Developer showcase series: Alishba Imran, The Knowledge Society

Back to our Developer Showcase Series to learn what developers in the real world are doing with Hyperledger technologies. Next up is Alishba Imran, a 15-year-old machine learning and blockchain developer and nanotech researcher at The Knowledge Society. She’s interested in leveraging these tech and sciences to solve some really important problems with human reproduction and healthcare.

What advice would you offer other young technologists or developers interested in getting started working on blockchain?

I would highly recommend taking courses, replicating projects, and talking to industry leaders in blockchain. The blockchain community is still fairly new, but you’d be shocked to see that there are so many resources out there for youth to get started. There’s still lots of work to do, but resources like IBM’s cloud service built on Hyperledger Fabric are very helpful. I think the best way to start learning is by replicating work that has already been done by other people. Once you have enough knowledge and sophistication in the topic, you can move to start creating your own projects. In this stage, I would highly recommend speaking with companies that are working in the space and setting up meetings. People are always willing to help, so just take initiative and reach out. The blockchain community is a small group, but it’s also a very interesting technology that can be used to solve some really big problems in our world.

Give a bit of background on what you’re working on and how you got into blockchain?   

I’m a 15-year-old innovator from The Knowledge Society. I got introduced to blockchain through The Knowledge Society (TKS), which is a human accelerator program for youth where we are learning about emerging tech/sciences and leveraging them to solve really important problems in our world. Through this program, I got to learn about blockchain and the mindsets and skills to start making my own projects. One of my most recent initiatives is called Honestblocks, which is a clockchain platform I developed using Hyperledger Fabric/Hyerpledger Composer that allows people in developing countries to manage their healthcare data and track their products. A huge issue in these countries is counterfeit medicine. Around 30-40% of medicine in many markets is counterfeit. I wanted to solve this issue by tracking medicine in the supply chain before it reaches the consumer. I partnered with a doctor in India to help develop the pharma side of the project. The platform is set to be tested in a few clinics in India. I also won Youth Innovator for this project at the Enterprise Blockchain Awards (EBA) this year!

Where do you hope to see Hyperledger and/or blockchain in 5 years?

Let’s say you just immigrated to a new country. In today’s world you would have to go through a lengthy process and paperwork to get your passport and documents. Even after you get them, there’s a chance that any of the online form of identification can be manipulated/tampered with. But in the blockchain world, governments will give out identities. This will enable anyone to have their own blockchain identity. There will only be one per person, giving every person one tamper-proof way to  access to all the services. Then, when you need to go to the doctor, all your medical records will be stored on a blockchain. You can grant access to required information to hospitals, insurers, or your doctor. All your money transactions are completely done by cryptocurrencies. I imagine all companies and corporations would be decentralized. We would enter a self-sovereign society where you own all of your information. This is the type of world that is possible using blockchain. This is the future that excites me.

What is the best piece of developer advice you’ve ever received?

The best piece of advice I’ve ever received is to always keep pushing out content and moving forward. You need to be oriented for other people’s success. You can have the most knowledge in the world, but, if you aren’t building stuff and putting out useful content, no one would know. Drive and ambition are very important, but it’s vital to have a really good ratio between thinking and doing. My overall goal is to be the next female Musk or Jobs. I want to break down stereotypes that still exist for females in this industry and use technology to solve really important problems in our world.

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