Geographically dispersed, and hunkered down in the middle of a pandemic, a group of current and former Intouchers banded together to compete in a global, virtual hackathon called Hedera20. The hackathon was sponsored by technology leaders including Hedera Hashgraph, DragonGlass, and MoonPay, and judged by titans of industry from IBM, Tata Communications, Wipro, and the John W. Brick Foundation. 802 participants comprising over 45 project teams representing 72 countries converged online for an intense, six-week competition focused on using distributed ledger technology (DLT) to build the ultimate decentralized application of the future.
What Is Distributed Ledger Technology and What Is Hedera Hashgraph?
Most people have heard of Bitcoin or Ethereum. Well, both of those operate on blockchain, which is a distributed ledger. On a distributed ledger, there isn’t a single or centralized owner of data. Instead, everyone on the network shares (and distributes) the data around the globe, allowing users to trust a gained consensus between the systems.
It’s much harder to tamper with data on a distributed ledger, but a drawback to this technology is the time it takes to share that data with everyone; sometimes transactions can take up to an hour to finalize! Imagine making a point-of-sale payment for your purchase and having to wait an hour to confirm that it was approved to get your receipt!
Marketed as “the trust layer of the internet,” Hedera’s Hashgraph allows the same transactions to settle in seconds — up to a thousand times faster, while still offering the guarantee of trust and transparency. To help promote this revolution, Hedera sponsored Hedera20, a competition centered primarily around their new Consensus Service.
Awesome! What Was the Big idea?
Seeing the current disparity in the world and wanting to create something that would have a lasting social impact, the team spent the first week brainstorming over a dozen ideas, eventually consolidating and narrowing them down into a single project spanning the most promising aspects of each, called HumanKind:
HumanKind is a decentralized marketplace that aggregates, sponsors, and rewards altruistic behavior and random acts of kindness, giving back to the communities, businesses and charities you care about. Essentially, the kinder you are, the more you — and the community you are a part of — get back.
Check out our pitch video.
Simply Put: It Pays to Do Good Things
With the goal of aligning with Hedera’s mission of being “the trust layer of the internet,” and create a new “trust layer of social good,” we got to work. Knowing we couldn’t create every feature we’d thought of, we focused on the core:
- Creating Your HumanKind Identity – Becoming “kind” isn’t as easy as it sounds 😊 Every HumanKind user is required to donate a small percentage of whatever they earn on the platform to their favorite charities. We get them set up with all the traditional credentials, then ask them to create unique donation rules that will define where and how much they’d like to give back. Everyone also gets a kindness “score” that goes up based on how much they do on the platform.
- Creating Marketplace Posts – We only focused on a single post type for the hackathon, but HumanKind users have lots of ways to earn and take action, including items for sale, help wanted, charitable posts (kind of like GoFundMe) and more. Businesses and charities can post to the platform as well, creating coupons and offers that give back.
- Taking Action and Buying Things – You could decide you want to mow someone’s lawn, buy a pizza from Domino’s, or donate to a family in need. And even more ways to post are waiting in the wings.
- Getting Rewarded – Regardless of what you decide to do, every time you do something kind on the platform, you earn money for your charities and add to your kindness score. Imagine buying a Domino’s pizza, and they give 20% of the total price to your favorite charities! On the HumanKind platform it’s always a win-win.
How’d We Do It?
It’s hard enough trying to complete a project in a traditional hackathon, but virtually putting all the pieces together in the midst of a global pandemic? Insane. It requires commitment over lunch hours, nights, and weekends to find tiny pockets of time and weave them into a meaningful and impactful piece of work. And it’s vital to have a strong vision for the final project and put the right people together to turn that vision into a reality.
“The breadth and depth of diversity in our team was monumental to this successful outcome. By leveraging industry veterans across all disciplines, we were able to iteratively innovate, design, develop, deliver, and disrupt, bringing our idea to life in a very short amount of time.” – Team HumanKind
What’s Next and How Does This Apply to Healthcare and Pharma Marketing?
First, to lead by example and give back, we’ve donated a percentage of all prize winnings to our favorite charities, including the John W. Brick Foundation for mental health and Heart-to-Heart International, which is providing worldwide COVID-19 relief to first responders. We hope HumanKind becomes the first step toward making kindness a habit instead of an afterthought. And we have a lot of exciting features planned to help us get there. But beyond HumanKind, we see DLT playing an enormous equalizing role in the world in virtually every industry. Any platform that sees a lot of dynamic data flowing over its network will benefit from DLT, especially those platforms that require a high degree of security and trust, such as finance or healthcare.
Distributed applications built on ledgers such as Hedera Hashgraph offer an opportunity to create an ecosystem of trust and transparency in a variety of ways such as:
- Decentralized digital identities with distributed electronic health records that offer cross-provider aggregation of symptoms, diagnosis, prescriptions, and brand-sponsored shared content, also allowing individuals to get paid to share their health data without sharing any personally identifiable information. This could play a huge role in speeding up trials and ultimately getting new molecules and medications to the public faster.
- Permanent, auditable log of brand-related user-journey channel activity over time for reps, healthcare providers, and patients.
Reach out to Intouch today to see how distributed ledgers can help drive the future of your campaigns and initiatives!
Questions for the hackathon team? Contact them directly at firstname.lastname@example.org