/Onward Labs on Covid-19 and the future/
We are experiencing a rare moment. One filled with worry and unpredictability. One filled with an upheaval of emotions. Unfortunately, we do not know how this will all end. No one does. What we do know is that uncertainty fuels anxiety and uncertainty leads to mistrust. We saw trends that were pointing in this direction before the novel coronavirus began spreading around the world. Trust in our institutions, governments, and private sectors were at an all-time low. Depression and anxiety were at an all-time high.
The world, as always, was changing: As the world economy focused on globalization, there was a populist trend in many countries to focus on its country’s national interests over international interests.
As the novel coronavirus highlights our interdependence and interconnectedness, it also shines a light on the importance of local governments, local leadership, and protecting our local communities. It is our towns and our cities that will feel the long-term economic, social, and human effects of COVID-19. Companies will be going out of business. Institutions that form the fabric of our society may cease to exist. Storefronts will close. The unemployment rate will rise. The local bar, restaurant, or coffee shop we have always been able to turn to, may not be there anymore. Uncertainty and mistrust, unfortunately, will continue to be problems we must create solutions for.
Businesses are facing challenges they haven’t encountered before. They are different problems than what they faced after September 11th, during the 2008 Financial Crisis, or following natural disasters. However, like in the wake of those misfortunes, many businesses will innovate and think outside the box, and by doing so, will find newfound resilience and resolve. Companies will need to do more with less. The “more” will need to include the word: “good.”
Companies who are being tested and pushed to their limits will need to do more good for their communities. Companies will need to work with their local governments, community leaders, non-profits, and one another. Some may even become community centers. Why shouldn’t local businesses come together with the community to help save the local bar? Or work together to widen the sidewalks, or expand the public transportation capacity, or build a park, or develop educational programs, or provide meals for the hungry? Why shouldn’t businesses choose to build for good?
Before COVID-19, we, Onward Labs, envisioned a near future where whole communities (local governments, schools and universities, and community members) would come together to think outside the box and build solutions that address current and future problems facing their particular community. We wanted to create a more trusted, more confident, and less anxious world by working within local communities to develop solutions that reestablish trust and allows everyone to feel represented and participate in the economy of their communities. We chose to exist because we believed that building the trust economy had never been more necessary. And today, we still believe that. We are committed to that mission because we see our communities rising to the occasion.
A worldwide pandemic, like the one we are currently living in, can bring out the best of humanity. Medical professionals and first responders are putting their lives on the line every day. Essential workers, like those on our food supply chain, elected officials, journalists, cops, and firefighters, are leaving home each day risking their health, and subsequently, their family’s health. Businesses, large and small, are scavenging the world looking for medical supplies they can donate — or create out of their factories, offices, and homes. Millions more are doing their part to stay at home, which is a statement of love and respect for those serving on the front lines. While they stay home, many are reaching into their pockets to give money, food, and resources to those in need. Hundreds of thousands are cheering outside their windows each night to honor healthcare workers and to feel connected to one another. We, as a community, are coming together and stepping up; ordinary neighbors are doing extraordinary things. We must support them during this pandemic, but we also must sustain that support after. That is on all of us.
We see a community, with courage and bravery, that is organically operating under a belief that we are all part of something bigger than us, rapidly organize amid all this chaos to share valuable information and data to make us all safer. We have always believed in a collaborative world where local communities can access data and information that can benefit their neighborhood. We envision a society working together to restore trust in our communities and each other. Now more than ever, we see a future where people are coming together to impact their streets, their towns, and their institutions to build the solutions they need today and those they will need tomorrow.
We at Onward Labs commit to continuing our mission to restore and build trust in our communities by working together. By working with businesses, large and small, governments, federal and local, and The People, those ordinary doing the extraordinary, to come together to lift one another and build for a more equitable, healthier, and better future.
/who we are/
We’re a venture studio working with founders and early-stage companies to use blockchain to build and restore trust.
/what we believe/
There have been a lot of missteps and false promises in the blockchain ecosystem. Too many people saw the space as a way to make a quick buck and buy a Lamborghini. As cryptomarkets fell, blockchain lost its mojo. For many, blockchain represented the potential for a fairer and more resilient future. Many believers were pushed aside to usher in those who did not share in those values.
And it’s not just the blockchain space that lost its way. So has our world. Distrust in our governments, institutions and each other have led to divisions that at times feel insurmountable.
Only 14% trust their national government a lot, to do what is right for their country.
7 in 10
Nearly 7 in 10 worry about false information or fake news being used as a weapon.
Those numbers look even more urgent when polling Generation Z, who will represent 40% of all U.S. consumers by 2020. That’s about $143 billion in direct spending and $333 billion in total spending influenceable.
1 in 10
Global Gen Z-ers trust their national government a lot, to do what is right for their country.
Gen Z trust corporations to do the right thing.
Of Gen Z are deleting their social media accounts
Of U.S. High School students don’t trust the media to accurately and fairly report news.
We believe that building the trust economy is necessary today. The companies and leaders that will succeed and remain competitive must invest in scalable solutions to establish trust. Before it’s too late.
We know that if we’re going to create a paradigm shift and tackle systematic lack of trust, we need to create the place to problem solve. We workshop concepts, poke holes in theses, beta test, bring in outside advisors and come up with ways to apply new technology to current companies wanting to stay competitive.
We are building the trust economy. While trust plays a critical role in our everyday lives, we are beginning with industries which we believe will see the greatest transformation in the next decade due to trust. We intend to solve lack of trust by building companies that empower you to:
=>> Access Trusted Financial Services
=>> Give You Back Ownership of Your Data
=>> Eliminate Systemic Biases
=>> Accurately Call Out Information and Lies
=>> Encourage Civic Engagement
We build adaptable, scalable, trustworthy and socially conscious solutions for real people, like you and like us that you can use today and tomorrow. We are taking a three-pronged approach to achieving this: (1) we co-build alongside exceptional founders who have similar outlooks on life, (2) we design blockchain solutions for early-stage and established companies that recognize trust is key to their business strategy, and (3) we invest in companies building trust using distributed technology.
We provide the place, the structure, and the network to help you ideate, iterate, create, and operate.
Over 6-8 weeks we set out to answer five questions:
1. Are we building for trust?
2. Do we need blockchain?
3. Are we solving a real human problem?
4. What is sustainable business design?
5. What is the quickest way to product-market fit?
It’s in our workshop where we work with entrepreneurs to spark new ideas, test them for viability, and match them with strong founding teams. We take founders through a proven process of discovery, opportunity, conceptualization, to market validation.
More information about our workshop: [download pdf]
To apply for our workshop: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Because why not? We believe in the underlying technology of blockchain, which combines the openness of the internet with the security of cryptography to give you a more efficient and safer way to verify key information and establish trust.
We believe that distributed technology will be mass adopted by generation-z and future generations as the way to secure and maintain mutual trust.
/for the people/
Unlike our competitors who are focused only on the technology (and their bank accounts) and are not thinking about the people they are building for, we are thinking about the people who are yearning for a trusted, verified solution first and build for them to use today and tomorrow.
We plan to restore trust in our governments, in our institutions, on our technology platforms, and among one another. We believe we have set up an experienced team with the best co-founders and advisors who have developed a proven process with the perfect amount of structure to build companies that restore trust. Together we will build a company that makes financial institutions transparent, a company that gives you back ownership of your data, a company that accurately and unbiasedly calls out misinformation and lies, and a company that encourages civic engagement giving you your trust in your governments back.
We are asking you to step up, and join us, and help us restore trust.
EIR + Strategy
Chris Collins CFA
We have partnered with BlockApps, whose mission is to restore the reliability and efficiency of face-to-face interactions to digital transactions through secure and connected information. We will bring businesses to the table to create enterprise solutions that leverage blockchain technology to satisfy current business needs: speed, reliability, durability, extensibility, and security, so they can be better positioned to be active participants in their community.