NGI is a coherent set of centralized protocols that need to be operationalized in a fully permission-less way.
Can we envisage an efficient 500 million zone, Europe, that operates much like Estonia does now? The Estonian e-card is embedded in a personal wallet (a device that can be a smartphone, a glass, a wearable...). That wallet talks to EU Clouds, platforms and set of (intranet) protocols only. In that way data-lakes necessary to port AI and creating added services and value remain under collective control of those citizens that pay taxes to ensure their immediate wellbeing and economic stability. The first operational strategy that delivered the 'euro' took around 35 years from inception to concrete implementation. It was brokered by a generation of politicians that could not see individuals as systemic actors, quite logical as the Internet needed the www (90s) to become a game-changer. As the euro becomes part of a financial toolset that organizes in e-wallets it is quite common sense that these e-wallets become tightly linked with identification schemes and replace the current passport with a set of federated traceable and accountable identities.
We posit a living ecosystem of the best possible balance of extreme centralization (on infrastructure, protocols and identity management) and extreme decentralization (on data, applications, services) focussing on resilience and self-healing properties as radically new concrete functionalities of a digital ambient infrastructure, and legible interfaces to those properties that matter for citizens - stability, solidarity, reciprocity, fairness - in an inclusive sustainable ecosystem.
If we want to make this a reality we need a different mind-set in politicians, business leaders but also in privacy activists and hackers. We are, after all, in the same boat. We want a better balanced world, fight Climate change, give equal chances to all children growing up and decency in business practices.
That is the subject of our discussion on April 6.