In today’s world, urgent issues affecting both people and the environment are happening at both local and global levels, demanding swift action from various parties, including governments, corporations, and citizens. To address these challenges, businesses need to adopt a more socially conscious approach. Instead of sticking to the usual business paradigm that ignores the planet’s problems, we must embrace new models that prioritize social and environmental impact.
BlockTree is a social enterprise that exemplifies this approach. Drawing from the success factors we learned from the SBC101: Principles of Social Innovation course, we have developed a Vision, Cause, and Team that align with our goal of creating a better world. In this paper, we will demonstrate how BlockTree is leveraging social innovation principles to drive positive change in society and the environment. By engaging more stakeholders, we are taking a proactive step towards realizing our vision of addressing the world’s most pressing problems. Through our innovative business model and commitment to social impact, we hope to inspire other businesses to follow in our footsteps and create a better future for all.
As we learned in the lesson, building a successful business requires careful attention to many factors. In the case of a social business, there are three key elements that are particularly important to consider. The first of these is Vision. By starting with the end in mind, you can envision the impact that you want to create and use this as a guide when faced with uncertainty. However, it is important to remember that pursuing a bold vision often means breaking from the status quo. As George Bernard Shaw once said, “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” In the context of social entrepreneurship, this means being willing to take risks and pursue innovative solutions, even if they seem unconventional or difficult. In her talk “Changing the world through social entrepreneurship’’, Willemijn Verloop encourages aspiring social entrepreneurs to embrace this spirit of unreasonableness. By refusing to accept the world as it is and striving to create something better, we can drive meaningful progress and create positive change in the world. As social entrepreneurs, it is up to us to lead the change and inspire others to join us on this journey.
At BlockTree, our mission is to use blockchain technology to address the lack of transparency in deforestation. Our vision is simple yet powerful: “Plant the trees, heal Mother Earth, together we will grow a greener future with Blockchain.” To achieve this vision, we have developed a blockchain-based project that leverages NFTs to connect sponsors and planters throughout Asia. Our approach is rooted in transparency and trust. By using blockchain and NFTs to track reforestation efforts, we can ensure that all stakeholders are accountable and responsible for their actions. Our ultimate goal is to create a sustainable future where afforestation is supported by blockchain technology in an honest and reliable manner. To achieve this goal, we have set an immediate objective: to “NFT-ing 1 million forest trees by 2025.” By using our toolbox of data gathering, resource optimization, and real-time data transfer, we aim to connect planters and sponsors and create a powerful network for reforestation. Our aspiration is to lessen the effects of climate change and preserve the environment for future generations. We strongly believe that blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionize the way we approach environmental challenges. By harnessing the power of NFTs and blockchain, we can create a new paradigm for sustainability and create a greener future for all. On that journey, your help is also highly appreciated.
The second element in the success factors of a social business is Cause. It is important to be passionate about the problem you are solving, rather than being too attached to a specific solution. As Simon Sinek famously said, “People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it.” In his book “Start With Why”, Sinek introduced the concept of The Golden Circle, which consists of three parts. The first part is WHAT – every organization knows what they do, whether it is selling products or delivering services. The second part is HOW – some organizations know how they do what they do, whether it is through unique processes or strategies that set them apart from their competitors. However, the most critical part of The Golden Circle is the WHY. Very few organizations truly understand why they do what they do. The WHY is not about making money; it is about the purpose, cause, or belief that drives the organization forward.
As a social enterprise, BlockTree is committed to our Cause of addressing deforestation and promoting sustainability. We understand our WHY and are passionate about making a positive impact on the environment. By leveraging blockchain technology and NFTs, we aim to create a transparent and trustworthy system for reforestation efforts. Our WHY is to create a greener future for all, and we believe that our approach can help to achieve this goal.
To answer the first question, WHY, speaking of climate change, we are all aware that it is a serious environmental issue with repercussions for both the environment and people. Climate change is a serious issue, with deforestation being a significant contributor. Traditional afforestation initiatives have faced challenges in transparency, hindering sponsors’ confidence in the effectiveness of their contributions. BlockTree’s solution uses blockchain technology and NFTs to create a transparent and trustworthy system for afforestation efforts, increasing stakeholder responsibility and trust.
To address the issue of transparency in afforestation initiatives, several solutions have been proposed, including third-party audits and certification by organizations like the Forest Stewardship Council, remote sensing technology, and public reporting mechanisms. However, these options can be time-consuming, expensive, or lack standardization.
BlockTree taps into the market gap by offering a transparent and verifiable solution for promoting responsible and sustainable afforestation practices. By leveraging blockchain technology, we aim to standardize the afforestation process by providing a consistent mechanism for documenting and tracking the entire process, from planting to maturity.
Our solution involves three steps:
1. Verification work is conducted by BlockTree at designated planting areas, linking sponsors and tree planters.
2. Tree planters use the BlockTree app to gather information at planting sites and update data on tree development. This data is then uploaded to the blockchain network to produce NFTs.
3. NFTs are distributed to relevant wallet addresses after being saved.
This is WHY we created BlockTree and HOW we can address the issue of transparency in afforestation. We believe that blockchain technology and NFTs can bridge the gap in afforestation projects and create a more sustainable future for all.
As the last part of The Golden Circle, WHAT is BlockTree’s unique social innovation. To combat deforestation and climate change, BlockTree employs a strategy of social bricolage, combining social building and social engineering. Our approach is based on the belief that blockchain technology can help solve these problems, with the participation of various stakeholders, including tree planters, sponsors, and the general public.
BlockTree offers a range of features, including:
– A web application that tracks and reports the tree-planting process, calculates the carbon sequestered over time, generates NFTs, and reports progress to funders.
– A smartphone application that enables planters to locate planting sites and collect tree data for use in creating dynamic NFTs.
– A small ERP system for organizations that plant trees, facilitating their digital transformation and streamlining their manual processes.
These offerings enable BlockTree to monitor and verify the planting process, building a community of tree planters and sponsors who collaborate to reduce the impact of climate change while ensuring that sponsor funds are used as intended.
As we have learned from experience, a vital element of any social business is the team. People invest in the team, not just the idea. At BlockTree, we are committed to our destination but flexible in how we get there. We are building a support system around our ideas. Our team at BlockTree engages with a range of stakeholders, including our technological partner Cardano, our benevolent fund Project Catalyst, and most importantly, the planters and sponsors. To support our project, we have raised funds through Fund 8 and asked sponsors for contributions. We have also collaborated with Gaia Nature Conservation and will partner with IAG Academy in the upcoming years to preserve the environment.
As we continue to raise funds and plant trees, we will develop our community and collaborate with businesses and government organizations. Our team is committed to making a positive impact on the environment and building a sustainable future for all.
In terms of impact, we have achieved some milestones in the fight against deforestation and climate change thanks to our connections with Asian planters, sponsors, and partners. Most recently, we were given funding for 12,500 mangrove trees at a cost of 10,000 VND each for the Ben Tre mangrove forest. As a consequence, 12,500 mangrove trees have been planted, preserving fisheries, restoring habitat for endangered species, and fostering local economic growth.
In conclusion, BlockTree is reflecting on the three key elements in the success factors that come into play to build a successful business. We are concentrating on increasing awareness and participation among people and organizations throughout Asia to join in forestry initiatives as planters or sponsors in BlockTree in order to solve the problem. Without your support, we will not be able to fulfill our vision of planting one million trees throughout Asia. For ourselves and the generations to come, we will work together to make the earth more sustainable and green.