Attending the ID2020 Summit was an eye opening experience for me in many different aspects. For one, I once again was the youngest person in the room which I am beginning to learn to wear as a badge of honor. To me, it means I am finding myself in the right places and will continue to make contacts with people who I can collaborate with to make a positive impact on the lives of others in the future. The other insight I noticed was the importance of bringing all stakeholders to the table. This is something that I believe ID2020 did a very good job at, although I noticed that the people who currently live without ID were very sparse. I felt that because the summit missed out on this key stakeholder, it became more about getting the public and private sector to make deals rather than to be about making an impact on the lives of the 1.5 Billion people who do not have identity. Then again, I was a non-stakeholder in the eyes of many because my only claim to contribution was that I am a student interested in this problem.
In fact, that was probably the most interesting experience is how many times I would introduce myself to others and would be disregarded by many, but not all. In particular there were 2 gentleman who stuck out to me and saw that my attendance was important. John Edge and Carl Kemmerer both took an interest in discussing with me many different aspects of data, identity, and the technological problems we as humans face and for that I must Thank them.
Both of them recognized that although I couldn’t immediately bring an impact to the table, I was important to the problem because I can make an impact, learn, and contribute in the future. They both recognized my passion for the identity problem and allowed me time to learn from them and their experiences. By no means did I believe that attending this summit was I going to make an impact today, but like many college graduates we don’t think we will. Many of us know that although we just got our expensive receipt we are just getting started and still have years to grow. I choose to attend these conferences because I know that I have a chance to learn from extremely knowledgeable people.
In the end, I did learn quite a bit about how far we have already progressed as well as how far we still need to go. Then again, it’s called ID2020 for a reason. We want a working proof-of-concept of a globally scalable decentralized identity platform by the year 2020. Problems of this caliber aren’t solved in a day and they are certainly not solved by one person or even one organization. That’s why it’s important that organizations like ID2020 host these events to bring key stakeholders together to share experiences and form coalitions to collaborate on this problem. In total, I found it to be a wonderful experience and look forward to contributing in the future to the identity problems many people in this world face. Thank you for allowing me to attend this event ID2020. I look forward to continuing to attend events like this in the future.