Creating value out of blockchain-shared monitoring of the commons

One of the great unsolved problem of classical economics is the tragedy of the commons: An unsolvable problem? Nor anymore, with the economy of information!!

If everyone is aware that everybody is monitoring everything, we are in a much more aware paradigm: The extended holoptic systems. I this system, as everyone is benefiting from healthy commons, the source of value is equitable sharing; and the standardized value system is Objective information about the commons. Which is exactly what cheap, reliable sensors will provide.

A new theory of value:

The use-value of commons is linked to the info you know about it.

Fantastic video to help guide Decentralized app building :

In an upcoming article, I will explain how a sensory system for the land constitutes the equivalent of a nervous system in biological entities, and how, in the history of evolution the transition from undifferentiated multicellular blob-like organisms, to differentiated-organs multicellular organisms is very akin to.

Let’s stop being cancer cells, and start being the healthy tissues that regenerate symbiosis! Let’s develop the neurons and communication system required to make us self-aware at a larger scale and pool our wisdom. Let’s connect to the Baobaxia, the galaxy of wisdom-trees!

 

Educative purpose: Harvesting the great learnification cascade

One of the most exciting promises of the development of collaborative monitoring and citizen science is its educative potential for the preparation of future generations as sustainable custodians and stewards of the land.
Starting from a young age, the children, involved in a collaborative effort in the role of scouts, would play a very serious discovery game of hide-and-seek with nature, around their city and in parks around their schools. We aim to nourish a wealth of comprehension and understanding of the world around them that would be driven by curiosity and exploration, and fed by the knowledge of their peers and elders.

To make it all work, we need an informatic infrastructure that can support an infinite game with continuous evolution of its players over the course of their lives but also with modulable objectives. This game has to be naturally integrated within life’s cycles and rituals, incorporating celebration and community gatherings. Evaluation of each player’s contribution would be assessed by the community and teachers, with a system incorporating both fixed objectives AND more open propositions.

Learnification is a term coined by Gert Biesta to describe the shift from “teaching” to “learning” in education. Teaching is meant to pass a predetermined curriculum to the youth that is passed on by the adult. Learnification is more focussed on facilitating the discovery by the learners, who will supposedly acquire the skills necessary to get the things they want to do by themselves.

During their participation in Waterlution’s 2017 Water Innovation Lab in India, WeTest cofounders explored Shistankar and Manish Jain’s unlearning university. This experience was the culmination of a series of reflections on the dangerousness of our formated education system developped by colonial-mindsed institutions  that undermines our society’s creativity and ability to adapt our purpose in life to the need we percieve around us. We believe that gamified collaborative science processes are the best way to awaken curiosity and openness to the world around us; it’s a way to lift the nose up from the books and smartphone screens, and awaken a fascination with the stories and science behind everything around us.
The gamification structure could very well be inspired from Habitica which is an amazing example of how we can incorporate fictional objectives in order to accomplish real things in life.

Another example that is already integrated in virtual reality is Agents of discovery; This incorporates virtual reality missions in museums, parks, etc.

More on that later!

We developped a little visionnary video to see how this development in virtual reality could unfold!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The AquaHacking Youth delegation: Reconnecting youth to their water body

Olivier was a youth delegate for the 2017 AquaHacking forum for the protection of Lake Erie. As part of this delegation, he participated in a retreat and think thank, reaching out to water experts, farmers, legislators, fishermen, indigenous communities and members of the wider public in order to get the pulse of their connection and variety of interests for the protection of Lake Erie.

Members-of-the-2017-AquaHacking-Youth-Delegation-address-the-crowd-4_170914_193246
The AquaHacking Youth Delegation presenting the results of their investigation during the Forum

Together they produced a declaration of a vision for 2020 for the protection of Lake Erie.

WeTest_with_citizens
Olivier and Gaspard were testing water quality using an open-source spectro-photometer, along with Jack, a citizen from the shores of lake Erie

As we were brainstorming and encountering people from the community, we youth delegates noticed that, while many people were worried about the protection of the lake, few youth followed into taking action, simply because they don’t know how, working alone they can make a real difference for an issue that seems so large. There is a lack of knowledge of the diversity of the local ressources to which they can easily have access. We were convinced that we need to use new technologies and social media to help the youth gain more informations and opportunity to connect to the real change initiatives around them.

This is why we developed a web platform named LakeErieConnect to centralize and facilitate the discovery of the mode of action for the community that is best suited for the needs of the next generation of water protectors.

Crowd-Members-Participate-in-a-Quiz-Developed-by-the-AquaHacking-Youth-Delegation.jpg
Members of the public testing the quiz on the platform Erie Connect during the forum. 

One of the major observations made by the Youth delegation is the need to update the ways to engage the public in the age of social media, and the perks of gamification to facilitate engagement

Collaboration with Water Rangers

Water Rangers_banner

WeTest is proud to announce a collaboration with Water Rangers for the development of collaborative science solutions to water quality monitoring.
Together, we will manage a team of engineers from Université de Sherbrooke to develop new portable sensor for water quality and to develop the user interface in order to facilitate participation in the monitoring of our rivers!

 

 

WeTest collaborates with UofA’s Serpe Research Group for the development of innovative water sensors

Since the end of summer 2017 Gaspard Durieux, cofounder & head of the WeTest Team, is working at the Serpe Research Group for the development and optimization of Lab-on-a-chip (LOC) water quality sensors to detect a whole range of chemical and biochemical pollutants in water. Together with a team of chemists who have been refining these devices over the course of several years, we are finding ways to bring to the market a whole new way to test water quality that is fast, simple, reliable and much cheaper than lab analysis.

serpe group

Water contamination being a major issue for nearly 2 Billion people each year, and being the cause of disease and death of tens of millions, there is no question that the development of such cheap water analysis tools connected to smartphones is very important.

Each square inch of the sensor costs no more than 10 cents, and Serpe says only a square millimetre is needed to run tests.

He expects to line up a whole bunch of the tiny things in a cartridge that goes into handheld device to test for multiple harmful pathogens at once with push of a button.

By combining arrays of these sensors, we will be able to get a chemical fingerprint of the water contaminants, and whether it is safe to drink. Indication of whether the water is clean will be quick — yielding results in as little as five minutes.

The devices, constituted of a thin microgel layer sandwiched between semi-permeable metallic surfaces that change color when dipped in water. By adjusting the surface treatment with protein-specific enzymes and the ionic properties of the microgel, we can adujst the sensor’s response to parameters as different as pH, Salinity, Nitrites, Phosphates, Calcium, Fluoride, Iron but also to biological parameters such as E.Colli and even target specific DNA sequences.

sensors_serpe.JPG
An array of the water quality sensors being tested in prof. Serpe’s Edmonton laboratory

sensors_serpe2.JPG

For more information about the sensors, please read this article by CBC, listen to this video, and read a list of the scientific publications which detail the instruments.

We are now working on the development of instruments to simplify the readout of the sensor arrays using smartphone cameras, to make sure that the design makes it user friendly and fun to make measurements of water quality.