Digitalization is followed by Decentralization

The Think Tank Dezentrum opens at Zurich’s Bahnhofstrasse

As a digital society, our way of life is fundamentally changing. Digitalization holds the potential to automate a significant number of our jobs worldwide in the coming decades. The centralization of data in a handful of technology companies and their influence is growing rapidly. The current approaches, systems, and markets do not seem to have an answer to pressing issues and crises. It is vital to generate positive visions for the future.

What role could decentralized technologies play in the future of our society?

This is the question that resides at the heart of the Dezentrum. The Dezentrum acts as a hands-on think tank, hub, and enabler for a decentralized future. In the role as a co-founding party of the Blockchain Hub «Trust Square», the initiators work closely with academic partners as well as with companies from the private sector.
Presently the discourse about Blockchain is heavily dominated by the technology and financial industry. With its interdisciplinary approach, the Dezentrum is broadening the discourse by social sciences as well as humanistic and artistic disciplines. Co-producing studies, pilot projects and showcases, the Dezentrum actively participates in shaping the future of our society in the decentralized era.

One of the first projects is a travelling satellite, an autonomous entity that travels through Switzerland and Europe. Constituted through a smart contract this entity collects funds independently an hires people for its own transport.
In the future, a manifold of autonomous entities might interact with society. What does that mean from a sociopolitical perspective? What moral and ethical implications do dezentralized technologies and their applications bring with them?

In order to investigate and explore those questions, the Dezentrum relies on an interdisciplinary network of experts and serves as a well connected platform. Participants will have access to resources and infrastructure such as a library, an inspiring environment in Trust Square, and a network of collaborating institutes and universities. As a result, the Dezentrum attracts researchers, creatives and experts from all over the world. The «decentralized paradigm» also manifests itself in the form of organization, consequently the Dezentrum is not run as a hierarchical organization but structured as a holocracy.

The Dezentrum offers the public a wide range of workshops, meetups, events and consultations around Blockchain and decentralized technologies. The academic collaborations make it possible to generate a practical and substantial contribution to the discourse. Every month, public lectures are held by external experts and, within the academic framework, results of the research and findings of the Dezentrum project are presented. The Dezentrum offers an independent environment that enables radical thinking in all directions.

Topics and questions to be addressed include decentralized technologies such as blockchain technology and their application, self-regulation, blockchain oracles (hardware/consensus-based), smart properties, new forms of organization with decentralized structures (incentivization, dispute resolution), federalism 2.0 , data sovereignty, cryptocurrencies and their use, reputation systems, coded (social) ethics.

The interdisciplinary founding team of the Dezentrum consists of five partners. They share an awareness of the urgency to proactively engage with technological developments. In various formations, the team has already established successful startups, ICOs, co-developed on a top 10 cryptocurrency, published in academic journals, launched major events, and founded and led diverse cultural organizations. Now they have unified their energy, resources and network to found the Dezentrum.