3rd Annual New Kids on the Blockchain Symposium

By: Keerthana Madhavan
“Blockchain’s a very interesting technology that will have some very profound applications for society over the years to come”
– Kenneth C. Griffin

 Organizing the 3rd annual New Kids on The Blockchain Event at the University of Windsor EPICentre was just amazing. I would like to thank Dr. Sherif Saad from the School of Computer Science and Wen Teoh, Director of the EPICentre, for giving me the opportunity to serve as an Ignite Student at EPICentre this semester. This event would not have been possible without our awesome partners Cross Border Institute, School of Computer Science, and the Office of Research and Innovation.

 This year, our goal was to diversify Blockchain and to reach out to students from different faculties and departments with the title “Transformation to Decentralized Systems: The Future of Blockchain at your workplace”. The symposium engaged with students, academia, and industry professionals with great presentations from our guest speakers who are well versed in various fields involving Blockchain.
A glimpse of our speakers presentation include:

 Cory Skinner, CEO, RoadLaunch who discussed IOT and AI Blockchain logistics in Smart Contracts and Supply Chain. We learned about Dapps and Smart Contracts along with a live demo of RoadLaunch services of a supply chain in the freight industry. It is beneficial to record each and every movement of the trucks and drivers in a digital ledger. All logistics at one place in a Blockchain!

 Shubh Singh, Business Development, Accu-label International and Judith Kirkness, Principal Consultant and VP Sales, MINOTAUR Software Ltd. Both of the speakers discussed Blockchain in Agriculture. They reminded us about the present state of food around the world: food hunger, waste and recalls. How many of you guys know about the “romaine lettuce” recall? I bet not so many! Well, a Blockchain application on tracing the Origins of Food from the initial development to shipment could solve this problem. With one scan of the products label, you would have the entire history in front of you – That’s Transparency for you! It is just amazing how technology could have a positive impact on us, especially with the IBM Food trust that could trace where the “Mango was from” in less than 6 seconds. Isn’t it just amazing?

 Matthew Rappard, CTO, Three Lefts introduces us to Digital Identity: Self-Sovereign Identity. There is a saying, “Never ask a man his wage and a women her age” Now with Blockchain, no one has to specify their age or personal information in public. The system would prove such information to the interrogator.

 Nasim AL-Goni, A MSc Student, School of Computer Science discussed the Opportunities and Challenges of Blockchain in Healthcare applications. The transfer of health records from one party to another must be transparent and secure. A Blockchain application that satisfies non-repudiation and Fair Exchange is a must for Health Record transfers.

 Finally, we ended the event with a 1-hour panel discussion moderated by Dr Brent Furneaux from the Odette School of Business with interesting questions and exchanges about the Future of Blockchain. The panel featured our guest speakers and along with Dr. Muharam Kianieff from Faculty of Law. In Conclusion, the NKONB 2019 Symposium was a great success. As an ignite student I can proudly say that I have achieved my goal and the list of competencies and skills to be gained worksheet that Wen and I filled out at the beginning of my term.