the people who built it. In her 2015 book Blockchain: Blueprint for a New Economy, Melanie Swan wrote about how blockchain could imply a huge revolution in different areas of society. She talked about how a blockchain 3.0 could go beyond the finance. We consider we are very far from there. But, in case there is a way to reach that point, we need, no doubt, more interdisciplinary teams, and of course, more diversity in developers profiles. We need female developers and diverse professionals working in blockchain. If not, we know what kind of values this technology is going to perpetuate…

Our P2PModels group aspires to bring technological empowerment to the people, and we think this can only happen if we make the technology inclusive. Doing it with blockchain is our main goal.