Devconnect Scholars Program – Ethereum Stories from Istanbul and Beyond

Devconnect Scholars Program – Ethereum Stories from Istanbul and Beyond


Ethereum is growing, and diversity of human participation creates resilience throughout the ecosystem. The Devconnect Scholars Program is one small effort that aims to create resilience through community diversity. Better representation across human geography and demographics leads to diverse experiences and new perspectives that help the Ethereum protocol serve the coordination needs of all humans, not just a lucky few. Not only does better representation – leading to better geographical distribution of Ethereum nodes for example – help the security of the network, but we believe it is crucial in enriching our community and in making Ethereum stories tangible for more people.

The Scholars Program brought to Devconnect Istanbul 22 builders from communities that are currently underrepresented in Ethereum. This post highlights just a few of the Scholars and their stories.

Meet the Scholars

Meet Ovia, a blockchain researcher who studied Proof-of-Work blockchains as part of her PhD research. She is an active contributor to India’s Web3 community, in particular by giving technical workshops, and by helping to empower female and non-binary individuals at the Phoenix Guild. Ovia said she left Devconnect with ideas and potential collaborations that can contribute to her ongoing work besides having some “fan-girl” moments meeting some of her tech-heroes in real life. You can read her takeaways here: “Introduction to ZKVMs and Types of ZKVMs” and here: “Simplified moonmath behind ZKSNARKs.”

Meet Elnaz, a Java backend developer from Iran turned smart contract developer. After her centralized exchange banned her and people from certain countries, Elnaz read the Bitcoin and Ethereum whitepapers and found the decentralization innovation “mind-blowing.” Speaking about her community, where access to banking is limited and inflation is high, she said that educating people on the disadvantages of centralized networks and onboarding them to decentralized networks still needs work. You can find her reflection here: “Enabling Low-Cost, Decentralized Micropayments on Ethereum Through Layer 2 Rollups.”

Meet Alphonce, a software engineer from Kenya. He was initially drawn to crypto because of speculation, but his perspective changed when he started taking part in open-source projects in Ethereum and realized that it can be a “powerful platform for fostering financial inclusion and innovation.” He said he wants to contribute to the blockchain ecosystem in Africa by bringing back the collaborative spirit and knowledge exchange from Devconnect. Continue reading his findings here: “Reflections From DevConnect: Unveiling Opportunities for Financial Inclusivity with Ethereum.”

You can find stories, insights, and learnings from more Scholars here.

What’s next?

Together with efforts already taking place in our community for better representation, we hope that the Devcon and Devconnect Scholars help expand and enrich the Infinite Garden of Ethereum. For future Scholars Programs and more stories, follow @EFNextBillion.


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