Imagine a world where you could use blockchain technology to make real social impact. Well guess what: we don’t need to imagine – we’re already there!
👋 Meet Ines Illipse, Mathematician and Innovation Leader in web3. Her research project 'Blockchain Use Cases for Social Entrepreneurs and NGOs' has uncovered countless ways that this cutting-edge tech is already making positive changes. Learn more about Ines's journey into the inspiring field of blockchain for social impact.
In this profile, you will learn about:
How Ines got started in the web3 space
Why she is both excited and worried about what is to come in web3
Her best advice for beginners who want to learn more about web3 and the blockchain
Let’s dive in! 👇
Entering web3 – how it started
Ines first entered the web3 space about a year ago, when she joined the Bankless DAO community (a DAO is basically a decentralized digital community that can support each other economically and organize between themselves). Being active in the community, the possibilities that web3 and blockchain technology unlock started to click for her.
“Up until that point, I had heard about blockchain many times and had met blockchain developers in my social circle but I never thought about it for myself. But being active in the Bankless DAO community, I realized how promising this new technology is. At that point, it started clicking for me and I wanted to learn more and engage more in the space.”
Ines has a hybrid tech and business background. She has a bachelor’s in Mathematics and a master's in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management from KTH in Stockholm.
“Throughout my career, I’ve worked in tech companies as a software tester such as Qlik and later on branched out to innovation management roles within different innovation labs such as Oriflame. In addition, I’ve joined different incubator programs as a founder such as KTH Innovation and Antler.”
Researching blockchain use cases
Ines recently worked on a research project with ChromaWay, a leading blockchain company in Sweden. The research project was titled “Blockchain Use Cases for Social Entrepreneurs & NGOs” and used the NGO Reach For Change as a basis of analysis.
“I learned so much during the project about actual use cases of blockchain technology that also have a positive impact on the world. For example the role of blockchain in crisis management. I was amazed that Syrian refugees can purchase food using aid provided by the World Food Program by scanning the iris of their eyes at checkout. This program is built on the blockchain combined with pre-existing biometrics technology used by the UNHCR. So many people focus on blockchain use cases that could exist in the future, but this research project made me realize that so many practical use cases already exist today.”
The future of the web3 space
Ines believes that in the next 10 years we will see blockchain affect every sector just like the internet did in the 80s and 90s.
“Personally, I’m excited about the application of the space in the music industry, where fans can co-own songs with artists, fund them and then share royalties made from the sale. I’m also excited about DAOs, where you can start a community around anything and write a smart contract to govern it and start making an impact.”
But there are also impacts of this new technology that worry Ines.
“Blockchain today is full of scams and there’s so much noise and hype to filter through to understand what’s going on. I worry that the high barriers to entry into the web3 space in its infancy might lead to the space evolving to benefit a specific group of people, just like our financial system does today. I’m basically afraid that we will have the problems we have in our system today but at a higher and more complex level.
This has inspired Ines to start a podcast about the space, from a more critical point of view.
“On my new podcast, Cryptophobia, I will be discussing use cases that are not as commonly addressed and also hopefully discuss the dangers so we can lead the development of this new promising technology to a better-democratized future.”
Creating a more diverse tech space
Ines is a firm believer that the tech space in general, and the web3 space in particular, needs more diversity.
“To be honest, joining this space feels like I am back in engineering school. At the moment, it’s a boys club. I attended a crypto event here in Stockholm with about 3 girls versus 20+ boys. It’s intimidating, and even though everyone is super nice and helpful, it still feels like you’re the odd one out. We need diversity in this space because women cannot take a back seat to being a part of building the future. And because we bring a lot to the table.
Ines also has some thoughts on how the web3 space can be more inclusive.
“I would say we need more educational material in simple terms. Technical language and jargon are two other issues. A lot of conversations in this space feel like they're in a different language filled with inside jokes and inside terms that might leave you feeling like an outsider. There is also a cult-like behavior that runs a risk of harming the space and polarizing it. You’re either a crypto ‘bro’ or you just don’t get it. I think there is a lot to work on to make it more accessible for diverse groups of people. Let me know if you have any ideas!”
Lastly, Ines shares her best advice for beginners who want to learn more about blockchain and web3 but have no idea where to start.
“BE PATIENT. If you’re reading this now and considering entering the space, you’re still an early adopter. Think of it as learning a new language, a new culture and a new way of thinking. It takes time and patience. I’ve been in this space for a year and feel like I’m just at the tip of the iceberg. I ask people who have been in the space since 2017 and they say they still feel like they are scratching the surface. It’s a deep rabbit hole so buckle up and get ready for that. Reach out to me if you have any questions, I am happy to help.”
Want to learn more about web3?
3 practical tips from Ines Illipse
1. Join a DAO and get started in a community, ask all the stupid questions and try to connect and interact with the space as much as possible. There are many DAOs out there so choose one that you align with.
2. Follow different people on Twitter or LinkedIn, who are a bit further ahead, so you can learn together
3. Read whitepapers and listen to podcasts. Do your research and never trust blindly anyone or anything
How to connect with Ines
Want to hear more from Ines? Of course you do!
Check out her new podcast Cryptophobia on Spotify.