By: Jamélie Myre
Moldova’s Eco-Political Situation
Bordered by Romania to the West and Ukraine to the North, the Republic of Moldova is a country in Eastern Europe which has suffered pressure from the conflict between Ukraine and Russia. As they are continuously trying to focus on their own structural problems, “the Russian invasion of Ukraine has spurred a rush of loans to help tiny Moldova defray the economic hit from the war raging next door.” said Marc Champion in the Bloomberg US edition, “Things are so perilous that the International Monetary Fund is now calling on nations to send cash.”
Moldova hopes to join the European Union although its pro-Russian seperatist territory of Transnistria could cause Moldova as a whole to remain stuck between two worlds, possibly in the crosshairs of the war. “The illegal presence of the Russian military troops in the Transnistrian region infringes our neutrality and increases the security risk of our country,” the Moldovan president, Maia Sandu said in calling on Russia to withdraw troops from Transnistria. The window of opportunity for Moldova is small but the innovation of web3 can potentially help them to prevail in their eco-political crisis.
Entering the New Generation Media
Moldova is now home to a web3 training center, available on-site at their Hotel Unirea in Iași city center, or online through DaDesktop where individuals in-training can feel like they’re in a real classroom all while being in the comfort of their own homes. Moldova has also hosted a series of web3 events for a duration of 5 days including its very first web3 hackathon for 3 days during September 23rd to September 25th of 2022 at Mediacor, with the support of USAID and Sweden.
Hosted by the state university of Moldova, Mediacor is Moldova’s first digital media production with a partnership value of almost 3 million USD between the US Embassy, USAID, the Governments of Sweden, Great Britain, the Ministry of Education and Research, the Ministry of Culture, the State University of Moldova and the COR Association. This investment will provide Moldova a smooth transition into the new media era, which also “ensure[s] that journalists and media companies have the resources and spaces to be competitive in the global digital media arena,” said the director of the USAID Mission in Moldova Scott Hocklander. Altogether and with the creation of Mediacor technologies, they aim to “contribute to the innovation of journalism studies (where more than 600 students study), in order to educate digital media skills, new generation media,” emphasized the rector of the State University of Moldova, Igor Șarov.
Metalaunchers took part in the first web3 hackathon which was located in Chisinau, Moldova. There were more than 500 applicants and 100 were chosen to compete for the benefit of free mentorship training of 4 different mentors in the USA. “Young people launched ideas and solutions for problems related to the health system, education, environment and investments… 15 teams were formed, 3 of which were ranked as winners” wrote Daniel Hacina on MoldovaLive.
“The 5-day learning experience was created by Meg Riordan, PhD, Chief Learning Officer of The Possible Zone, and Michael Littig, Director of Creative Programming at HUG and co-founder of The Zuckerberg Institute. They partnered with USAID Moldova, MetaRefuge, YepMoldova, and other local organizations to engage Moldovans and Ukrainians in learning about Web 1, 2, 3, and blockchain technology, and tap into their creativity and innovation!
Day 1 kicked off with a 4-hour workshop for educators and students. Day 2 offered a panel and networking event for entrepreneurs and industry professionals; the US Ambassador to Moldova launched the event and the panel included key thought leaders in the Web3 community. Days 3–5 ignited the Hackathon, designed to activate Moldovan solutions using Web3. The first place winners now join HUGs Web3 business Accelerator for 6-months!” explained @NFTxExplore on her experience in leading the hackathon.
Founder of Metalaunchers, Jason-Michael also known as @WickShotWilz “Zoomed-in” on the fourth day of the event “to offer a workshop on how market conditions impact project’s launches and sustainability,” which can be found on Facebook Live. “He then mentored Hackathon teams to provide feedback on their emerging ideas and support iteration,” said @NFTxExplore.
In quote tweet to @CryptoHippieGee’s tweet “Some advanced wisdom from a trading master @WickShotWilz for #web3hackathon…,” Jason-Michael said “It was an honor to be here. I had such a fun time getting to know everyone’s projects… and meeting the mentors. Truly I love providing value in the space anywhere I can… thank you to all those who participated and helped organize this.”
The hackathon was a success and a great transition into the new generation of media and technology for the Republic of Moldova. Young entrepreneurs will be able to learn first hand from experts in the web3 space and further flourish their talent into bringing their country leverage through new education and evolution.