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A Farewell to Fake News

Event organized by ConsenSys

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Public trust in journalism is at an all-time low, at a time when we as a society are more divided than ever before. Social media, once a vehicle for political activism and civic engagement, has been weaponized by bad actors around the world. When misinformation rules, how can blockchain restore trust in the news?

Speakers & Panelists:

Matthew Iles, CEO, Civil
David Ensor, Director of Project for Media and National Security, George Washington University
Neil Wasserman, Adjunct Professor Computer Science, George Washington University
Christine Mohan, Co-Founder, Civil

Date: April 12th

Location: George Washington University Science & Engineering Hall 800 22nd Street Lehman Auditorium, Lower Level, NW Washington, DC 20052

Start time: 6:30PM - End time: 8:30PM


Civil is a decentralized marketplace for sustainable journalism. Its blockchain-based approach takes advertisers and other third parties out of the equation, allowing journalists to focus on serving their readers alone. Newsrooms, focused on producing local, international, policy and investigative journalism, are independently run on the Civil platform. This model enables a more direct, transparent connection between citizens and newsmakers and strengthens protections for journalists against censorship and intellectual property disputes.


George Washington University

In the heart of our nation’s capital with additional programs in Virginia, the George Washington University was created by an Act of Congress in 1821. Today, GW is the largest institution of higher education in the District of Columbia. The university offers comprehensive programs of undergraduate and graduate liberal arts study, as well as degree programs in medicine, public health, law, engineering, education, business and international affairs. Each year, GW enrolls a diverse population of undergraduate, graduate and professional students from across the country and around the world.


ConsenSys Social Impact

ConsenSys Social Impact acts upon opportunities that enable and leverage the exponential impact of blockchain technology to address critical social and environmental challenges.

We activate the capabilities of ConsenSys and the Ethereum community to educate, advise, and assist NGOs, social entrepreneurs, impact investors, and other impact-focused entities in pursuing global Sustainable Development Goals.


Matthew Iles

Matthew studied journalism at Duke University before embarking on an entrepreneurial career in digital marketing and innovative business modeling. He long imagined it possible to harness both the wildly explosive power of an open discourse platform along with the financial and behavioral incentives of a global cooperative, and first wrote about the concept behind Civil in November 2016. Beyond advocating for sustainable journalism, Matthew also believes deeply in evolutionary organizational methods over traditional command-and-control hierarchies. At Civil, Matthew and the team practice what he coined Synchronicity — a cascading, distributed leadership model predicated on vast common knowledge, continuous realignment and a deep appreciation for everyone's self-identity. He owes much of his career success to his wife and prior entrepreneurial partner Katie Iles.

Christine Mohan

Christine has 25 years of experience with media and technology firms in New York City, Boston and Washington DC. At Civil, she manages partnerships, customer operations, and community, and organizes national and international industry events. She spent 12 years at The New York Times Company and The Wall Street Journal in corporate communications, product marketing and web operations roles. Earlier, Christine oversaw the digital and sales teams for DeSales Media Group, where she created and launched a network of 100 websites. She also founded Mohan Media Inc., providing PR and marketing for consumer and technology brands including Tiffany & Co., WordPress.com and Business Insider. Christine holds a bachelor's degree from College of the Holy Cross.

David Ensor

David Ensor is the Director of the Project for Media and National Security, at George Washington University’s School for Media and Public Affairs. The Project works to deepen media understanding of complex national security and cyber issues. It includes the Defense Writers Group, a 40-year Washington institution comprising more than 50 news organizations which brings senior military and national security leaders together with journalists for on-the-record, face-to-face conversations.

Ensor has been a journalist, a diplomat, a Federal official and a businessman. As director of the Voice of America 2011-15, Ensor oversaw an increase in its audience of almost 40%, drawn by innovative new digital and television programming. he ran a large American public diplomacy and communications effort from the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan, after heading communications for a Swiss energy trading company. As a television and radio correspondent for over thirty years, he reported for ABC News from Russia, Poland, and Italy, and prior to that for NPR. As CNN's national security correspondent, he was among the winners of the 2002 National Headliner Award for the network's investigative coverage after the 9/11 attacks.

Neil Wasserman

Adjunct Prof. at George Washington University (GW), and Director, Fintech4Good, leads the design and implementation of healthcare applications of blockchain and other technologies. He teaches the first course on blockchain at GW (Computer Science Dept.) and is now involved the creation of a multidisciplinary center for healthcare and blockchain in the Washington DC region. He is applying distributed ledger techniques and platform business models to challenges in patient engagement and pilot development aimed at global health challenges. He has led workshops in blockchain use case and pilot development, guiding participants through a design process for blockchain applications to supply chain, value-based payments, identity, and access to healthcare records and data. He sees blockchain as a key accelerator for the transformation of the medical culture to serve patients through new forms of connectivity and service integration, ultimately reducing costs and improving outcomes for management of chronic disease. As a practice director for Unisys and lead consultant to the US Navy in the office of the NAVSEA CIO, he has been involved with IT strategic planning, enterprise architecture, systems analysis and software implementation for more than two decades. His award-winning book, From Invention to Innovation (Johns Hopkins Univ. Press) examined the foundations of innovation in telecommunications at AT&T. He has spoken frequently on networked behaviors and complex systems at IEEE conferences and other venues. Neil Wasserman has a PhD. from Harvard University and an A.B. from Cornell University.