Brian Iselin: Can Blockchain Make Trade Slave-Free?

 
 
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Brian Iselin: Can Blockchain Technology Make Trade Slave-Free?

Brian Iselin discusses how blockchain could help build supply chains untainted by slave labor.

 

FULL TRANSCRIPT:

INTRO: Welcome to “The Inc. Tank,” a podcast where thought leaders discuss radically changing markets. Hear from the front lines of disrupted industries as we talk to entrepreneurs, policy makers, and researchers about technologies that could challenge existing revenue models and unlock fierce competition in the marketplace. 

Christina: Hello. I’m Christina Elson. And on this edition of “The Inc. Tank,” we’ll be discussing how blockchain technology could transform supply chain monitoring. In today’s global market, supply chains linking the creation and distribution of goods and services are complex and hard to disentangle. Blockchain has the potential to increase both efficiency and transparency. Because of this, some industry experts believe blockchain could provide global and comprehensive supply chain monitoring. And in doing so, end persistent and terrible practices, including modern-day slavery. Our guest today, is Brian Iselin. He’s the founder of slavefreetrade, an organization dedicated to using blockchain to monitor supply chains and eliminate slavery. Brian, welcome. And thank you so much for joining me today in “The Inc. Tank.” Let’s start, tell me a little bit about your background and how you came to be interested in combating modern slavery?

Brian: It’s a very long story. But “combating” is probably the right word. So, I started as a soldier. I’m Australian, in case you can’t tell from the accent. I started as a soldier way back, a surveillance trooper, and then I became a federal agent in Australia and did counter-organized crime, counter-intelligence and the like. And did that for 13 years. And in the last few years of that, I started coming across human trafficking cases in China, smuggling of babies and the like. And so, for me, that felt very personal. So, I kind of drifted towards prioritizing human trafficking and modern slavery cases, and started coming across forced labor cases in our supply chains, making our T-shirts and basketballs and things. And decided that that’s really important, and I should focus on that. So, for the last 17 years, I’ve been working on slavery operations in the field in about 50 countries.

And there are a lot of things missing from the equation, trying to combat it. And one of them is consumers. Consumers and businesses, in particular, don’t pay attention to slavery. We buy the clothes anyway. So, I set up slavefreetrade to bring consumers and businesses, good consumers and good businesses together to make a market for slave trade.

Christina: Great. So, let’s define a little bit who and what we’re talking about here when we use the term “slavery.” So, you know, we see a lot of terrible tragedies in places like Bangladesh in garment factories. And we see workers that are being placed in really appalling situations where they are compromising their health and safety in order to earn a living. But are we talking about these workers or who exactly are we talking about when we talk about modern slavery?

Brian: Okay. So, modern slavery is not a legal term, it’s an umbrella term. And it captures roughly four conditions. That is human trafficking, which I think the United States, you know, U.S. listeners are quite familiar with these days, which is somebody being moved from point A to point B for the purposes of a particular form of exploitation. And then there is the old UN definition of slavery and servitude, which is how you would recognize it from the U.S….from the transatlantic slave trade 300 years ago. So, those conditions are included. But also forced labor and child labor are included. So, this is where you are talking about the garment factory workers in Bangladesh, for instance, where they are forced to work.

So, we treat…under modern slavery, we treat those four conditions. And I guess, the best way to understand it is that there is a spectrum of abuse in supply chain. So, while we have…on one end we have children chained to a tree, on the other end, we have people who are working long hours and fainting in factories and the like. And there’s a lot of space in between. So, our objective is to start with the conditions, the red conditions, target the hardest to tackle in the first place or the most grievous cases, and then try to push upwards. Try to move everybody along the spectrum up closer to green. That’s kind of the best way to understand modern slavery.

Christina: Yeah. No, that’s very helpful. So, right now you are really focusing on people that have…their choice has been taken away. They really don’t have any say over what work they are doing, or how they are doing it at all. And we recognize that there is a lot else going on that we’d like to address in terms of how people are earning a living.

Brian: Yeah. Well, we address the whole spectrum. So, if you are in a yellow condition, for example, on that spectrum. If we think about it as red, green and yellow. If you are on a yellow condition, then we wanna bring you up into the green. We wanna improve working conditions all around. And the way we do that is through good actors. That is we create a market for slave-free products and good employers and good businesses selling slave-free products to good consumers. And we create a movement that way. At the moment, slavery goes on in supply chains and two fishing boat captains, one has only slaves on board and one has only free men on board. They are selling for exactly the same price. There’s nothing in the market that differentiates between the tuna caught by a slaver, and the tuna caught by a free trader. So, what we wanna do is even up the game and provide some incentive for businesses to become good or be good.

Christina: Right. So, you know, from the American perspective, clearly, we really value individual economic liberty, the ability to freely trade with others, not to be subject to force and fraud. And, as you’re pointing out, we don’t always see other parts of the world that value this in the same way. So, from your global perspective, where do you think this is really bad? Where is it getting better?

Brian: Yeah. You can’t actually work it out that way because if you talk about the number of cases in a country, some countries have less and some countries have more. But there’s not a single country in the world without it. And the United States is a perfect example. You know, there was a coalition set up a couple of years ago that was very, very important in the tomato industry. The tomato fruit pickers got together, they mobilized or they collectivized and they formed what’s called the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. I don’t know if you’ve heard of them. But that’s a perfect example of where the workers themselves took charge of their own situation, and decided to change it. So, there’s not a single country in the world that doesn’t have modern slavery. Every country does. It’s just a matter of the numbers. And the numbers are pretty much unknown because the definitions are wavy, it exists along a spectrum, and it’s also quite covert. Nobody who has slaves wants anybody else to know about it, right? So, there’s a number of reasons that it’s hidden. But it’s absolutely there. And the only way to find it, of course, is to look. And the more you look, the more you find.

Christina: Got it. Exactly. So, let’s talk about supply chains. We live in a very complex world of international trade. And, you know, I personally am not interested in retreating from global trade because I think it helps lift people out of poverty, and, you know, reduces isolationism. But, I can see how someone who’s looking at a problem like this could say, you know, “Forget it.” Like, if it’s not made in America and it’s not up to our standards, then we shouldn’t have it or buy it, or do it in the first place. So, you know, what do you say to that?

Brian: Well, I don’t think the end of globalization approach is useful because, actually, it puts a lot more people in harm’s way. There are a lot of people who can’t afford to eat now, and there a lot of people being enslaved for products. Whether we buy them or not, somebody else is gonna buy them. They’ll just find other markets. So, we don’t actually…nobody benefits from us closing our borders to trade. The point is to try to make that trade clean, or, as in our case, slave-free. And that can absolutely be done. What we have to do is just pay much more attention to the supply chains. And I call it “completing the loop.” That is consumer feedback. Go into businesses to say, “We wanna buy slave-free.” Businesses going to their suppliers saying, “Our consumers want slave-free. We wanna give it to them. Make sure we give it to them.” And then those suppliers starting to tweak to the fact that there’s an economic incentive to sell slave-free because there’s now a market for slave-free. And there are disincentives because of the squeezing of the market for those people who slave. And I think circumstances are such that, you know, with the UK Modern Slavery Act and the EU’s parliament’s directive on modern slavery so that all European member states will have modern slavery legislation. Australia has just introduced…businesses are starting to wake up to the fact that there’s a ground swell against slavery in supply chains, and they either get on board or they’re gonna miss out because they’re gonna be squeezed out of a large percentage of their market otherwise.

Christina: Yeah. I think we’re definitely seeing that in the what the customers want in, you know, here in the U.S. in terms of the products that they want to buy or they’re looking to buy.

Brian: It’s not all customers. But I mean, it’s enough to make a change, is my point.

Christina: Definitely. Conceptually, let’s talk a little bit about blockchain more conceptually than getting into all the nitty-gritty of how it works.

Brian: Well, that’s good because I’m not a coder. 

Christina: That’s totally fine. You know, conceptually, it is feasible to use blockchain to document someone’s, you know, contribution to a product. So, for example, if someone is sewing a shirt or processing a mango, but you’re really looking, ideally, more deeply at the origins of supply chains. So, all the way to the farm that grew the cotton, or the mango. You know, how did that happen as well. So, how hard do you think it is to get to that level of detail right now? You know, where are we really with our ability to apply blockchain to resolve these kinds of difficulties?

Brian: We are a long way from it. I mean, it’s a terrible thing to have to say. But we are a long way from it. You know, blockchain, it’s early days, very much early days. There are still many use cases in supply chains for blockchain that aren’t being developed and aren’t being followed up. One of the differences between what we are trying to do and what many others on the blockchain are trying to do, and I’m talking about big corporations, they are trying to trace products, or map products. So, there are projects, for example, that can tell you or trying to be able to tell you whether there’s horse meat in your beef, or whether that packet of herbs has expired. That sort of product tracking is a combination of blockchain and what has been going on in track and trace. You know, tracing products through a supply chain. 

One of the differences with what we do, and I think there’s actually, you know, the blockchain actually lends itself much more to what we are talking about because of the decentralized nature, or the fact that it provides the possibility for self-sovereign digital identity. What we wanna do is track and trace the people in the supply chain, and their conditions. So, while the unit of measure for other supply chain initiatives is the product, our unit of measure is the person, individuals within supply chains. So, we map worksites, we map workers, and then we provide digital identity to them that is it’s irrevocable. And it doesn’t matter what their circumstances, we can speak to them in a way that we’ve never been able to before, and collate their data and determine what their situation is. So, these are the possible use cases in supply chains that haven’t really been tapped into yet because not many people are interested in the worker condition. But this is where we are going anyway. The big money is in tracing products because that’s, you know, the Waitroses and the Walmarts of the world wanna be able to trace specific products.

Christina: Sure. And that information could potentially be useful to help with tracing some of where things are coming from and then situating people along the line of that product journey perhaps?

Brian: It could be. But, in fact, in many ways, it overcomplicates the application, so then the blockchain doesn’t become as useful. It becomes very expensive. So this is one of the trade-offs. Businesses, there’s no easy way to say this, businesses don’t wanna pay one more cent on their supply chain. So, if blockchain comes in and provides a supply chain solution for them, it’s gotta come in under their existing supply chain management cost, unless they are forced. Unless they are forced to pay more, or they see that there’s a reward in paying more. And, you know, if you’ve got horse meat in your beef and, you know, you don’t buy the beef, then potentially there’s a reward there. But in general terms, they’re still gonna sell the beef. So, it’s not necessarily the case that they will apply blockchain to their supply chain, unless it’s cost neutral at best, and cost saving.

Christina: Yeah. So, what’s an example of a project that you think could be a good case study for applying blockchain in the way that we are talking about now that you would like to apply it?

Brian: Okay. Well, we have already got a number of supply chains we are applying it to, and so these will be our proof of concept for 2018. By the end of 2018, we’ll have that. So, we have three supply chains, two of which are in chocolate, cocoa production and supply. And one of them is in textiles, to wit clothing. So, these lend themselves to a…not just a blockchain solution, but a worker-based verification system, which is what we’re trying to build ultimately. Because they are short supply chains, they’re reasonably transparent, they’re good actors. So, there’s a certain level of trust can be had between the actors in the supply chain. So, we can work together to build an optimal solution, and make sure that it’s affordable, and make sure we communicate to consumers that these are slave-free products. So, these are three good examples. I think the best examples are things like that with quite primary products in a way. So, the cocoa, the coffee, the sugar. Fish, obviously, is a very good way to go, and World Wildlife Fund has been funding some activities around fish. And I think that The Marine Stewardship Council is looking at seafood more broadly, so that’s very interesting as well. There are a number of different places to look into this. And clothing, textiles, of course, is a very interesting one. Some of the industries, like electronics, are massive users of slaves. Automotive as well. And their supply chains are so incredibly complex because at what’s called “the last mile,” which is, you know, the children digging in the mines in the Congo, digging cobalt for our lithium-ion batteries for our phones, they’re digging raw ore. And it eventually makes it way to a smelter and it’s condensed and mixed with other metals and from other mines. So, at some point, going into the smelter, you lose the ability to track that product, which is, of course, where the failure comes with product tracking in supply chains instead of person tracking. This is one of the reasons we’ve changed the emphasis for ourselves. 

Christina: All right. So, you’re talking initially about less processed products in order to think about how they’re moving through a supply chain instead of, as you’re pointing out, things like computers and batteries, that are just so complex right now, it’s hard to understand where all the components going into that item are coming from really.

Brian: They are much more complicated. And I think we would have to go down a very scientific path like mass spectrometry, for example, to be able to identify different elements that have gone into making a thing, a widget that comes out of a particular factory, and where the materials came from and were smelted. So, mass spectrometry has the possibility I think to help us there, but it’s not there yet either. And I think that’s probably because the money is not there to solve it. So, there are a number of supply chains that are just not gonna work on yet. And I think companies like Tesla and Volkswagen are very happy that that’s not the case. They would like to lower their supply chains but they’re happy not to be discovered just yet.

Christina: Yes, you know, we know the lithium-ion batteries and that whole process needs a lot of attention. So, let’s talk a little bit about the role of governance and blockchain because what you are pointing to also is the need to certify and think about how we’re going to understand, for example, if someone is saying that they are doing organic mango farming, they are really doing organic mango farming. Or, if, you know, that mango farmer is having her kids help pick the mangoes that, you know, are we okay with that? So, where do you see the role of governance coming in here in this blockchain?

Brian: Well, I think the blockchain solutions fail in that area. You know, the blockchain solutions can tell you what comes out of a factory and where it goes. But what they can’t tell you is, for example, if somebody is making organic product, that attribute of being organic is applied to it by some party. There’s gotta be a person in there. There’s gotta be an entity in there that applies the organic to it and that attaches as an attribute on that product on the blockchain. So, that requires a level of trust. So, it’s no different to you going to a farmers’ market and saying, “Is your broccoli organic?” And them saying, “Yeah. Of course, it is.” That’s no different from that. So, in the blockchain product tracking solutions, that’s where they all break down, and that’s not been fixed, or that’s not been addressed yet. So, I’m not quite sure that the supply chain blockchain solutions are actually suitable for that kind of governance in the organic and BO field. I think rather they are better at just tracking whether something has been on the supply chain too long, and it’s probably expired, and probably shouldn’t be eaten. That’s the kind of place, the kind of simplicity that blockchian can lend at the moment. The other use cases just can’t be covered at the moment.

Christina: So, to the same point. You know, in the spectrum that we’re talking about of how people behave, how can we also get a sense of if someone is running a factory in, you know, in Western China and they’re hiring all 16-year-old women and maybe they’re working long hours, but generally the conditions aren’t terrible, you know. So, but it’s not the greatest either. So, how do we help evaluate that as well? Is that something that really…

Brian: Blockchain can’t help a scenario like that.

Christina: So, this is where slavefreetrade comes in, your organization. Is that the point?

Brian: Yes, exactly. That’s the point. So, I mean, blockchain is just a tool. And you need to be able to get into a place to be able to apply information on the blockchain. It’s not a database, but think about it as a database for those purposes. So, you’ve got this factory where people are being treated very poorly. Unless you get in there and get the information from them, which is what we’re working on doing, if you don’t get that in any kind of an easy way, then the blockchain is irrelevant. You may as well have a pen and paper. It’s that simple. If you just can’t use blockchain to get in there…it’s not like satellite imagery or something like that. It requires boots on the ground.

Christina: So, that’s a great into to hearing more about slavefreetrade. So, what is the model for this organization? How long have you been doing this? Where do you see your partners, national partners and supporters? Tell us more.

Brian: Yeah. Well, We’ve been in this just over a-year-and a-half. And it was about one month into the project that blockchain started to come up…came across my radar. And frankly, it’s because the whole vision for slavefreetrade was a consumer-facing label that says, “This product is slave-free.” And the conversation then came. Okay, well if consumers are gonna have a consumer-facing label, they want certainty. The modern consumer, especially the rather younger consumer these days, let’s say millennials, to create a group. Millennial consumers, when they see a label on something, they don’t actually just believe it, which is, of course, why some of the older labels, I won’t name any because they’ll get upset that I say them, but some of these older labels are getting, you know, they’ve reached peak. They’re not gonna go any further because they can’t verify the information behind their label. You know, some of these big labels out there that try to tell you that a product is happy and fair, they have no idea, frankly. They go in once every two years to a particular place and look at the conditions and they say, “Yeah, okay. That’s gotta a stamp on it.” And consumers don’t want that anymore. 

Consumers are starting to pay less attention to those labels because they don’t believe them. So, we decided, well, we need to be very, very sure, so that anybody looking into the background of the product can know that it’s absolutely slave-free. We can pretty much guarantee it. So, then we needed to build a system for that. And blockchain just…well, it spoke to us. It was clearly fit for purpose, as long as we could fund a project and make sure we cover all the potential flaws and make an automated solution to some trust issues in the supply chain. And we also felt that consumers…you know, I mentioned before this “completing the loop” concept. So, with slave-free trade, the idea is, okay, we have the consumer seeing the label, but wouldn’t it, of course, be better if the consumer can then not just interact with that business that…who sold it to them, but all of the businesses in the supply chain and see the production of that product? See who picked the cotton. See who picked the coffee beans, for example, when you’re sitting in the café. So, this is what we’re doing. So the consumer can look at the product, can scan the code of the product, get a full supply chain history of that product and zoom in on any of the worksites on that supply chain. For example, the coffee plantation. And they can see who picked their cotton. They can take a video tour of that plantation. And if they want to, they can press a button to send a tip to the workers in that plantation. 

So, this, you know, completing the loop for me is very much about giving the consumer an amazing view into their supply chain, and connecting them in a more human way with all of the people in their supply chain. Because a lot of the problems that have come up with slavery and supply chains is because consumers don’t know what’s behind a product. They don’t know what the supply chain is, it’s incredibly obscure. And even as someone who knows supply chains and has been in the field in so many countries working on slavery, I can go into a shop and I still can’t tell you that that is slave-free or slavery behind it. All I can tell you is the probability. I can tell you that my Lacoste shirt is 90% likely to be slave tainted. Slave tainted meaning somewhere in the supply chain, there’s slavery.

Christina: Because of the experience you’ve had working with the supply chains of understanding where products are going and different companies that are consuming the resources that are going into them?

Brian: Yeah. And importantly, understanding criminal opportunities. So, you know, I know criminals very well, and I know where they look for opportunity. And they basically look for darkness. They look for places there’s no light, and they can play games without anybody knowing. So, what happens is, you’ve got a supply chain like, I don’t know, well Lacoste was a good example or Pierre Cardin or any of these fashion labels. Ivanka Trump, for example. You’ve got these fashion labels that are being made, and their supply chains are being audited by companies that quite often don’t know what’s going on necessarily themselves. And they’re only monitoring less than 5% of that supply chain, so, then what’s going on in the other 95%? See, if the darkness is bigger than the light, then the crooks have got all the space in the world to work.

Christina: That’s right. So, let’s say that I’m an entrepreneur and I’m starting a fashion label or I want to start something, and I want to be slave-free. And there’s an opportunity for me to maybe carve out my niche, really trying to reach that goal, knowing that that could differentiate me. So, what do I do? 

Brian: That’s exactly who we wanna help.

Christina: Right. But what do I do if I’m a company like that? What do I do?

Brian: Well, you call me is one thing. But, you know…

Christina: That’s good. You’re gonna get a lot of entrepreneurs calling you.

Brian: Excellent, excellent. Make sure they have my number. So, that’s, you know, that’s where we wanna be, but we’re still developing proof of concept because this is…I mean, if this was easy, somebody would have done it. So, we expect proof of concept on these three specific supply chains by the end of the year. But, of course, every supply chain is different and needs to be managed one at a time. So, at the moment, you can’t just call an organization like slavefreetrade, and expect a solution to be delivered to your desktop. What you have to do, at the moment, is look for…there’s a small number of companies around that specialize in what’s called ethical sourcing. So, they do what we do, but in an old-fashioned way. I mentioned before the Chinese factory, they do the boots on the ground. So, if you’re starting up your fashion label and you say, “Okay. I want to import this particular cloth from India. And I know what it is. It’s made from hemp. And it’s got these characteristics as well.” You can go to these ethical sourcing companies and they’ll send qualified social compliance auditors out to find places. And some of them have already indexes of places that are above aboard. And if they don’t have a place, they can always work towards finding them. I mean, this is something we’re also trying to do with our business application. So, we’ll have a consumer-facing application and there’ll also be a business application. Think of it like the anti-Alibaba. Alibaba is kind of the evil force decoupling relationships and supply chains so that companies have no idea what they’re buying and what the background is. We intend to do the reverse. Companies that give a damn, like the ones you’ve just mentioned. If you’re are an entrepreneur setting up and you wanna be good, then where do you go? At the moment, you don’t go anywhere. You call someone in China and say, “I’d like to buy a belt from you.” And tell me about the background. And the Chinese seller will say, “Go to hell. I’m not telling you much about the background at all. And I’ll just give you crap documents that don’t mean anything. And by the way, you can translate them yourself.” So, the supply chains are incredibly, you know, opaque. Translucent would be impossible to say. They’re opaque. So, finding your way through those means you need some expertise, like if ethical sourcing consultants or experts. So, at the moment, that’s all you can do.

Christina: Good. Yeah. So, again, you know, from the consumer perspective, at the moment knowing more about where stuff comes from, what do you recommend to a consumer that wants to get a better understanding of where their stuff is coming from?

Brian: Going back to the ’70s, for those of us who remember the ’70s, we used to check the labels of clothes to see where they were from. And it actually meant something. We could look at it and say, “Oh, that one was made in Bangladesh. And it’s probably made in very bad conditions,” because they universally were. These days, you can look at labels and they mean nothing, partly because of label fraud and mislabeling and “cross-labeling,” so to speak. But also that every country has slavery and so, you can’t tell from the country of production. So, looking at that is kind of irrelevant. You should do it anyway because maybe there’s some reputational information that comes from what country it is. Some countries seem to have much more slavery than others, like Southeast Asian countries. That’s something important to look at. But one of the best things you can do is, frankly, discuss with the person who is selling it to you what the supply chain looks like. I mean, it sounds ridiculous, but if you go into a coffee shop, for example, and it’s a cool urbanista Ulrich [SP] is behind the counter and he’s mixing you up a nice Colombian something or other, talk to them about the beans, talk to them about the providence, talk to them about what they know about their supply chain. There’s an increasing number of businesses who find that consumers wanna know this, and so they’re becoming more aware of their own supply chains. And the more we talk to them about it, the more excited they get about it, and they find out more about their supply chains, and make sure that they communicate that to consumers.

So, it’s all about the vendor, the person you’re buying it from, knowing about their supply chains. Short supply chains, very visible supply chains, and supply chains with trust relationships. These are the things to look for, you know, especially with the vendor. Other than that, you’re in trouble.

Christina: Yeah. So, blockchain is gonna help, perhaps help us do this more efficiently, but it’s never gonna replace the need to develop our own knowledge and develop trust among the people who are buying and selling?

Brian: Yeah. Exactly. I mean, one of the points of departure for slavefreetrade, our so-called theory of change is actually that where we’ve come to now is because of three broken relationships. So, fixing those relationships means we’ll be better able to ensure supply chains are better and we’re having less slavery. So, the relationship between consumer and retailer, for example, is at an all-time low, and for very good reason. So, that’s a broken relationship. Between businesses and their employers and between retailers and their suppliers. So, these three relationships are what we aim to fix. And the more we all seek to fix those relationships, the better off we all are. Ultimately, the solution lies in all three relationships being solid.

Christina: Yeah. That’s great. That’s a great point. Okay, so, last question, this is a fill-in-the-blank question, because of blockchain, in 20 years, the biggest change to my day-to-day routine will be?

Brian: I think in financial terms, it will be helping to replace banks and you’ll be able to move money between people, person to person to person. And frankly, I think that’s the biggest change. And because that’s where most of the funding is going. The funding is not going to improving social conditions. The funding is going towards blockchain applications that help make…help replace banks, but make rich people richer. So, frankly, blockchain is exciting, and the crypto world is exciting, and interesting. And there are some great people in it. But where the money is going is going to be where all of the action happens. The money is going towards populating the blockchain to make it…you know, the Ethereum blockchain, for example, is billions and billions being spent on just populating it because the blockchain with the most applications wins at the end of the day. And a lot of that, because it can attract venture capital, is focused on making money. Social issues, like slavery, we don’t get a look in. We don’t get any funding from anybody in the blockchain community. And any of the investors that go out there paying for a system to create the new Visa card, but a blockchain version, that will get billions.

Christina: Well, I hope that the work that you’re doing with slavefreetrade will attract the kinds of companies and supporters that really want to help make a difference in this area.

Brian: Yeah. Our stakeholders are good consumers. So, we’re hoping good consumers will be able to make it happen.

Christina: Exactly. Okay, well, Brian, thank you so much for helping us understand how we can, you know, use technology to help make advance the end…you know, create advances towards the end of modern slavery. And also, you know, thank you for the work that you’re doing on behalf of people all over the world to try to create conditions that really do support freedom and this idea of individual economic liberty. I really wish you all the best in the work. And I appreciate the time today.

Brian: And can I put a plug for slavefreetrade? That we’re happy to take volunteers, donors, contributions, anything.

Christina: Yes, of course.

Brian: Please go to slavefreetrade.org, that’s O-R-G, and volunteer, donate, give us tips and even give us your business. If you’ve got a small business and you want to make your supply chain clean, we can try already to be helping you do that.

Christina: Unfortunately, slavery is by no means a new dilemma in the production and delivery of consumer goods and services. In the future, blockchain technology could improve supply chain monitoring, and help consumers advocate for more slave-free products.Thanks to Brian Iselin for talking with me today. Until next time, this is Christina Elson in “The Inc. Tank.”

OUTRO: Thanks for joining us today on “The Inc. Tank,” a podcast where thought leaders discuss radically changing markets. “The Inc. Tank” is brought to you by the Ed Snider Center for Enterprise & Markets located at the University of Maryland. And by the Kauffman Foundation.

 

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