Tell us about yourself
- Jared Pareira
- Developer at ConsenSys
- Building a protocol for a decentralized education system: Fathom
What inspired the idea?
- Grew up in Kenya
- Could see clear divide between local and expat community
- Clear structural flaws in the institutional education system
- The basic unit of education was an institution rather than a smaller more meaningful unit.
- Fathom emerged from trying to understand this
Can you explain “meaningful unit of education”?
- For education and especially credentials it is about consensus around the credential.
- A credential is only meaningful if other people recognise it
- Currently that consensus resides in institutions
- Its smallest and most meaningful unit is what defines a single skill, idea, credential
- Fathom aims to codify the process of coming to consensus around the definition and assessment of these units.
How does Fathom relate to education systems we have today?
- It isn’t an immediate replacement
- It is however very flexible.
- Its immediate use case is areas where the existing education system can’t come to terms with, or for people who need extranational credentials. It has applications on the fringes.
- As this academic network grows it will eventually be able to interoperate with the existing system
- It is important that schools never go away. It is the credentialing, assessment and trust that should be removed from them.
- The base layer is decentralized credentials.
What is the importance of decentralization?
- Because these [skills] are social processes there is no single truth. Everyone has their own opinion of what is valid.
- We want to build those perspectives into a larger system.
- Decentralization allows all individuals to follow their own path but still build consensus around skills.
Where is Fathom taking us?
- The goal is that any individual in the world can learn however they want.
- But still be safe in the guarantee that their skills can be communicated through credentials in a global system
- This means that people with very different learning experiences can work and learn with each other.
- This means that more interactions can take place and also by capturing a larger range of learning experiences we can enable those experiences to flourish.
- This means that people are more able to learn in ways that make sense to them. Resulting in a more capable and better educated society.
- Blockchain enables this to be more scalable and more robust.