Art and Blockchain Team Up for Social Good

Chris | Effect.AI
5 min readJan 7, 2021


Effect Pieces Uses Blockchain to connect Artists and Refugees to raise funds and awareness

Rare digital art masterpieces created by refugees are being sold as NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) at auction to raise money and assist with the refugee crisis. Some of the world’s most accomplished artists have donated special art pieces from their personal portfolios and with this new project called Effect Pieces refugees help in recreating these artworks into new unique digital art. You can check out the first of the series on SuperRare, the #1 auction for rare digital art.

A collective of accomplished artists have donated art from their personal portfolios to be included in a fundraising initiative that will support refugees. Their artworks will be reimagined by refugees and sold as rare, NFT digital artwork by the new social impact project Effect Pieces. This is the first crowdsourced digital art initiative on the blockchain. Proceeds from the auctions will provide refugees with access to computers and accelerated learning programs focused on blockchain, computer programming, and business.

We have been active in the Tech-For-Good movement since 2017 and are incredibly excited about the launch of this new initiative. In late September we met with the UN again and discussed how blockchain and artificial intelligence platforms could help with the refugee crisis. Since that meeting, we have worked tirelessly to bring into reality this exciting and impactful new project with guiding support from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and World Vision International.

Not only is this a project for social good, but it’s also the first of its kind to use blockchain technology throughout the entire art crowdsourcing process. When an artist donates a work of art, it is fragmented into thousands of pieces using artificial intelligence. The pieces are placed on the blockchain and crowdsourced out to refugees who re-create each fragment, through their own vision, one piece at a time with digital art tools. Refugees contributing to the digital art pieces use blockchain to receive, make, and submit their art creations as well as earn cryptocurrency in real-time. All the metadata from each refugee art contribution is compiled and made into inspiring animations that show how these unique crowdsourced masterpieces come together. The final result is minted as a Non-Fungible Token (NFT) on the Ethereum blockchain and placed on reputable auction platforms.

“We explored many possibilities and came to the realization that art, just like blockchain, is borderless. We are able to pair art with blockchain technology and bring collaboration opportunities to many people across the globe. We hope to raise awareness and lots of funds to help empower displaced people and make a lasting positive impact, not only on an individual level but in society as a whole.
-Chris Dawe, CEO, Effect.AI

The funds raised will be used to bridge the divide between refugees in camps and those who are abundant with opportunities. All proceeds of the digital art auctions will be used to purchase computer equipment for the participating refugee camps, as well as provide access to accelerated learning courses with Ivan On Tech Academy.

This online learning academy specializes in teaching courses in blockchain technology, computer programming, and business from top educators in those fields. Life in these camps will remain tough, but the digital bridge that this project builds will make every individual in these camps one step closer to us, and to a future that is abundant with opportunities. This initiative provides fairly paid earning opportunities and eliminates barriers to computers and cutting-edge technical education, giving refugees the ability to earn and learn valuable skills that are needed in today’s highly competitive technology job sector.

The artistic concept is about inclusion as a shared human value. Participating artists are excited by the opportunity to co-create a new piece of art with refugees, and to do this in the context of a charitable effort. They created and donated art pieces on the theme of inclusion because this is precisely what the Effect Pieces project aims to do- provide opportunities for people who do not have many, and include their contributions into the finest digital art pieces in the NFT art ecosystem.

“I created this new piece titled ‘Welcome’ with hope in mind. The colours of the opening symbolise the potential for brighter days ahead. Instead of my solitary figure, I wanted to have a second that was being called in, or welcomed, to this new world.
It means a lot to be part of this project. Art can be powerful. It doesn’t speak one language. To be able to offer up my art as a means to help someone else is a privilege.”

Nate Hill, digital artist and photographer, Melbourne, Australia

Word of the project is spreading quickly in the digital art scene, and renowned artists are taking part en masse. Each newly created masterpiece will be minted and then auctioned one by one over 10 weeks on the #1 NFT auction platform, SuperRare.

You can expect to see a new auction weekly, on Mondays, for the next ten weeks. Our very first auction started this week! Check out our listing on SuperRare here!

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Chris | Effect.AI

Shaping the Future-of-Work through blockchain. Work from anywhere at any time and open for anyone. $EFX