ID2020 Summit Spotlights Technology and Digital Identity at the United Nations

Panelists include world-renowned humanitarians and leading members of
technology and blockchain communities

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–ID2020, a public-private partnership dedicated to giving one-sixth of
the world’s population access to an officially recognized identity,
today convenes the 2017 “Platform for Change” Summit at the United
Nations. Without identity, approximately 1.1 billion people –
disproportionately women, children and the world’s most vulnerable –
struggle to access critical services and social benefits.

ID2020, which supports the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 16.9 to
enable an officially recognized identity for all, is focused on an open,
human-centric approach to identity, one that draws on recent advances in
biometrics and innovative technologies. As Dakota Gruener, Executive
Director of ID2020, has said: “Imagine being unable to enroll in school,
vote, or open a bank or cell-phone account. Paper-based credentials can
be lost or destroyed, and are fundamentally controlled by the issuing
institution. In contrast, digital identity places control in the hands
of the individual. This approach enables both significant improvements
in the quality of life for more than a billion individuals and
efficiencies for the governments, NGOs and businesses serving them.

Today’s convening of the second ID2020 Summit hosts experts from
government, private enterprise, and innovative technology companies, who
are collaborating to provide digital identity solutions for the global
population. The event launches the ID2020 Alliance, bringing together
these stakeholders on an ongoing basis with commitments of funding and
technical resources, implementation of pilot projects, and collaborative
standards development. The ID2020 Alliance approach is supported by a
grant from The Rockefeller Foundation and major financial support from
Accenture (NYSE:ACN), which will be announced at the Summit.

The event encourages stakeholder participation and expert discussions on
the possibilities of applying innovative funding models, advanced
technologies, and public-private partnerships to help solve this global
challenge. Featured panels with some of the most innovative thinkers in
the technology and humanitarian space will include keynote addresses
from senior staff at key UN agencies and organizations like PwC,
Microsoft, Accenture, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and The Rockefeller

“Only by working together can technologists and policy-makers create
scalable, secure, and sustainable systems to be employed worldwide,”
explains Gruener. “The promise of technologies like blockchain and other
decentralized ledger systems create a pathway towards viable solutions
in the quest for identity for all. By 2020, we’re aiming to have a proof
of concept with real world pilot projects deployed in several locations.
By 2030, our goal is to enable access to digital identity for every
person on the planet.”

”An established identity needs to be a universally accepted human right
and blockchain will play a key role in making that happen,” said David
Treat, Managing Director of Accenture’s Blockchain Practice. “We are
very proud to be a Founding Partner of the ID2020 Alliance and to
support today’s summit. Working together, we can achieve the ID2020
mission to bring a safe, verifiable and persistent digital
identification system to scale.”

Confirmed speakers at today’s Summit include Assistant Secretary
General, Chief Information and Technology Officer of the United Nations,
Ms. Atefeh Riazi; the Chief Architect of Aadhaar, Dr. Pramod Varma;
David Treat, Managing Director of Accenture’s Blockchain Practice; and
senior executives from PwC and Microsoft.

A smaller group of participants will convene at Microsoft’s Technology
Center in Times Square this afternoon to begin working on a coordinated
roadmap for action. Globally renowned members of the blockchain
development, humanitarian efforts and technologists will lead as session
chairs including:

  • Saadia Madsbjerg, Managing Director, The Rockefeller Foundation
  • Karl Steinacker, Deputy Director for Programme Support and Management
    at UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency
  • Anne Wallwork, Senior Counselor for Asia, Terrorist Financing &
    Financial Crime at the US Department of Treasury
  • Adrian Kunzle, Salesforce Senior Vice President of Product Development

Several notable thought-leaders will be participating in the afternoon’s
collaborative sessions including:

  • Blythe Masters, CEO of Digital Asset Holdings
  • John Farmer, Director of Technology and Civic Innovation at Microsoft
  • Tara Nathan, Executive Vice President at Mastercard
  • Joseph Lubin, Founder of Consensys
  • Patrick Spens, Blockchain Specialist at PwC UK

“Microsoft’s mission to empower every person and organization on the
planet to achieve more aligns with the values of ID2020. We believe that
through new approaches to identity in the humanitarian ecosystem, we can
ensure real progress toward the United Nation’s Sustainable Development
Goals. Working closely with ID2020 and public and private sector
partners, we remain committed to the goal of ensuring every person on
the planet has an officially recognized identity,” says Yorke Rhodes
III, Global Business Strategist for Blockchain at Microsoft.

Other participating organizations include Intel, IBM, Thomson Reuters,
SAP, NEC Corporation, Verizon, Samsung and the World Economic Forum.

In 2016, with the support of PwC, Microsoft, the International
Telecommunications Union, and the UN Office of Partnerships, the first
ID2020 Summit was a resounding success, drawing attention to the
importance of identity from both the public and private-sectors.

The 2017 ID2020 Summit is made possible by PwC and is co-convened by the
United Nations Office of Communications and Information Technology and
Microsoft. With additional support from Accenture, the UN Development
Programme, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency and the UN Office for
Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

ID2020 “Platform for Change” 2017 Summit is being held at the official
headquarters of the United Nations and at the Microsoft Technology
Center in Times Square. The agenda can be found at
For event updates, follow on Twitter: @identity2020,
and Facebook


Wachsman PR
David Wachsman, +212-835-2511