From April 10th to 16th, teams from Internet of People (IoP), the Libertaria Project and the Autonomous University of Nayarit (UAN) met in Budapest to continue working towards constructing a university community based on blockchain. We developed a proposal for how university education should adapt to the new digital economy in order to stay relevant. Universities, particularly public universities, that do not work out how to navigate these changes are doomed to disappear. But those that step up to the challenge and adapt with new solutions could thrive.
Various universities are already working with blockchain in one form or another, including teaching courses about blockchain, implementing document certification processes, and allowing students to pay for their education with crypto. However, such a narrow focus is unlikely to produce more than superficial results. The UAN project will tackle all these topics and more, creating a token, a knowledge-based economy, links to the local economy, a system of governance and a large community based around teaching blockchain across various disciplines, not just computer science.
Artificial intelligence, virtual reality, big data, and blockchain are transforming society, but also the role of professionals within it. Professionals who can adapt to this change and understand how technology is going to redefine their professions will assure their place in the digital future.
This project to create a university community on the blockchain will focus on providing current and future students — whether they participate online or in person — with the tools and knowledge needed to create and live in an increasingly decentralized society.
Currently, most educational content about blockchain is aimed at students with a strong grasp of English. This is a major barrier to learning, as is the high costs of the universities currently offering such courses. Our initiative is designed for students who speak Spanish (a language spoken by more than 420 million people in 21 countries, 20 in the Americas plus Spain) and at lower prices. There will be a system of rewards and scholarships to facilitate study, opening a broad path towards the democratization of knowledge and the application of the blockchain.
The project will many different stages and goals for the short, medium and long term, but we will be starting immediately with knowledge transfer to the University of Nayarit and initial tasks including following:
- Establish the Internet of People token (IOP) as payment method for the products and services in the UAN community of 30,000 students and 6,500 employees, including teachers and administrative staff. It will be used to pay for the university’s own services as well as those from external providers.
- Develop the first processes to use the current Internet of People blockchain in the UAN’s governance processes.
- Create the first blockchain courses. These will be taught to all students on the UAN campus, at high school, Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD level.
- Create the new Education division within Internet of People and the Libertaria Education Project initiative, to bring blockchain training to the UAN faculties of Law, Economics, Medicine, Information Technology and more. This will use the Mercury protocol and the Hydra chain, making this community the second implementation of Hydra after IoP itself.
- Create digital content on blockchain at different levels for online courses that will be offered to students throughout Latin America.
- Use the Hydra chain to record the courses, administer blockchain certification, manage reputation, and support other University administrative processes.
- Create the Educoin token to develop an economy based around blockchain education, with an intricate system of incentives and rewards.
- Develop a relationship system based on reputation within industry, facilitating links with Latin American industry to help students find employment.
The week-long meetup was complemented by contact with potential strategic partners for this project in Budapest, including the Center for Blockchain Competency and Corvinus University, as well as defining the participation of other universities in the Netherlands and Germany.
This project has generated great excitement within the Internet of People community. The national chapters are already thinking about how to coordinate with the new Education division to introduce this education strategy for blockchain in their own countries.
The Internet of People is a project dedicated to connecting people in a secure way and giving them control over their personal data. Libertaria is a project dedicated to creating a freer world. The Autonomous University of Nayarit was created to promote human capital. Imagine what we can achieve by working together.
Thanks to Richie McDowell, Iliana Altena and Lee Ljubic for your help in this article.
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