UNICEF plans to sell 1,000 data-driven non-fungible tokens (NFTs), the UN’s largest-ever NFT collection to date, ahead of the organization’s 75th-anniversary celebrations.
Some of the NFTs will be digitally watermarked in honor of the agency’s 75th anniversary, while others will be linked to events in early 2022. UNICEF will sell these digital collectibles directly on the Ethereum blockchain.
Proceeds from this auction and other NFT fundraising events scheduled for late 2021 and early 2022 will benefit the UNICEF Global Office of Innovation’s promising initiatives, such as Giga, a UNICEF and ITU initiative to connect every school in the world to the Internet using new technologies such as low-Earth orbit satellites, machine learning, and blockchain. Giga has connected over 3,000 schools, benefiting over 700,000 children, and has mapped over 1 million more to help prioritize connection investment.
Aside from being the UN’s largest known NFT collection, it is thought that this is the first time the UN has developed NFTs based on data. The Ethereum Foundation, Snowcrash Labs, CfC St. Moritz, Metagood, and Wondros have all contributed to the collection.
UNICEF has been working for child rights and the well-being of all children for the past 75 years. UNICEF works around the world to save children’s lives, safeguard their rights, and ensure their futures, from short-term relief to long-term development programmes.
In honor of its 75th anniversary, UNICEF collaborated with Snowcrash Labs and data visualization scientist and artist Nadieh Bremer to develop Patchwork Kingdoms, a visually arresting collection of NFTs. Each piece includes a world ‘above’ that represents connected schools and a world ‘below’ that represents unconnected schools. In contrast to the ‘vibrant’ connectedness in schools in the upright city, the squares in the buried pale ‘reflection’ city symbolize a lack of connectivity. The various colors represent the number of children who still do not have access to the Internet. The artwork was inspired by Giga’s live school connectivity maps.
The NFT collection includes data from over 280,000 schools in 21 countries, and each artwork represents a subset of these schools.
Each Patchwork Kingdom is a modern time capsule that captures where children are currently connected as well as where children are still in need of life-changing access to the Internet and everything that connectivity has to offer for their welfare and opportunity. UNICEF seeks to capitalize on the potential of the digital revolution for every child to thrive through a variety of initiatives of the UNICEF Office of Innovation, in collaboration with many public and private partners, including a variety of high-profile priorities such as mental health and climate change. Collectors who purchase these precise NFTs will acquire a snapshot of Giga’s progress at this moment in time. The option to collect individual schools, connect Patchwork Kingdoms, and see the network of cityscapes grow as Giga evolves and more schools and towns are joined will be added to the NFTs.