Many small island nations are turning to cryptocurrency as a way to make sending and receiving money from abroad more efficient, accessible, and cost-effective. Going crypto can help even the most remote island communities make transactions and access finances, helping reduce socioeconomic inequalities and diversifying island economies. Experts on this panel delve into the discussion on how cryptocurrency with the assistance of blockchain technology can help contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Lord Fusitu’a is the Chairman of GOPAC (Global Organization Against Corruption) Oceania and an Executive member of the GOPAC World Board, he is also Chairman of the Commonwealth Pacific Parliamentary Group on Human Rights, Co-Chair of the AFPPD Gender & Women’s Empowerment Committee and a Barrister & Solicitor from Australia for over three decades.
Lord Fusituʻa has been active in several key areas of anti-corruption and global transnational security in Oceania regionally and globally, as well as in the financial technology arena. He is a grassroots and social media educator and advocate for digital currency such as Bitcoin, especially to empower the underbanked agrarian farmers of Tonga, particularly in the area of remittances.
He advocates for legislation to allow Tonga to adopt Bitcoin as a legal tender to solve the GDP remittance dependence issues that face Tonga and all the Pacific.
George Siosi Samuels is the Managing Director of Faia, a consultancy for high-growth startups and communities. He helps entrepreneurs and professionals get back on path by building productive communities. Having been named one of Australia’s Top Community Builders by Pause Fast, and featured by the likes of Adobe, Slack, and Foundr, he constantly looks for ways to build communities that last.
Thanks to his diverse career, unique upbringing, and Polynesian roots, George understands the concept of community as a part of his culture. With time, he extended his understanding into a strong concept-driven approach to community building for various startups including Draper Startup House (previously Tribe Theory Startup Hostels), co-working spaces such as Dimension⁵ and Hub Australia, and legal tech firms such as LawAdvisor.
With more than 7 years of experience across SEA and Australia as a community builder, George is a true expert at building communities for ventures and loves motivating people into action.
Lucia Gallardo is a Honduran serial entrepreneur and Founder & CEO of Emerge. Emerge is an end-to-end solutions development lab working at the intersection of sustainable development, distributed technologies with new or re-imagined financial instruments, the re-alignment of economic and social incentives, and business strategy. Our work has consistently merged public and private sectors in projects related to digital identification for displaced persons, food traceability, financial inclusion for inconsistent income earners, rainforest protection, loyalty rewards programs, and more. For our work, Emerge has been nominated for the 2018 Global SDG Awards and Newsweek’s 2019 Blockchain Impact Awards. In 2020, Lucia was named one of MIT Technology Review’s Innovators under 35.
In her spare time, Lucía sits on the Boards of: Penta Network, a company building foundational blockchain infrastructure; Crypto Kids Camp, a non-profit organisation that connects kids from lower income households to emerging technologies; Rainforest Partnership, a non-profit organisation promoting the protection of the world’s tropical rainforests; the Caribbean Blockchain Alliance, a regional organisation promoting the adoption of decentralised technologies across the region; and, WE Global Studio, an innovation studio supporting the world’s female entrepreneurs. Lucía is an Advisor to Metis, a Layer 2 solution focused on the decentralised future of work.
Prior to starting Emerge, Lucia co-founded Dona un Libro, Cambia una Mente, a Honduran education focused non-profit and 2016 recipient of President Obama’s Young Leaders of the Americas Fellowship. Lucia has past experience in both the public and private sectors, ranging from immigration and trade relations on diplomatic missions to AI-enabled mobile tech and early-stage investments.
Entrepreneur, Management Consultant, Private Banker, International Speaker & Mentor with over 20yrs of Experience as a Digital Economist, Global Strategy, Strategic Planning, Management & Development Consulting, and Financial Planning with a passion for Private Sector Development specifically industry and enterprise transformation and Access to Finance.
Darren Wolfberg is a seasoned technology and finance professional having managed multiple institutional business lines a large multinational banks. In this capacity, Darren has been featured on Bloomberg, CNBC and Fox news, and internationally through various news venues in Canada, Australia and Japan. Darren combines this finance experience with a product development and corporate venture capital background at Sony. Darren has a BFA from the University of Michigan, an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and is also known for innovative form of art seen on BubbleArt.