ID2020 Summit spotlights technology and digital identity at the United Nations

Start adding items to your reading lists:
Save this item to:
This item has been saved to your reading list.

20 June, 2017

  • Panellists include world renowned humanitarians and leading members of technology & blockchain industry
  • 2nd annual event supported by PwC takes place during International Refugee Week

ID2020, a public-private partnership dedicated to solving the sustainable development goal of providing the world’s population with digital identity,  this week convenes the 2017 “Platform for Change” Summit at the United Nations.

The purpose of the 2017 Summit is to provide a solution to the 1.1 billion women, children and refugees without access an officially recognized identity with innovative technologies like blockchain.

PwC is a founding sponsor of the summit, now in its second year, which brings together experts from government, enterprise, and cutting-edge blockchain companies, who together will collaborate on providing digital identity solutions for the global population.

The format of the event – Platform for Change - will encourage stakeholder participation and expert discussions on the potential application of advanced technologies. The event will feature expert panels from some of the most innovative minds in the technology and humanitarian space with keynote addresses from the UN, PwC, Microsoft, Accenture, PayPal, MasterCard, and Consensys. Platform for Change will highlight how identity is critical for economic opportunity and how distributed ledger technology could serve as a solution.

Executive Director of ID2020 Dakota Gruener said:

“Only by working together can technologists and policy-makers create scalable, secure, and sustainable systems to be employed worldwide,” explains Gruener. “The promise of technologies like blockchain and other decentralized ledger systems create a pathway towards viable solutions in the quest for identity for all. By 2020, we’re aiming to have a proof of concept with real world pilot projects deployed in several locations. By 2030, our goal is to enable access to digital identity for every person on the planet.”  

Bob Moritz, Chairman, PwC, comments:

“A unique legal identity is something most of us take for granted. Up to 1.1 billion people without a legal identity are exposed to risks and abuses that demand solutions. We’ve supported ID2020 from its foundation because it is breaking the mould in public-private collaboration, and we believe technology has huge potential to address the issues. PwC is bringing its expertise to the table to help create practical roadmaps and solutions.”

“Without an officially recognized identity, people are unable to answer either ‘who are you?’ or ‘what rights do you have?.’ Imagine being unable to enroll in school, vote, open a bank account. Paper-based credentials can be lost or destroyed, and are fundamentally controlled by the issuing institution. In contrast, digital identity places control in the hands of the individual,” Gruener said.

As part of the event, globally renowned members of blockchain development, humanitarian efforts and technologists will lead focus sessions at Microsoft’s Technology Hub to begin laying out a roadmap for action and canvass support from those attending the event.

The event will also launch the ID2020 Alliance, bringing together stakeholders on an ongoing basis with commitments of funding and technical resources, implementation of pilot projects, and collaborative standards development. The ID2020 Alliance approach is supported by a grant from The Rockefeller Foundation and major financial support from Accenture, which will be announced at the Summit.

The 2017 ID2020 Summit is made possible by PwC and is co-convened by the United Nations Office of Communications and Information Technology and Microsoft. With additional support from Accenture, the UN Development Programme, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency and the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Notes to editors:
  1. In 2016, with the support of a number of partners including PwC, Microsoft, the International Telecommunications Union, and the UN Office of Partnerships, the first ID2020 Summit was a resounding success, drawing attention from both public and private-sectors as well as significant coverage in print and social media. PwC was a founding sponsor, bringing specialists in blockchain and disaster response, along with experience working across public, private and third sector partnerships.  
  2. Other representatives at the event include Intel, IBM, Thomson Reuters, SAP, NEC Corporation, Verizon, Samsung and World Economic Forum.
  3. ID2020 “Platform for Change” 2017 Summit is being held at the official headquarters of the United Nations and at the Microsoft Technology Hub in Midtown. The agenda can be found at  For event updates, follow on Twitter: @identity2020 and Facebook:

About PwC

At PwC, our purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems. We’re a network of firms in 157 countries with more than 223,000 people who are committed to delivering quality in assurance, advisory and tax services. Find out more and tell us what matters to you by visiting us at

PwC refers to the PwC network and/or one or more of its member firms, each of which is a separate legal entity. Please see for further details.

© 2017 PwC. All rights reserved

Contact us

Rowena Mearley

Senior Manager, Global Communications, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 7730 598 643