Trusted Networks are Critical in Building a Better Post-Crisis Economy

48 for the Future Hackathon offers a large range of challenges - you can select a subject that speaks to you the most and build your prototype around it during the programme.🚀

Future of trusted networks is one of the pre-defined topics to be addressed, as the hunger for access to clean and accurate information is stronger than ever; and we can build a better post-crisis future only though a more trustworthy infrastructure. Therefore the U.S. Embassies in Copenhagen, Riga, Tallinn and Vilnius have come together to co-organise “48 for the Future Hackathon” as it poses a unique opportunity to promote collaboration on identifying solutions to the real economic challenges communities around the world are facing in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Andrea Lindgren, Economic Officer at US Embassy Tallinn has written about the vitality of building trusted networks and its impact on developing a better future for everyone.    

"Trust is the basis of every good relationship. I have trusted family members,  trusted friends, and trusted colleagues. I have built relationships with businesses I trust over the years as well - for example, a trusted neighborhood dry cleaner in Minneapolis always took extra care of my items, and a trusted handyman has cared for our home in the United States whenever we are overseas. I have also come to trust certain outlets and organizations for information, for example, related to current events or health information.

But since the rise of the internet we have moved further and further away from those who provide us with information, goods, and services. According to a recent Pew Research Center study, approximately 1 in 5 American adults say they get their political news primarily from social media, platforms that can make the spread of questionable information easier. U.S. Department of Commerce data shows that online purchases now account for 16% of all retail sales in the United States. Services we used to get in person – such as group fitness classes, doctors’ consultations, and tutoring for our children – can all be provided by someone on the other side of the globe.  

The COVID-19 pandemic has only accelerated these shifts – in March 2020 Americans spent 215% more time online than in March 2019 seeking news and current information, while U.S. Department of Commerce data showed that online purchases in the United States rose in the second quarter of 2020 by 30% over the previous quarter.  

Given these trends, it is getting harder to really know the person or organization selling us something. How do we verify our news and information are from trusted sources? How do we know we are purchasing goods from a trusted shop? How can we be sure the item will be high quality, or that the promised service will be provided? How can we ensure people providing online health or other important personal services are qualified professionals?  

These are some of the important questions we must address as we seek to build and strengthen our post-crisis economies. By relying on trusted networks, people can be confident in the quality of information, products, or services they are consuming. The 48 for the Future Global Hackathon seeks innovators who will shape the answers to these questions – the need has never felt more urgent. Sign up today to help us build a stronger, more resilient, and trusted post-crisis economy."

Thank you, dear Andrea.

Now let's crush this crisis together!

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