“Blockchain for Social Good” Panel at Zug Impact Summit 2017

BroadLights was kindly invited by the Swiss Impact Investment Association ( and by the government of the Canton of Zug to speak at the “Blockchain for Social Good” panel on Monday 30/10/17 during the second annual edition of the Zug Impact Summit (

This panel focused on how Blockchain technologies can accelerate the global achievement of UN SDGs and was comprised of three other speakers very active in this domain:

Karl H Richter, UNDP SDG Impact Finance (UNSIF)

Olinga Taeed, Centre for Citizenship, Enterprise and Govern

Efi Pylarinou,

This year’s event brought a unique Interfaith perspective to investment and had the participation of several entities which are seldom present in similar gatherings – such as the Vatican, NASA, the Prince of Wales foundation and many others.

Many thanks to SIIA President Klaus-Michael Christensen for the opportunity to share my thoughts on this highly relevant sector.


Participation in a UNHCR Global Compact Thematic Discussion

BroadLights had the great honour to be invited again by the UNHCR, this time as a panelist in a thematic discussion at the UN in Geneva focusing on how to support refugee communities via affordable connectivity initiatives.

These sessions focus on the real world implementation of the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework established by the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, which was adopted by every single one of the 193 UN Member States in September 2016.

If the refugee cause is important to you, the link below indicates how you can become involved as well:

Mentoring Finalists

BroadLights had the pleasure of mentoring, a Canadian team from the Schulich School of Business focusing on Refugee Connectivity which developed such an innovative solution that selected them as one of the six finalists for their finals in New York out of more than 50’000 applications – a prestigious event which officially opens the United Nations General Assembly Week. It was an honour to be invited to attend this occasion at the UN NY HQ and to congratulate the 2017 Hult Prize winners of the $1m seed funding award announced by Bill Clinton, Roshni Rides from Rutgers Business School.

Small Island Developing States and SDGs

It was a great pleasure to meet at the first Smart Island World Congress edition in Mallorca Mr. Anote Tong, Kiribati’s former president and climate change thought leader.
Kiribati (pronounced as “Keereebass” 🇰🇮) may be an exotic-sounding and fairly unknown country, but they’re extremely relevant for a very critical reason: being so flat they will be the first nation to disappear with raising sea levels and therefore act as the “canary in the mine” when it comes to proactively dealing with the hundreds of thousands Climate Refugees that such catastrophe(s) will unfortunately create in the near future.
We had a long and productive conversation on how to save his homeland from vanishing into the Pacific (coming up with a few novel approaches too!) and I’d be delighted to introduce anyone who may be in a position to support their very worthy cause to his organisation.
My country will be underwater soon – unless we work together

STEM Education for Women and Girls

What a great privilege to spend this whole afternoon at the UN in Geneva with HRH Princess Dr. Nisreen El-Hashemite discussing the multitude of activities she leads empowering women (and girls!) in STEM by sponsoring the recent creation of the International Day for Women and Girls in Science (Feb 11th) and so many other highly impactful activities performed in this sector by her team at the Royal Academy of Science International Trust (

Blockchain for Development

A chain of kudos to Dr. Foster, UNITAR and UN-BLOC for organising in Geneva the sorely needed seminar “Designing the Digital Infrastructure to Support SDGs” – aiming at introducing UN agencies, International Organisations, Academia and NGOs to the Blockchain’s potential and thus accelerate the achievement of SDGs. Even a “veteran” like me involved with Blockchain technologies for almost five years learned a lot from the development use cases presented.

If the topic also tickles your fancy, here’s what was on the menu and feel free to PM me if you’d like to have more details:


Interested in learning about Blockchain and implications for sustainable development? We are offering an introductory seminar in collaboration with Blockchain Labs for Open Collaboration

Designing the digital infrastructure to support SDGs:

Blockchain basics: 101, current landscape, opportunities and challenges

Case Studies: how BLOC is addressing five SDGs in two global sectors

BLOC courses: blockchain building blocks for SDGs


BLOC- BL0CKCHAIN LABS F0R 0PEN C0LLAB0RATI0N: We are a network of public and private participants and large talent pools that have come together to build end to end blockchain solutions that meet common needs and create shared value

UNITAR: An autonomous UN body established in 1963, the United Nations Institute for Training and Research ( provides training and capacity development activities to assist mainly developing countries with special attention to Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and other groups and communities who are most vulnerable, including those in conflict situations.

Katherine Foster: Former Business Development Lead Sustatainable Land Use at Climate-KIC, Europe’s official public-private partnership on Climate Innovation and Entrepreneurship and a former Canadian Diplomat specializing in Climate Change, Human Security, and International Trade. Currently transitioning her family from Switzerland to Washington D.C. Katherine serves as an advisor to a number of international SDG Innovation programmes and Start-Up accelerators and a specialist in Blockchain and Natural Capital.

Special thanks to Marcio Schittini, UNITAR Green Development and Climate Change Programme




UNHCR Annual Consultation with NGOs

What a fabulous experience to represent as one of the shortlisted global institutions invited to participate as exhibitors at UNHCR’s Annual Consultation with NGOs in Geneva last month in partnership with ICVA.

It was full of humbling conversations about their incredible work and encounters with potential NGO partners to help Refugees achieve better socio-economic conditions (and enhanced dignity) via new opportunities provided by affordable connectivity.





CoFounder’s Valentine’s Gift

CoFounder Magazine has just given us a lovely Valentine’s gift by publishing online their article explaining the origins of – which is also available on print in their February issue covering the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona (

BroadLights: Ideas for connecting the world

In case you also delight in the feeling of crisp high quality pages fluttering in front of your besotted eyes, the offline magazine can be purchased below:

Print Magazine

Download PDF version of online article here