Third pillar of an SSI network: Community engagement

February 13, 2020

Note: In celebration of Sovrin Foundation’s new membership program, the Foundation is writing a series of blogs that highlight the core activities it provides as a nonprofit which Sovrin Chairman Phil Windley refers to as the “Four Pillars of an SSI Network”. Much of the material used in this blog post was originally published on Phil’s blog Technometria

Creating the internet’s identity layer has never been done before, and in order to be done right, it requires a great amount of coordination between individuals and organizations from all around the world. Some of these players include standards bodies, governments, enterprises, developers, NGOs, and regulators. As a nonprofit organization, the Sovrin Foundation acts as the unbiased, nonpartisan support, bringing together all of these voices to build a global public utility for self-sovereign identity.

Sovrin Chairman Phil Windley shared his thoughts on the important work that the Sovrin Foundation does to build the strong community that is needed for a functioning identity metasystem:

“The Sovrin community is the heart of what makes the identity metasystem work and is composed of identity owners, developers, Stewards, businesses, and other organizations, all acting in multiple roles, such as credential issuers, holders, and verifiers, and with varied interests, business models, compliance requirements, and geographic representation.

Developer involvement is one of the keys to a thriving identity metasystem. As I said earlier, standards are essential, but you need code to bring them to life. Interoperability requires more than standards. It needs a strong community of developers collaborating to ensure their solutions work together. Developer communities, like any other social system need coherence. Look at successful open source projects like the Linux Kernel, React, or Homebrew, and you’ll find a tribe, institution, market, or network, depending on scope and scale, who served as the backbone of its global adoption.

Sovrin Foundation supports developers around the world in the Hyperledger Aries, Indy, and Ursa projects. This support includes project coordination and organization, training on the code bases so developers can come up to speed quickly, and bringing together the various groups as we did in the recent Aries Connectathon.

Another important community is comprised of the organizations who use Sovrin to build identity systems for their specific needs. While using a verifiable credential within a single industry vertical is a significant step forward, we believe the real benefit of an identity metasystem is when you can present a credential from your bank to a car dealership. Sovrin-based identity systems will open a world of possibilities that are only dreams today. The Foundation works to bring participants together in community-led meetings and through working groups where participants can solve problems together.”¹

“All of this adds up to an extraordinary, vital ecosystem dedicated to promoting self-sovereign identity, defining the processes, protocols, and specifications to make it happen, and building a network that makes it a reality.”²

Sovrin Foundation Members’ contributions provide the needed financial support the Foundation needs to continue to foster and grow our community engagement. We welcome you and your organization to join us in this important work by becoming a Sovrin Foundation Member. Until February 29, 2020, any organization that wishes to support the Sovrin Foundation by becoming a Donor, and therefore a Sovrin Foundation Member, will receive a 10% discount. To take advantage of this discount, fill out the interest form at





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