FUTURE|MONEY is the first in our new Arts & Cultural stream of awards, which we call Inti/vations. “Inti/vations” is a portmanteau of intention and innovation, centered on the idea that intention exists within the creative core, acting as a catalyst for empathy to evoke positive human reaction. Through empathic, intentional expressions of a financially inclusive future, new systems of economic justice can emerge through the liminal scenarios created.
As a prompt, we ask that proposed pieces consider themes for the future, like decentralization, pan-border interconnectivity, financial services that work for people, and new cultural understandings of the fluidity of money.
So what does all that mean?
The goal is to provide substantive and robust support for underrepresented artists, including Black, Latina/o/x, Indigenous, AAPI, PoC, LGBTQIA+, disabled, and income-challenged artists of all disciplines, understanding that artists need the ability to access unrestricted resources to continue or create new work, purchase supplies or equipment, need support to make everyday life earlier, and most importantly to elevate their careers which assists in raising their profile within the local and global communities that interact with their work.
The FUTURE|MONEY art and culture grant opportunity will open on February 23, 2023, and accept applications until March 23rd.
You can apply [here]. (https://submit.interledger.org/submit/253442/futuremoney-2023-grant-application). The deadline for submissions is The application is open until Friday, March 24, 2023 at 11:59 pm EST.
There’s still time to register! Attend one or more of the remaining office hours sessions for the Future|Money Art & Culture Grant. This is an excellent opportunity to drop in to ask questions you may have about this open call for proposals.
March 15, 2023 at 8:00 am EST / 1:00 pm GMT
March 22, 2023 at 10:00 pm EST / 7:00 pm PST
You can register here
Lawil shares her thoughts on her time as Community Ambassador
Of my Ambassadorship LOL
I was asked in January 2022 by the previous Ambassador Kokayi Issato join the ambassador's team for the Interledger Foundation and the Grant for the web for the time period of March 2022 till October 2022. I was already aware of the Interledger foundation and the Grant for the Web due to my work with Snakenation who is a current grantee for the financial call for proposal. You can read their interim report here.
Now that I have ended my time as an Ambassador I want to give the community more insight into what it means to be an Ambassador for the Interledger Foundation. My reasoning behind it is the upcoming call for proposals seeking new Ambassadors. Hint: it's absolutely not similar to an influencer ambassadorship.
Ambassadors are builders, advocates, organizers, researchers, creatives, cross-disciplinary, thought leaders, people who are part of the epicentre of change, People who are independent, follow their own path and have a positive attitude and aspirational presence in their own communities. The truth is no one is all of the above and it could also be that the goal of your ambassadorship is to focus on a build as David Lockie did in 2021.
You can read Lawil's full blogpost at the link above.
We have completed the first phase of the exercise which featured field visits, conducting interviews (both consumer-facing and business-facing), and data collection. The team comprised experts from the microfinance and social surveys sector, legal and marketing sectors, and a Web 3 developer. They have been interacting with experts in the space and various last-mile players, such as small businesses. The first draft report is almost completed and some excerpts have been posted in this initial post. The research targeted 6 SACCOs, 40 MSMEs, 10 ROSCAs/Chamas, and 6 MFIs.
Progress on objectives
The objectives include:
Map out the microlending ecosystem for small businesses and the informal sector including Micro SACCOs (Savings and Credit Co-operative Societies), Microlenders, Shylocks, and digital mobile overdraft facilities.
- Map out the macro players funding these microlenders including banks, telecom providers, digital loans, etc.
- To investigate the credit scoring for these microlenders and map out the credit ranges, trends, and borrowing habits for their sources of credit.
- Uncover challenges that the microlenders are experiencing and how our ILP solution can address those challenges.
- Map out existing lending technologies that lenders (SACCOS, MSMEs, CHAMAS, MFIs) use to access credit.
- Determine how best ENEZA integrates with ILP
Thus far, we have collected data and conducted interviews with 9 SACCOs, 18 MSMEs, 1 MFI and 1 P2P Credit Provider. The SACCOs feature a wide range of entities representing various economic and social groups such as academic institutions, parastatals and religious entities. Valuation of these SACCOs range from KES30M-40B (USD300,000-400M) in terms of assets. On the other hand, Chamas feature group savings from family groupings, small-scale traders, women-only groups and even university-going students.
The findings also demonstrate that ENEZA could leverage SACCOs to provide an additional layer of trust and creditworthiness for borrowers. This can be achieved by integrating SACCO membership and savings data into the lending platform's decision-making process. The lending platform can assess a borrower's creditworthiness based on their SACCO membership and savings history, which could provide a more accurate picture of the borrower's financial situation and reduce the risk of default.
Final Project Update
Overall, Web Monetization has so far helped us explore and understand alternative business models we can use to fund an open and accessible platform which we continue to pursue after the project. The Web Monetization technology was straight-forward to implement, but it feels ahead of its time with limitations coming from the volatility of digital currencies, trust and maturity of the crypto space, and the usability/onboarding to digital wallets.
Web Monetization and maturity of digital currencies
The areas where Web Monetization crosses with crypto (such as setting up digital wallets via Uphold) created a friction for adoption for our audience as multiple pieces need to work together - writers setting up wallets, getting payment pointers, and readers creating Coil subscriptions. We tried alternative solutions to reduce the steps needed to make the system work, such as tracking the amount of money individual articles received (so writers didn’t need to set up payment pointers), but these were only experimental given the project timescale.
Despite our efforts to educate on Web Monetization through regularly promoting its role in facilitating an open web in our newsletter and articles, we did not gain adoption of the Coil plugin before Coil itself was sunset. However, the growth of our independent platform puts us in an excellent position for adopting any future improvements to the Web Monetization ecosystem.
Progress on objectives
In all, we not only projected the message of Web Monetization through articles, but the growth of our platform too. We made excellent progress in contributing towards an inclusive web that keeps education open, and are in a position where future improvements to the Web Monetization ecosystem can be adapted. Through consistent work to the platform, we added:
Internationalisation at the core of the platform
Open sourcing our platform code on GitHub
Web Monetization education pages
Articles and guides
Web Monetization landing page
Verification system for profiles
These improvements along with new articles published has lead to the platform becoming a top performer in search engines. For example, a recent article I published reaches around 300-400 visitors per day, with consistent traffic from Google:
We'll be back next week with more updates!