So I asked myself, ‘how do we combine this fascinating technology with impact?
The Yak touches base with Okki Soebagio about his inspiring impact NFT enabling company, Purpose.
Crypto currency and non-fungible token (NFT) digital artworks are 21st century server-based means of personal wealth-creation that try to transcend traditional banking and currency institutions it coexists with art gallerists, and traditional trading environments regulated by governments’ taxation legislation and policies.
Okki Soebagio is on a mission to flip the emphasis of the “blockchain” from the exclusive tech-savvy user to the masses, and in so doing make a difference in a world with challenges such as inequality, poverty, and environmentally unsustainable activities.
Okki’s brainchild, Purpose Art, featured in a previous issue of The Yak, which described the fundraising by marketing through NFTs as fundraising for sisters Melati and Isabel Wijsen; founders of the youth-led organization “Youthtopia” and “Bye-Bye Plastic Bags”, which aims to eliminate single-use plastic bags, currently choking Bali’s waterways and coastal environments.
For the past three years Okki, an Indonesian entrepreneur – who has lived with his family on Bali for 10 years – has run The Bali Investment Club, which invests exclusively in social and environmental impact startups.
“You do have to be financially attractive, but at the same time the aim is to provide a positive social and environmental impact to the world,” Okki says.
His higher education background was in mathematics, before being offered a scholarship with fledgling IT company America Online (AOL), with whom he served for a decade, improvising the information technology revolution.
“During the covid pandemic lockdowns, I immersed myself in learning about blockchain technology, and asked myself the question: ‘how do we combine this technology with impact?’ That’s how Purpose Art was born.”
SWIPE FOR YOUR MATCH
A critical element of Purpose Art is the interaction between artists and the non-government organisations (NGOs) with whom they are affiliated. To that end, Okki says, Purpose Art is continuously improving their app that matches artists with NGOs – in a similar way to Tinder, but with obvious differences!
“We’re on a journey to creating a leading platform that matches digital artists with NGOs eager to support the arts and use developing technologies for fundraising and awareness,” Okki says.
“The artists must like the mission of the NGO, and vice versa. The app will create a match and when the digital artwork reaches the online market, the profits are split between the NGO and the artist; in much the same way as happened with the ‘Bye-Bye Plastic Bag’ founders – 40 per cent to the plastic social enterprise; 40 per cent to Aqil Reza, the artist; and the rest to Purpose Art for administering the process.”
Each piece of the impact-NFT comes with a digital “fingerprint” that attests to its uniqueness, tradability, and collector value that is stored within its smart contract.
PURPOSEFUL MARKET PENETRATION
In the past year Purpose Art has launched with several NGOs, which include Bye-Bye Plastic Bag; SOS Children’s Villages; Danadidik; Habitats for Humanity; and Mia Healing Sanctuary – a happy place for rescued canines in Uluwatu. These impact-NFTs are created by various artists; Aqil Reza, a well-known batik designer Era Soekamto, Ganara Art, the multi-talented architect Raul Renanda and eccentric Jogja-based artist Duren respectively.
“We are also ready to launch with six or seven more impact-NFT collections in the very near future with more than 300 global collaboration in the pipeline,” Okki says.
“So far, we have sold about 4000 impacts-NFTs, raising more than fifty-thousand dollars, and because Bye-Bye Plastic Bag project was the first, they have received the bigger portion of that money.
“I’m very pleased with what’s going on with Purpose Art, given the short period of time since we first launched the project.”
Okki says there is increasing interest in the project from various NGOs, and artists who have social consciences. And that he’s looking forward to the complete version of the technical platform to be ready in the very future.
“What we’re trying to do is make this a mainstream topic, using impact NFTs as a tool for the wider community to contribute to society – because until now the people who are involved in crypto currencies and blockchain technologies have been mainly focused on increasing their own wealth.
“Purpose Art’s mission is to expand the bandwidth to make the technology, and the products it can generate, more accessible to people who are not necessarily involved in the IT sector. And in that process we impact the NGO’s ability to do more, support the artists and give the contributor a good feeling & unique digital art as an impact NFT. Our purpose is impact, impact, impact.”