An image of a refugee camp
Credit: Julie Ricard

The future of digital society is already happening in humanitarian crisis zones and other sensitive settings. What does it look like? Join us for the launch of a new report.


17:00 GMT

Monday 21 November

Web3 is widely seen as the ideal evolution of the World Wide Web that will be realised using the decentralised digital infrastructure, blockchain.

But previously untested Web3 technologies are being trialled to deliver key services to marginalised groups in precarious socio-economic positions.

Around the world, we now see a growing number of experimental blockchain projects target refugees, aid beneficiaries, and other low-income communities.

What Web3 is/are—and when, where, and how Web3 is being made and used—is not widely understood, with much mystification and confusion surrounding the term.

The implications for real communities and institutions are only just emerging.

Join us for the launch of a new report that explores the topic.

This report will:

(1) Provide a critical background to Web3, locating it in the history of digital innovation.

(2) Introduce Web3 in terms of what kind of thing(s) it is, what key concepts surround it, and who is driving its implementation.

(3) Evaluate the promises and pitfalls of blockchain experiments targeting marginalised groups from the perspective of real-life case studies.

(4) Set out recommendations for research and policy on Web3.


– Margie Cheesman, report author and Affiliate, Minderoo Centre for Technology and Democracy, University of Cambridge

– Gina Neff, Executive Director, Minderoo Centre for Technology and Democracy, University of Cambridge

– Lana Swartz, University of Virginia

– Paul Currion