Tomi Ogundayo is from New York City but she lives in Barcelona. She spent one month in Bali interning for a Singapore-run blockchain startup. After her internship she was invited to represent her startup at the United Nations World Investment Forum on Blockchain For Sustainability/Social Impact in Geneva. 

I was actually looking for an internship in Spain when I found Start Me Up. 

I was teaching English but very into social justice and impact and I wanted to explore the world of tech.

In Bali, I worked on an early stage blockchain project. My mentor was in Singapore. She’s a business consultant focusing on blockchain and blockchain startups. I worked remotely and we communicated pretty much every day. 

I was compiling research about different coins. Then I focused specifically on social impact coins that help with things like proper supply management. I’m interested in finding ways to hold business accountable for the pollution they create, so this was ideal.

My project taught me a new element of social justice, which was super cool. This experience gave me a whole new way of looking at technology. Instead of it just being used for financial means, blockchain technology can help with things like giving identity to people, it can also be used to generate credit scores and even to track diamonds to ensure there’s no exploitation across the supply chain.

It’s hard to describe the co-working space where we based. Every day I would sit in one corner of a gigantic table. I would get to know people from different parts of the world. I met people from everywhere from Spain to Singapore and I’ve done a lot here that I wouldn’t do at home.

Growing up in NYC, I’m used to being sequestered in buildings. Here in Bali I can spend  uninterrupted hours in nature.

This experience is great for young people. Most of us are trapped in the idea that you have to get a 9 to 5, complete a checklist of things, get a pension and then die. Being here no matter what age, there will be something for you.

(Tomi’s photo above taken at the World Investment Forum on Blockchain For Sustainability/Social Impact at the United Nations in Geneva after her internship)

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